20 December 2017
STEM year 2017 is coming to end. It means lots of things for STEMex and Hong Kong. The community starts understanding STEM is not just Robotics & Coding. It comprises different components in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics. The foundation Power & Energy, the application of STEM for building SMART City for our future. These are encouraging factors for building up the foundation of Innovation in Hong Kong. However, the role of parents, schools and community in STEM Innovation is a long-term forward looking stakeholders. They play the influence role to our next generation how to look at their future on STEM.
To develop our next generation’s vision on STEM, parents pay the key role. Starting STEM education in their kids junior years helps planting the seed in. STEM activities with fun and challenges motivates kids. Inquiry-based interactive experiences let children to explore the world and their surrounding. This joyful journey connects to their future and on the way allows parents to see the potential and faculty their children process.
To empower parents, we plan to launch STEM Parents Workshop and STEM Learning Testimonial Program to facilitate parents building up the understanding on their kids STEM potentials in the early stage. After completing a series of program, a portfolio on the achievements, attitudes and generic skills of the kids throughout the program will be presented. So we’ll enables parents. Probably we as part of the community understand the children attributes in STEM learning that we can contribute to. It will be a meaningful reference for individual future development.
Schools also play a vital role in STEM learning. However, the heavy teachers’ workload and the focus on academic achievement are the main obstacles to boost the STEM education. Without the support from the community, the development will not be comprehensive.
School’s ECA is a general approach to introduce STEM but limited to those who join.
To partner with schools in developing STEM education for all, we plan to further enrich our school program contents. We have designed a STEM curriculum that echo the STEM areas for General Study in primary schools. We could work with teachers to empower their engagement with school students in STEM inquiry-based activities. Through this school-based program, students experience what is STEM, learn how STEM is related to their daily life, develop problem solving and creativity. All these contributed to the school’s dedication to nurture our next innovative generation.
With the strong emphasis from government officials on STEM Innovation, there is a good trench among other organisations too. We joined the HKTDC DesignInspire program as they ask for STEM activities promoting Innovation rather than solely on business promotion. Also we partner with Changing Young Lives Foundation (成長希望基金), sponsoring STEM Robotics & Coding programs for their clients. It’s not just bringing the fun and challenges of learning robots and coding, but also connecting adults volunteers and children in the STEM learning journey.
Innovation is a culture. And it takes time and resources to build. Looking forward, with the solid programs that can be qualified and quantify for revision and improvement plus the collaboration among educators, community leaders, and business sectors is the critical successful factor for the success of STEM education in the territory. We are delight to be able to share with you a few notes from our past effort here.
Wish Hong Kong has a SMART STEM year in 2018!