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Class Trip to the USA with MIT Tour

The Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz had a first-class technology experience, the crown jewel of their 2019 events. Two weeks in the USA! But not just any two weeks. Thanks to close relationships with the most renowned universities and institutes such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard, Berkeley, and Stanford as well as companies from Silicon Valley, the students were not only able to travel to a remarkably exciting country, but also be on the inside of extremely confidential presentations. Ground-breaking innovations and cutting-edge technology were showcased, and vividly explained to them. Participants were even offered valuable information for engineering their own projects and dissertations.

 Ready for a 2019 tech tour class trip unlike any other? Then "Welcome aboard!" This flight will take you to the center of tech heaven.

The Tech Tour – a New Breed of Class Trip

We all know the typical activities included in school trips (museums, theaters, sights, etc.). This guided tour, however, marks a shift away from the ordinary. A new era seems to have dawned, and the Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz is leading the way in 2019. Their school trips are no longer just about traveling with the students, but about their holistic growth. The tech tour offers the students an encounter with the top thinkers and technologies of today. The aim is to spark desire and passion among the younger generation; to not only show them something interesting but to inspire them and broaden their horizons; to let them become part of something great, and to plant seeds in these upcoming world changers. By having contact with the big players and the world's largest, most renowned technology universities and companies, our students will already have a foot in the door. But all this would not be possible without the robust and influential network that stands behind the Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz.

The Programme – Travel, Learn, Know

Digitisation, big data, artificial intelligence, and digital transformation - these concepts shape our times and are far from being obsolete. This paradigm shift can be felt in all aspects of life. Change is not limited to the IT world; every domain of our lives is entering the next level. We are talking about advancements in economy, health care, agriculture, industry, and commerce, and even in the social sector. These quantum leaps in research are not insignificant. And to ensure that the students in grades 10 to 12 glean insights from each field, the two-week tech tour was packed with a wide variety of program highlights.

Guided Group Travel Done Differently – Tech Tour in San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Boston.

The tech tour started on 6 October 2019 with a flight from Zurich to Boston with a group of 14 students, some parents, the principal, and college counselor. After the long flight, we checked into our hotel rooms, because the next day was to start with a Boston big bang: A visit to MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The MIT tour was the perfect kick-off to two weeks full of Ahhhs and Ohhhs. With researchers from MIT, the students were able to discuss the science of digitisation and how those things relate to social change. The next day, they continued with a visit to Merck Research Laboratories - also in Boston. In 2016, Merck celebrated its 125th anniversary as the world's leading healthcare company. This research campus is primarily dedicated to challenging diseases such as diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer's, and infectious diseases, but also vaccines and the recurrent emergence of immunity. The day ended with a visit to the Museum of Science. The following day was the presentation of the impressive Project Zero. Founded in 1967 at Harvard, this project is still devoted to research into the complexity of human potential: intelligence, understanding, creativity, interdisciplinary, intercultural thinking and ethics. All these concepts shape the thought behind its philosophical approach: to optimize education in such a way that we adopt a holistic approach to learning. It is not only about imparting knowledge, but much more about the desire to acquire knowledge and the ability to improve one's thinking. With the Boston visits to Northeastern University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Museum, an eventful tech tour week ended, and the group traveled on to San Francisco.

 On the weekend, the students were free to explore the ins and outs of the city, because traveling also means immersing oneself in the culture. Travel unites and opens entirely new worlds. Together by bike, we went to explore the Golden Gate Bridge and Sausalito to capture a breathtaking view.

Tech Tours in Silicon Valley, Here We Come!

On 14 October 2019, we went on to the legendary Silicon Valley. On the agenda was a company that sees itself as a link for enabling big ideas to become even bigger. Plug and Play is an innovation platform that brings together the best start-ups and the largest companies in the world. Young entrepreneurs presented their ideas to the students, including new ways to fight or even cure cancer. The following day included visits to the Stanford campus and the successful start-up company Palantir Technologies, which specializes in the analysis of large amounts of information for helping governments and humanitarian organizations. Palantir has analysis tools that most of us can only dream of. The name is derived from the "seeing stone" in Lord of the Rings.

On to the US Hotspot for Nobel Laureates

On 16 October 2019, we continued the tour to the Hot Spots of digital economics and research - with a visit to the Intel Museum and the University of Berkeley campus. The university campus is a meeting center of leading R&D-intensive North American universities in the United States. 107 Nobel Laureates have studied at this university. Sixteen elements of the periodic table were discovered at Berkeley or by university graduates.

After these more than remarkable days, the group of students returned home from their US tech tour to Zurich on 18 October 2019 with suitcases filled with lots of insights, information, and new perspectives.

College Counselor, Heather Thompson Cavalli, was particularly proud of each student, "I was really impressed by how much our students got involved in this school trip. Especially in the presence of very influential and experienced scientists, they asked profound questions, which resulted in very fruitful communication."

Tech tour, MIT tour, class trip - whatever you might call it these days in the USA, for everyone involved, it was a powerful experience that noticeably broadened their horizons. Travel shapes who we are and the memories of this trip will live on in the hearts and minds of each student. In that regard, this event was an absolute success!

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