Chevron Enjoy Science and its university partners celebrated the launch of 12 Regional STEM hubs that will drive new forms of learning and innovation across Thailand
Human resources development is one of the critical factors driving Thailand 4.0. Therefore, it is a priority for Thailand to upgrade its education system to keep up with rapidly-evolving technology.
To improve education in Thailand, Chevron Enjoy Science has signed agreements with 12 university groups to launch 12 regional STEM hubs across Thailand. The MOU signing took place on 9 March and included the Vice Minister of Education, Associate Professor Sopon Napathorn, with leadership from 14 university partners, leading teachers in education programs, as well as almost one hundred Education Service Area Officers, school leaders and mentors. The group of over two hundred educators united to drive new forms of learning and innovation and equip the next generation with vital skills necessary to propel Thailand 4.0. This collaboration with universities will strengthen the STEM education partnership network across Thailand, as universities are equipped with highly qualified personnel and strong relationships with schools and communities.
Through its dynamic public-private partnership, Chevron Enjoy Science is developing a stronger, more robust STEM education system in Thailand. The regional hubs support local schools by providing professional development training to principals and teachers, recruiting and training student assistants and mentors, and introducing internationally-proven, research-based curricula and high-impact instructional practices. By transforming traditional classrooms into student-driven learning centers, the project is empowering students to acquire the STEM and critical thinking skills to thrive in the modern economy. Moreover, this model is helping bridge the large gap in education quality that exists between large, urban schools and small, rural schools.
Nopparat, a student at Wat Laem Fah Pah School, was a featured speaker at the STEM hub launch event and inspired event participants alike by sharing her own experience on the value of inquiry-based learning promoted through Chevron Enjoy Science.
Speaking to her past experience with science education, Nopparat said “I have to admit that in the past I really didn’t like studying science because I thought it was boring and pointless. In previous grades, the teacher would tell us to open the book, read it, and memorize some formulas. I learned nothing and found no practical application of the formulas to real life.”
Joining the project in 2016, Wat Laem Fah Pah School in Samut Prakarn is part of the Chevron Enjoy Science Rajabhat Rajanagarindra University STEM hub network. As part of the project, the school receives full support from the project. This means that the school’s principal has undergone leadership training, its teachers have received professional development training, and select students have been trained to support teachers as laboratory assistants. Furthermore, the school has received science and mathematics materials that induce active learning in its classrooms. These efforts have really paid off at Wat Laem Fah Pah School, and helped generate student interest in pursuing STEM subjects.
According to Nopparat, “After our teacher began using the new teaching methods and materials, the classroom atmosphere changed completely; we spend our time conducting science experiments, having group discussions about what we learned, and presenting our ideas and assumptions to the class. I now find that I learn and actually understand those formulas that I used to find so dull.”
Professional Development: STEM for TVET Workshop
From March 13-31, 2017, the Chevron Enjoy Science Project organized professional development training for 60 OVEC Science teachers, from 25 technical colleges, where they learned to apply the STEM for TVET active-learning curriculum. The workshop and Chevron Enjoy Science more broadly, are helping to upgrade the vocational education nationwide by strengthening the STEM education and supporting active learning pedagogies among teachers. It is critical to have outstanding vocational teachers that can transfer knowledge and develop skills among students, so that they meet the demands of Thailand’s rapidly-changing modern industry. Chevron Enjoy Science is helping vocational teachers build a high-quality workforce in Thailand’s key industries, such as automotive parts, energy, agriculture and microelectronics.