Primary School Support to Kids in STEM Learning

16 June 2018

STEM course, STEM, Coding, Robotics, STEM Education

STEM Learning in school is not new but what makes the students feel differently. Fun and engaging STEM activities give primary school students an impressive experience what STEM is about and the fun of learning start from solving problems. When activities are designed around the world they are living, students will want to explore how things work. Curiosity is always the best thing to drive learning motivation. That’s the basic of “STEM for All” in primary school.
Turn Curiosity into Learning Motivation in School Curriculum
We have STEM session in primary school general studies subject. It’s a good opportunity to explore STEM together with kids during school lesson time. At different grades, there will have different topics and activities. STEM is a wide and interdisciplinary subjects. It could be around green energy, smart city, coding, robotics, force & motion. It’s not necessary to discuss all difficult theory behind but need to illustrates how it relates to our daily and future life in simple keywords and terms.
Build STEM culture in the whole school
STEM learning is just like language learning, we need to embrace it in our daily life. To create a STEM learning environment, a themed STEM week will be a great opportunity to arouse the whole school awareness for both students and teachers. Put aside the regular school time table in a morning or afternoon and attend a STEM session at your choice. The STEM products that kids design in the session will be the next few days topics in school and family.
More in-depth STEM Extra Curricular Activities (ECA).
If school wants to drive more in-depth participation for kids in STEM, ECA is one of the choice. Activities can be designed based upon the Robotics theme, Technology & Coding theme or Smart City & Energy theme. All based on Engineering Design Process (EDP) which allows kids to innovate from different real-life problems.
STEM Staff Development
Continuous Staff Development on STEM is cruical in school development. From awareness to students innovation boost up, all have different approaches and feedback collection process. We are happy to guide school to go through the process and share your ideas how we can do better for school STEM development in Hong Kong.
Funding Support for Continuous Development
STEM development needs resources support. Extra manpower, operation funding, venue and simple equipments. Continuous funding support is a must. Government Quality Education Fund (QEF) or any similar kind of funding support is definitely benefit to STEM development. We are happy to jointly work with you on proposal and implementation here.

 

Tips for Selecting Summer Camp

10 May 2018

Summer is incredible, right? No test, no homework schedule, no tutorial and free times abounds.

Yet after a week or so, boredom sets in, and kids and the couch start to become inseparable. Glued to smartphones while binging on YouTube, or just mindlessly mashing buttons as they play video games for hours on end.
Great for balancing out the unstructured, school-free times, summer camps are fun, build character, and provide opportunities for kids to meet new friends. When kids stay intellectually engaged during their holiday, allow them to solve right level of challenging problems, build their own design solution and test it under our interactive questions designed in our curriculum, they will be motivated and energised in the summer camp learning journey.
Here are seven tips on how to make the summer camp selection process a little more manageable.
1. Set your expectations

Before you can pick the right summer camp, you need to first define “right;” and you do so by setting expectations.

Start by asking one simple question—what do you want your children to gain from their experience? You send them to school so they can get smarter, and off to soccer practice so they can become a better stronger. Sending them to summer camp shouldn’t be any different.

The goal is to get kids excited about summer by finding programs that speak to their current interests. By starting the process with you and your child on the same page and speaking the same language, you’re more likely to find a camp you both love.

2. Select the right genre

Once you’ve established what you’re hoping to gain from camp, it’s time to narrow down the types of programs that can meet those needs.

Whatever the types of programs you select, if you think of long-term development for your kids, then you need to observe their changes of behaviours, what they share with you after the activities, how they see different things, what type of questions they raise and what’s their feedback to the courses. By observing these changes, you will notice that whether it is what you and your kids expect and how you both can further develop from this angle onwards.

3. Find instructors your kids will adore

To start, they should be passionate about teaching kids. We’ve all seen the instructors who are attached to their smartphones; that’s not who you want supervising your children. Instead, instructors should be fun, upbeat, and both passionate and knowledgeable about the subjects they’re teaching.

Determining the quality of instructors before attending camp is difficult, but doable. Check if they provide student and parent reviews or references. Come to the class and observe how your kids doing so as to confirm as well

Last, look for low student-to-instructor ratios and be sure your that your camp runs background checks on all instructors. Safety first!

SLXLM

4. Don’t be afraid to research.

Luckily, there are many ways to learn more about camps that catch your kid’s interest. Ask around and see where other friends have sent their kids to camp. A personal recommendation is often a great indicator of what your student’s experience will be like. Plus, kids always have a great time when they get to attend camp with a few friends.

At STEMex, we design our summer camps with your kids creativity in mind. We aim at inspiring your kids in our Engineering Design Process that motivate your kids long term innovation learning journey in all aspects not just for technology field but other humanity areas. Find out more from our holiday camp page https://www.stemex.org/holiday-camp

 

Preschool Learning needs more emphasis on STEM

26 January 2018

STEM course, STEM, Coding, Robotics, STEM Education

A first-of-its-kind study by Michigan State University researchers found that early childhood educators’ self-reported ability and enjoyment was high for literacy, but much lower for science and math. Such finding echoes the recent survey conducted by the Federation of Education Workers in Hong Kong that only 36% of teachers are confident teaching STEM.
While we acknowledge that providing quality early-childhood STEM education is one way to boost up their innovation capability, parents and community need to do more to help our next generation. Early childhood period is a time when kids begin developing knowledge and skills for science, children age 4-6 have the capacity to engage in and learn from scientific thinking.
If preschool teachers struggle with science due to lack of quality training, preparation or an aversion to STEM, parents and community can act the role of connecting quality STEM learning through after school or parents-child activities. It needs to be fun and challenging, aiming at motivating kids to explore and experiment using different science materials. Different age groups will have different learning objectives. Students collaborating
 
Junior kids age between 4 to 6 need to emphasis individual discovery and inquiry. Exploration of STEM through authentic hands-on experiences and real-world application will help inspire them for further investigation.
When interests built, kids age between 7 to 10 will expect to solve fun and engaging challenges. Our role will be to help them reflect, connect and apply to real-world. It will be more effective if it constructs authentic, open-ended designs in collaborative small groups.
Teenage learners will expect to create collaborative solutions to complex problems using technology, science and math. Our role will help them discuss current events and explore future questions related to the various fields of STEM.
To close the gap of STEM learning, it demands parents and community to explore more. In STEMex, we strive to minimise the gap through our community STEM programs. In March 2018, we will start launch our first parents-child activities for parents to join STEM with their kids age 4-6 on every Sunday morning. Stay tune for our announcement!

Wish You All HAPPY & SMART YEAR 2018

20 December 2017

STEM course, STEM, Coding, Robotics, STEM Education
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!