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In spite of its noticeable improvement in recent years, Vietnam’s education system is one of the most controversial topics of Vietnam’s society today. The traditional education method with too much theory, without hands-on activities, and with a lack of attention given to soft skills' development is often criticized. The traditional educational system in Vietnam requires learners to memorize mechanically and prevents them from developing their critical thinking, creative thinking, and self-awareness.
The mission of Science from Scientists Vietnam is to help raise awareness in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) amongst Vietnamese students and inspire the community to pursue STEM as a career and in higher education. Science from Scientists Vietnam develops and provides free hands-on STEM courses for traditional schools, English Centres, and community events. These programs impact the lives of local students by helping them learn about science and technology through hands-on activities, and by sharing staff excitement about STEM.
Vietnam is one of the countries currently in the lead according the most recent global education rankings published by the Organisation for Economic Development (OECD): 15-year-old students ranked 12th among 76 tested countries in Math and Science Current. Meanwhile, Vietnam human capital is not assessed at that high: Vietnam ranked at 59 out of 124 countries in term of human resources (Human capital report 2015). The discrepancy in those results is mainly caused by Vietnam’s education in secondary school, math and science are known as main subjects and children are stressed to learn and invest their time on them. The whole education process traditionally stresses on theory more than practice, more about academics than about soft skills. Most teachers in Vietnam apply the backward and traditional teaching methods in which the instructor is the primary speaker and the student is the primary listener, in return it not only causes boredom in learners but also leads to a passive study tendency.
For the above reasons, STEM education is seen as a "revolutionary" pedagogy for Vietnam education system. In which, future teachers are cultivated and guarantee that they apply these more active approaches to their pupils once they carry on teaching in the classroom. The main purpose of all programs is to provide students practical skills, such as: problem solving, conflicts identified, team work, etc. Specifically through practical science, meaning how to apply science in life.
Phan Quoc Hai, the founder with his endless love in bringing science to life - spent approximately 2 years to approach nearly 300 Vietnamese scientists who work inside and outside the country in order to get know about the needs of integrating scientific researches and their practical application. Today, partners of Science from Scientists are more than 100 persons comprising both Vietnamese and foreigners, they all share the same vision to volunteer contributing for a better world.
Here are essential 21st Century skills students can achieve through the above STEM education programs:
- Critical thinking, problem solving, reasoning, analysis, interpretation information.
- Research skills and practices, interrogative questioning
- Creativity, curiosity, imagination, innovation, personal expression
- Perseverance, self-direction, planning, self-discipline, adaptability, initiative
- Leadership, teamwork, collaboration, cooperation, facility in using virtual workspaces
- Scientific literacy and reasoning, the scientific method
- Health and wellness literacy, including nutrition, diet, exercise, and public health and safety
Science from Scientists aims to provide quality education for children at reasonable prices which is not only basic knowledge teaching but also soft-skills development. With a country characterized by young population as Vietnam, the market segment of children is considered to be promising and caring for them is also preparing for a potential labour source for the Vietnamese economy.
The education industry is not an attractive market to jump in to because of long time consuming and low profit margin. In addition, the return from educational investment takes time to be able to evaluate in term of both investing and invested sides.
Science from Scientists’ employees gather people who have the same vision of nurturing Vietnamese youth; its courses are provided by professionals in different format to keep student interested; programs are diversified to serve more customers’ requirements; special equipment and tools have been collected from many countries and are all up to date. It explains why Science from Scientists has built its good partnership with traditional schools, English Centers, and being trusted by student’s parents and sponsors.
STEM education helps students to get experiences for their future jobs in the twentieth first century. It also brings a lot of benefits for the full development of children. For kids, each experience they have learned and each behavior they have got are the foundation for a bright future.
In terms of social benefits, the company achieves a high-educated about STEM generation and provides a new way of delivering knowledge to students. Also, STEM education supply quality education with reasonable prices in order to meet the needs and maximize the benefits of the customers.
In particular, this is the good environment for kids to learn how to cooperate with others and how to work in a group. Also, STEM education helps to build the solid foundation for the development of kids’ emotion, mental and physical; and the importance is that the teachers and parents cooperate to develop the kid’s perseverance, concentration and confidence through the exciting and useful lessons.
Dr. Chuong Nguyen, R&D Leader of Science from Scientists