It’s come to the end of my CAS journey, and I find myself wanting to repeat it all over again. CAS has not only provided me with a avenue to delve into my interests whilst utilizing my strengths in providing service to the community, but also to leverage the power of collaboration, of adroit, ethical decision-making, and iterative improvement on my weaknesses in creating the greatest possible impact in doing so.
In my third (and last) CAS interview that I had with my supervisor, Mr. Watson, we discussed the three elements of CAS – Creativity, Activity, and Service – and how I’ve engaged with them throughout my CAS journey. I talked about the specifics of my projects in those categories, such as how I’ve improved in my entire time in Cyber Shanty as a tutor.
In departure from tradition, however, I’d like to talk about more than the specifics and examine how I’ve improved as a whole throughout this two-year-long odyssey.
Learning Outcome 1: I identify strengths and weaknesses – the CAS projects that I engaged in were all geared towards my skillset and my interests, and I understood this as an advantage in the sense that I would be leveraging my strengths. I also identified where I fell short, however, and also chose aspects of those projects that I felt uncomfortable in but would undoubtedly result in a development of my skills. A prominent example that I’ve mentioned many times in my journey is being a tutor in Cyber Shanty – I wasn’t used to teaching children but now I’m very comfortable in doing so and no longer see it as a weakness. Learning to identify both my strengths and weaknesses has been a big part of my participation in CAS.
Learning Outcome 2: I undertake challenges and develop new skills – the CAS projects I engaged in, as with the first learning outcome, were geared towards what I was good at and interested in, but this does not mean that I had nothing left to learn. Highly technical roles like in BOINC@BSJ and a part of Tiny School Movement allowed me to develop skills in network computing and web development, and in undertaking this challenge I feel like I’ve reaped one of the most important parts of participating in CAS and have left with deeper domain knowledge and a wider skillset as a result.
Learning Outcome 3: I plan and initiate – Along with my peers, I learned to plan projects both small and large and initiate them accordingly. This was present in all of my CAS projects, be it Cyber Shanty, Tiny School Movement, or BOINC@BSJ. All of those involved planning beforehand in terms of what tasks should be delegated, what materials are needed, and what steps need to be taken with the appropriate supervisors or partners. This skill was invaluable in getting things done, and will continue to be invaluable in the future.
Learning Outcome 4: I show commitment I persevere – All of the CAS projects I participated in had significant challenges, but none of them prevented me or my peers from achieving our goals. This was a result of committing to our goals and persevering in the face of these challenges – both skills that were hardened, tested, and ultimately improved as a result of our participation in CAS.
Learning Outcome 5: I demonstrate collaborative skills and recognise the benefits of collaboration – having usually worked alone in the past on projects, I found this part of CAS to be invaluable. I learned that working together is far better than working alone, and that more and better things can be done in far less time by doing so. This was key to success in all of my CAS projects.
Learning Outcome 6: I engage with issues of global significance – All of the CAS projects I participated in involved issues of global significance, be it access to education or universal healthcare. I am proud and empowered to say that I’ve done my small part in ameliorating these issues throughout my CAS journey. I’ve developed a deeper understanding of some of these issues as a result, along with a deepened drive for continuing to contribute to the solving of these issues in the future.
Learning Outcome 7: I act ethically and recognise ethical issues – In CAS, I along with my peers had to make decisions that could impact real lives in real communities, and we take pride in the fact that we’ve acted in a manner that we believe to be the most ethically correct and appropriate, be it in Tiny School Movement or Cyber Shanty or even in the handover to the Year 12 students. CAS has opened my eyes to just how impactful the smallest actions can be, and so I will always take this learning outcome in mind in my future ventures.
CAS has been tiring and frustrating at times, but so, so, rewarding. I’ve learned so much, as evidenced in the above, and I’m continuing to learn as I reflect on my CAS journey and what (I hope) it’s done for the community. I hope to do more good in the future.