STEM is widely argued to be the future, whether it is referring to education of children or the needs of society, with approximately 70% of future jobs attributed to the STEM strand. In Ha Noi, Vietnam, ASSIST has partnered with Dow Vietnam to initiate STEM Learning Labs, a project created to teach and encourage interest of primary and secondary school students in chemical sciences.
The project works on multiple levels: chemical experts train chemical science teachers on the STEM methodology and the application of the EcoLabBox. These teachers will then apply their learnings in a STEM class, in which students can experience innovative learning activities as well as conduct exploratory research and chemistry experiments. More than that, these special classes provide an opportunity for teachers and students to discuss the science behind real world problems such as environmental degradation and water pollution, and how their studies in STEM can create viable solutions to these issues.
The first Learning Lab activity was kicked off in January, at Bo De Secondary School, and continued in Mac Dinh Chi and Mai Dich Secondary Schools.
Almost 100 students were engaged in these STEM classes, having fun while learning about the chemical sciences. Over the next few months ASSIST aims to reach hundreds more students in Ha Noi, spark their interest in the STEM fields as a potential career track, provide mentorship and guidance as their skills develop, all while imparting a sense of responsibility towards the protection of our environment. At the same time, building the capabilities and competencies of chemical science teachers, who will ensure that these learnings are conveyed to their future students and that the success of these Learning Labs are sustained past the duration of the project.