The 21st Century
What is the future world that our students of today need to prepare themselves for?
S.T.R.E.A.M. & LIFE SKILLS
How do students prepare for 21st Century life, and for jobs that do not yet exist?
The St. Uriel Education Method
How do schools, educators and parents help students become leaders of tomorrow?
STEM Education in Asia
STEM Education in Singapore
STEM is part of the Applied Learning Programme (ALP) that the Singapore Ministry of Education (MOE) has been promoting since 2013, and currently, all secondary schools have such a programme. It is expected that by 2023, all primary schools in Singapore will have an ALP. There are no tests or exams for ALPs. The emphasis is for students to learn through experimentation – they try, fail, try, learn from it and try again. The MOE actively supports schools with ALPs to further enhance and strengthen their capabilities and programmes that nurtures innovation and creativity.
The Singapore Science Centre established a STEM unit in January 2014, dedicated to igniting students’ passion for STEM. To further enrich students’ learning experiences, their Industrial Partnership Programme (IPP) creates opportunities for students to get early exposure to the real-world STEM industries and careers. Curriculum specialists and STEM educators from the Science Centre will work hand-in-hand with teachers to co-develop STEM lessons, provide training to teachers and co-teach such lessons to provide students with an early exposure and develop their interest in STEM.
St. Uriel Education, a specialist curriculum developer that was founded in Singapore and having active presence in China and Thailand, integrates Robotics and Arts into STEM curriculum – ie. STREAM (Science Technology Robotics Engineering Arts and Maths). Their curriculum is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and each lesson illustrates life-skills, universal values and ethics. Their research based curriculum attempts to not only develop 21st Century Skills, but also men and women who can do good and add value to the communities that they live in.
STEM Education in China
To promote STEM in China, the Chinese government issued a guideline in 2016 on national innovation-driven development strategy, instructing that by 2020, China should become an innovative country; by 2030, it should be at the forefront of innovative countries; and by 2050, it should become a technology innovation power.
In February 2017, the Ministry of Education in China has announced to officially add STEM education into the primary school curriculum, which is the first official government recognition of STEM education. And later, in May 2018, the launching ceremony and press conference for the 2029 Action Plan for China’s STEM Education was held in Beijing, China. This plan aims to allow as many students to benefit from STEM education as possible and equip all students with scientific thinking and the ability to innovate. In response to encouraging policies by the government, schools in both public and private sectors around the country have begun to carry out STEM education programs.
However, in order to effectively implement STEM curricula, full-time teachers specializing in STEM education and relevant contents to be taught are needed. At present, China lacks qualified STEM teachers and a training system is yet to be established. Many Chinese public and private schools have for the last few years sent their principals and top teachers for STEM curriculum development courses in Singapore, conducted by St. Uriel Education (a top STEM curriculum specialist, employing cutting edge education robotics, coding, and incorporating important elements of life skills, values and ethics that benefit students).
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STEM Education in Thailand
In 2017, Thai Education Minister Dr Teerakiat Jareonsettasin said after the 49th Southeast Asia Ministers of Education Organisation (SEAMEO) Council Conference in Jakarta that the meeting approved the establishment of two new SEAMEO regional centres in Thailand. One would be the STEM Education Centre, while the other would be a Sufficient Economy Learning Centre.
Teerakiat said that the Thai government had already allocated Bt250 million over five years for the new STEM centre. The centre will be the regional institution responsible for STEM education promotion. It will not only set up policies to improve STEM education, but it will also be the centre for information and experience sharing among the member countries and education experts. According to him, “This is the first SEAMEO regional centre for STEM education, as the existing science education centre in Malaysia only focuses on the academic perspective. Our STEM education centre will also prioritise the implementation and adaptation of science and technology.”
Thailand government schools have been hampered by budget, but those private international schools have done an outreach to secure training for their STEM teachers and have explored the conduct of such training using latest robotics technologies and coding – such as those offered by St. Uriel Education.
The Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology (IPST) has initiated a STEM Education Network whose objectives are to encourage integrated learning activities and enhance student creativity and application of knowledge in daily or professional life, and to establish a collaborative network of public and private organisations and personnel in promoting STEM education in Thailand.
This network includes the National STEM Education Centre, 13 Regional STEM Education Centres, which were founded last year, schools in the STEM Education Network and other supporting networks. Regional STEM Education Centres are located in large-scale secondary schools in selected provinces, each centre works as a hub of academic support for teachers and educational personnel in the region and disseminates the STEM education concept in its areas of responsibility. These centres also act as a co-ordinating agency linking IPST, local personnel and institutes in basic and higher education, as well as other public and private organisations.
Each of the 13 STEM Education Centres is a centre for six satellite schools in their locations: two primary schools, two secondary schools and two opportunity extension schools. In Bangkok, there are two centres: Bodindecha School and Samsenwittayalai School. The STEM Education Network also consists of subordinate networks and systems to support the operation of the major units. These include the Academic Mentor University Network, Supervisor Network, Academic Mentor Network, STEM Ambassador network, STEM Personnel Recognition Program and iSTEM Resource Centre.