Following a STEM training course sponsored by Newton Fund and jointly held in August 2016 by the British Council and Vietnam Ministry of Education and Training, 15 schools participating the pilot project have implemented over 50 practical and local context-linked projects with praiseworthy outcomes.
STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, is an educational approach that encourages students to apply combined knowledge of all relevant subjects into solving real-life problems.
According to statistics released in 2013 by the US Department of Labour, 65 per cent of the jobs that will exist for current primary school students have yet to be invented. Together with the advent of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 and the subsequent demand for human resources, STEM is expected to build the skills and competence needed by students to cope effectively with the forthcoming challenges.
Thanks to the STEM Approach training provided by experts from the UK, new ideas were conceived for STEM projects which were then developed and implemented in a very professional manner, resulting in a new source of inspiration for the students.
“STEM makes me realise that science is more marvelous than I thought”, Nguyen Dinh Chinh, a 7th grader of Ta Quang Buu Secondary School enthused.
“This is the first time I have taken part directly in this STEM education project thanks to the support of British Council. I hope that this approach will become more popular in the future.” said Nguyen Xuan Hoang, a physics teacher from Chuc Dong Highschool.
All of a sudden, the wonderful world of science is revealed through STEM projects that are very normal and close-to-life. For example, one project by students in Nam Sach II High School aimed at making a dishwashing product from vegetable waste. This product was made by students out of their concern for the safety of mothers and teachers who have to do so much washing up that the skin on their hands were developing dermatitis. In another project, Nguyen Anh Tu from Hon Gai High School managed to create a game called “Chemistry Labyrinth” to help her friends who complain about their difficulty with chemistry. Another example is the venture with "rooftop intensive vegetable planting" initiated by students from Le Hong Phong Gifted High School in Nam Dinh, a province known for its long-established agricultural traditions. For many students, STEM not only nurtures their love for science but also helps them relax after intense lessons because it gives them an opportunity to tend vegetable gardens with their friends, despite the pressure of impending exams.