‘Innovation for Safer Communities.’
Danger lurks all around; we encounter potential hazards every day when we cross the street at a busy intersection, wander down an unlit alley, and even surf the Internet. In this era where everything is driven by technology, how nice would it be to have innovation that create defenses and enable safety for ourselves and our communities? This way, quality of life could also be improved.
To this end, the Chevron Enjoy Science Project, in collaboration with NSTDA, OVEC, and NSM has launched the “Enjoy Science: Young Makers Contest Year 2.” The contest provides young makers from schools, vocational colleges, and universities the opportunity to develop solutions to address this year’s theme of ‘Innovation for Safer Communities.’ The winning team will earn an all-expenses-paid trip to participate in the “Maker Faire Bay Area” in San Francisco. The contest will also divvy out a total of 1.2 million baht in scholarship support and prizes to other outstanding participants. Overall, the contest is part of the Chevron Enjoy Science Project’s ongoing effort to grow Thailand’s maker community and foster a culture of innovation, learning exchange, and creativity among young people.
A panel discussion led by Artit Krichphiphat, Chevron Thailand Business Support General Manager; Kullprapa Navanugraha, Vice President of NSTDA; Kanikar Wongthongsiri, Vice President and Acting President of NSM, and Dr. Mongkolchai Somudon, Director of Bureau of Research and Development and Acting Advisor for Vocational Education Standards (Agriculture and Fishery) of OVEC to further promote this contest as a platform to strengthen the maker culture in Thailand as well as to inspire student to create innovations.
During the launch event, the winners of the first Enjoy Science: Young Makers Contest shared their innovation and experiences from participating in the program, including their once-in-a-lifetime visit to an overseas “Maker Faire.” They also expressed their eagerness to leverage their innovations and creativity to become citizens of Thailand 4.0.
Enjoy Science: Young Makers Contest Year 2 is currently accepting applications from vocational students (up to high vocational certificates or equivalent) and students in formal education (up to bachelor’s degree level) from now until 15 September 2017.
Interested candidates can find more information at www.bangkokmakerfaire.com/ymc2 or on the “Enjoy Science: Young Makers Contest” Facebook page.
Veteran teacher explains how cutting-edge resources and teaching techniques raise the bar in student learning
Over the course of her 24-year teaching career, Ms. Wiphada Phiratham has taught science to hundreds of students and has continuously sought to improve her skills as a teacher. Ms. Wiphada thirst for knowledge led her to join the Chevron Enjoy Science Project, a decision that has proved particularly fruitful. During a recent Chevron Enjoy Science Student Lab Assistant workshop, Ms. Wiphada reflected on the how the project has transformed the way she teaches her middle school science classes at Ban Phan Saharat Bamrung School.
Ms. Wiphada stressed the importance of self-development for teaching professionals, saying that teachers should always be open to new ideas to improve their teaching skills. In her view, the curriculum should be in line with current issues and behavior of students, while teaching aids and tools must be updated and in good condition. “One problem I have come across is outdated equipment and poorly maintained tools,” she said. “Students are unable to experiment and see the results due to the limitations of the equipment. It is pity that they cannot unleash their potential and further improve their capacities.”
From Wiphada’s two decades in education, she observed that many students are interested in science and eager to learn, but the shoddy equipment limits their opportunities to learn through hands-on experimentation. Chevron Enjoy Science, however, provides continuous professional development training to teachers and cutting-edge science equipment to schools. She has witnessed the way in which the combination of resources and innovative pedagogies transform students’ learning experiences. “I have seen how students respond in class when they are able to interact with the teacher and their classmates. Hands-on learning enables students to use real equipment to explore and analyze the world of science and then present their thoughts and exchange ideas with their peers,” Ms. Wiphada stated enthusiastically. “I’ve used this knowledge to design my class in way that is more interesting and fun for my students.”
In addition to using hands-on experimentation, through Chevron Enjoy Science, Ms. Wiphada also learned specific techniques to improve the efficiency and depth of classroom learning. She emphasized three techniques that have helped her become a better teacher.
• Silent hand: The technique helps students transition efficiently to the next activity.
• Think, Pair, Share: Allows students to explore ideas on their own, then with a partner. After developing ideas, they share what they found with their classmates. The technique promotes higher-order thinking skills.
• Exit Ticket: Students take brief quizzes or write short essays about what they learned that day. The activity not only helps students practice what they learned, but enables teachers recognize subjects that students are struggling with that may need to be emphasized in future lessons.
Ms. Wiphada applies several techniques learned under Chevron Enjoy Science into her daily practices. As a result, students are engaged and excited, leading to more learning and fun in the classroom.