Chevron Enjoy Science joins forces with the Department of Skills Development to establish the TVET Automotive Hub to support the Eastern Economic Corridor
One of the keys to national development is having a skilled workforce, especially in light of the rapid advances in manufacturing technology and the government’s policy of promoting the automotive and auto parts industry as one of ten industries that will drive the nation’s future economy (the new S-Curve). Developing the skills and knowledge of workers and vocational students to match advances in technologies and industries is an urgent matter.
For this reason, the Chevron Enjoy Science Project seeks to boost the nation’s competitiveness by promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education, as well as developing the skills of vocational students and workers to meet the needs of the industrial sector. The project is thus collaborating with the Department of Skills Development (DSD) to set up a ‘TVET Automotive Hub’ at the Chonburi Institute for Skills Development Region 3 to train workers to become ‘4.0 Technicians.’ The eastern region was selected due to its status as an automotive and auto parts manufacturing center, and the institute will play a key role in elevating Thailand’s industrial sector, reducing gaps in workforce skills, and supporting the goal of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Project.
The TVET Automotive Hub will play an important role in developing the capacity of the regional workforce through implementation in three areas:
• Introducing the “STEM for TVET” curriculum for vocational teachers to use, based on the “Active Physics” curriculum developed by It’s About Time. Teachers will use the inquiry-based curriculum to provide students with an enjoyable classroom experience and practical knowledge that can be applied in their future workplaces;
• Training DSD instructors and vocational teachers so that they gain technical teaching skills that match the needs of the industrial sector. Activities will include short training courses, and technical skills development and job placement in companies;
• Creating and expanding opportunities for vocational students by creating venues for learning at the TVET Automotive Hub, which possesses training resources, equipment, and modern machinery. The hub addresses the problems of limited space as well as insufficient and outdated equipment at technical colleges.
The TVET Automotive Hub will be managed by a committee comprised of members from eight organizations, with the Chonburi Institute for Skills Development Region 3 taking the lead. The Institute is fully equipped with training equipment and possesses the automotive industry expertise to develop more than 5,000 workers in the eastern region per year, creating confidence that the TVET Automotive Hub will be capable of producing ‘4.0 Technicians’ to help solve workforce quality and quantity issues faced by many growing industries in the eastern region. In addition to supplying workers for the automotive and auto parts industry, the hub will assist other industries, such as aviation and logistics, in accordance with the EEC plan. It will also support the Thailand 4.0 strategy to drive the nation’s economy with technology and innovation.
Design Training Workshop and Maker Space Activities by New York Hall of Science
From June 13-14, 2017, the Chevron Enjoy Science Project together with the National Science Museum (NSM) and the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) organized a design training workshop and Maker Space activities for 36 NSM staff and representatives from relevant organizations.
At the beginning of the workshop, NYSCI trainers reviewed the principles of 4D design, which is comprised of deconstruction, discovery, designing/making, and display. They also advised on frameworks for the development of Maker activities in order to support the design and development of activities that will stimulate the interest of each individual and enable them to unleash their imagination for an unlimited creative learning experience.
NYSCI trainers also provided inputs on designing Maker activities related to three-dimensional objects, with activities based on the backward design principle and using geometric objects found in daily life to create understanding of shapes, sizes, and dimensions. Computer Aided Design (CAD) software, which is used in design work, was also introduced for children to use in designing their inventions. CAD software will be used alongside other high tech equipment, such as 3D printers and laser cutters.
An important highlight of the workshop was the introduction of the NYSCI’s Teen Innovation Program, which achieved great success in the United States. The program encourages teenage participants to survey problems in their community, then returning to develop inventions that can address such problems. The program’s process involves surveying problems, drafting an invention plan, creating an invention model, presenting and soliciting inputs from local innovation experts on the feasibility of inventions, improving and refining inventions based on advice from experts, and finally, creating a working invention. The program’s project-based learning gave youth 15 months to create their inventions. The inventions with the greatest potential to be turned into working versions were showcased at several leading innovation events, such as the “World Maker Faire,” a world-class event for Makers organized at the NYSCI in New York, USA. The concept behind this project development is viewed by all training workshop participants as highly suitable for creating Maker activities for Thai youth in the future.
Supara Kamolpattana (rightmost), manager of the National Science Museum Science Square at Chamchuri Square, joins the New York Hall of Science’s training workshop on designing and developing Maker Space curriculum.
Supara Kamolpattana was one of the participants in a training workshop on designing and developing Maker Space curriculum. At present Supara is the manager of the National Science Museum’s Science Square at Chamchuri Square and is responsible for all activities to promote awareness of science at the square. Supara stated that the knowledge she received from the training workshop will be used to expand creative initiatives to promote science among Thai youth, both through short-term and long-term activities, including youth camps.
“Participating in this training allowed me to gain a lot of knowledge to develop Maker Space programs. I am excited to have learned about concepts to stimulate the creative and scientific ideas of children which are integrated into each NYSCI activity. Examples include the 3D design activity, which not only taught us how to use online software to do design work, but also showed us that the activity can be leveraged to teach children mathematical skills, such as calculating and measuring sizes, and creating works of art. Each activity can also help build the 21st century skills of children.”
“I think the Maker Space will create enormous benefits for Thai children, including developing their creative thinking and analytical skills. More importantly, the activities will allow children to learn about STEM naturally. If we can expand the Maker Space to all provinces or in major cities, it will result in significant positive impact. Moreover, we should integrate Maker Space into school curriculum, with teachers being trained on how to design, develop, and create Maker-style learning for children.”