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MKA Upper School Chinese Program Selected as One of Three Collaborative Institutions for Prestigious Program

Montclair Kimberley Academy has been selected as one of only three collaborative institutions in the U.S. for the program, "Meeting the Terra-Cotta Army, Understanding Qin Culture,” conducted by the Xidian University, Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum, and the Smithsonian National Museum. This is an incredible honor for our MKA Chinese Program, the Upper School World Language Department, and our students in Chinese.

Our students in Chinese will work together with peers from the Sidwell Friends School and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte to participate in a series of 35-minute synchronous online lectures given by native Chinese teachers and five virtual field trips led by bilingual museum educators. Students will join in virtual field trips to Emperor Qinshihuang’s Terra-cotta Army Museum, the Museum of Bronze Chariots and Horses, the Shaanxi History Museum, and the Ancient City Wall in Xi’an. In addition, four recorded webinar lectures will be devoted to disseminating information about up-to-date research in archeology and conservation in the museums to deepen students’ engagement with ancient Chinese history and tradition. Students will also use the Smithsonian Learning Lab to explore the digital Terra-Cotta collections and understand the spiritual beliefs, military practices, and values of the ruler responsible for unifying China for the first time in its history.

As a partner school, MKA students will have the opportunity to access the classes and webinars for free. The MKA Chinese teachers, Dr. River He, Ms. Fangzhou Zhang, and Ms. Tingting Chen, will help our students to fulfill the requirements for obtaining the certificate of completion as a celebration of their learning of Chinese. The program committee will present scholarships to four students who demonstrate an outstanding commitment to the program and enthusiastic dedication to the language and culture, with a certificate of achievement and a $500 prize for each recipient.

Participation in this program will provide MKA students with a unique opportunity to develop what they have learned about Chinese language and culture while also enhancing their interdisciplinary research skills in language, sociology, social studies, and history topics. We cannot wait to start the program in January 2022!


From January to April, under the direction of the Chinese teachers, River He, Fangzhou Zhang, and Tingting Chen, MKA students in Chinese classes from grades 8-12 participated in a series of online lectures given by native Chinese teachers, five virtual field trips led by bilingual museum educators, and four recorded webinar lectures devoted to disseminating information about up-to-date research in archeology and conservation.

To recognize their hard work, the program committee honored the dedication of each MKA participant who has met the learning requirements with a certificate of completion and a prize. The committee presented a certificate of outstanding achievement to our four exemplary teaching assistants, each with a scholarship of $500 to encourage their learning and passion for the Chinese language, history, and culture: Phoebe Williams ’22, Gianna Zou ’23, Ellis Fertig ’24, and May Cotter ’26.