Kenan Institute Asia is the lead implementer for the Enjoy Science Project, which will join with a range of partners in civil society, academia, the private sector, and the government to help improve STEM and vocational technical education instruction for more than 600 schools, and directly benefit over 500,000 people, including developing the capability of 10,000 teachers and 2,000 school leaders, while improving the skills and understanding of over 165,000 STEM students, 85,000 vocational students, and 65,000 young adult technical workers in order to increase their career opportunities and earn higher wages.
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education, and technical vocational education in support of workforce development are critical to the country’s development, especially in preparation for the launch of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). Their importance and significance in powering the innovations that drive Thailand’s future development cannot be overstated. To accomplish Enjoy Science’s goals, the project has three distinct, but interrelated components:
Component 1: STEM Capacity Building of Teachers and Students
|Students on an Enjoy Science-sponsored trip to Thailand's National Science Museum.|
First, there is a STEM Capacity Building component which will help train thousands of teachers and school leaders to help build a strong foundation in math and science instruction across Thailand. Specifically, the Enjoy Science Project will build the capacity of school teachers and administrators for the 7th -9th grade levels in math and science, promoting their critical thinking skills, inquiry, and creativeness, as well as obtaining cutting edge content knowledge. The project will focus on building strong math and science foundations for students in order to pave the way for technology-based and engineering jobs, embedding evidenced-based practices for school improvements, developing interactive and practical training approaches and curricula to meet international best practices and standards, and addressing unequal access to STEM education for small schools and female students. During the first phrase, this year, three STEM hubs will be launched.
Component 2: Technical Vocational Education and Training for Workforce Development
|Students learn essential workforce and technical skills through TVET.|
Second, there is a Workforce Development component, which will promote a private sector partnership platform for technical vocational education and training. This involves bringing together Thailand’s vocational schools and the private sector to help implement new curriculums, mentor students, provide internships, and jobs for graduates, as well as meet the 21st century workforce needs of the private sector. In particular, the Enjoy Science Project will build the capacity of technical vocational teachers and administrators at the 10th-12th grade and post high-school level, develop interactive and practical training approaches and curricula that meet industry needs, and implement international best practices and standards. By leveraging on-going efforts and resources of the public and private sectors and developing public-private partnerships to meet market demand and provide access to jobs, the project will build the capacity of relevant government agencies responsible for technical vocational education of the adult workforce. Under component 2, the project will also develop six technical training hubs across the country to leverage technical vocational education and prepare the workforce for industrial careers.
Component 3: Awareness & Partnership Building for STEM & Technical Vocational Education
|Chevron Enjoy Science engages students, teachers, parents, and private-sector stakeholders to raise awareness about the importance of STEM education.|
Finally, an Awareness & Partnership Building component, will help demonstrate to parents, students, and society the importance of STEM education – not only for Thailand’s competiveness, but also to encourage students to pursue good-paying careers in technical fields. This component will use a multi-sector approach by engaging public and private sector stakeholders to raise awareness about the importance of STEM and technical vocational education, creating a common platform, vision and roadmap, as well as holding high level events, conferences, seminars, and awards programs.
The Enjoy Science Special STEM Thailand Forum on TVET
|Dato Haji Baharudin Haji Abdullah, Executive Director for Sarawak Skills Development Centre (SSDC), Malaysia, and Ms. Amber Schaub, Director of Global STEM Alliance Programs, New York Academy of Sciences, USA talk about the importance of STEM in TVET.|
In one of its first major public events on TVET education, the Chevron Enjoy Science project held a Special STEM Thailand Forum on July 6th, 2015 to discuss improving Thailand’s current TVET (Technical Vocational Education and Training) system and enhancing the role of the private sector in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math)-related TVET education. Hosted by the Ministry of Science and Technology's National Science Technology and Innovation Policy Office (STI), with support from Kenan Institute Asia, as part of the Chevron Enjoy Science project, the forum brought together 122 policymakers, government officials, TVET experts, and private sector stakeholders, including H.E. Dr. Pichet Durongkaveroj, Minister of Science and Technology, to share their industry and country-specific experiences on developing TVET programs.
Science and Math Teacher Professional Development
|Science and math teachers develop their skills through trainings on implementing practical, inquiry-based lessons.|
Since beginning in April, 2015, the Chevron Enjoy Science Project has conducted three STEM Roll Out Trainings across the country: in Samut Prakan (April, 28-30), Khon Kean (May, 5-7), and Songkhla (May, 5-7). Experts from the Teachers College of Columbia University and the Enjoy Science Project trained 230 math and 251 science teachers from OBEC schools on utilizing inquiry based learning to teach lower secondary school students about different scientific and mathematical concepts, such as matter, energy, motion, and machine mechanics. These practical, real-life teaching methods have already impacted classrooms, improving student participation and quality of learning.
Principal Leadership Workshops
|Principals learn about fostering educational development and encouraging high student outcomes within their own schools.|
Bringing Principal Leadership Workshops to Samut Prakan, Khon Kean, and Songkhla during April and May, the Enjoy Science Project impacted 392 school administrators and teachers from 189 OBEC schools. Kenan education experts were joined by Professor Tom Corcoran, co-director of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE), Teachers College, Columbia University, to train participants on high-impact inquiry-based education practices and how to foster educational development within their schools. As Natcha Yodyot, Vice Principal of Salud Temple School, Samut Prakan, said, “this workshop helped me understand how to support my teachers in reaching the highest possible student outcomes through inquiry-based learning.”
STEM Caravans in Khon Kean and Samut Prakan
|Students participating in an interactive science experiement during a STEM Caravan in Samut Prakan|
Working in partnership with the National Science Museum (NSM), the Enjoy Science team supported the NSM STEM Caravans in Khon Kean on June, 8-9 and 11-12 and Samut Prakan July, 2-3. The STEM Caravans used fun science exhibitions and interactive tools to engage young students and promote science and math. In total, 2,292 students from 109 schools in the two provinces participated in the Enjoy Science sponsored inquiry-based science demonstrations during the STEM Caravans.
Chevron Enjoy Science Project Launch
|Students participating in model inquiry-based activities at the launch of the Chevron Enjoy Science Project in Bangkok, Thailand.|
Officially launched on April 3rd, 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand, the Chevron Enjoy Science Project kicked off with a major launch event that brought together Thailand’s leading government representatives, the private sector, and education experts, and signaled a new direction forward for education services delivery. Developed through extensive analysis and stakeholder engagement, the five-year, US $30 million Chevron Enjoy Science Project brings together nine strategic partners to sustainably upgrade Thailand’s competiveness and innovation by improving the country’s STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education and TVET (technical vocational education and training). Notable attendees included: Mr. Anand Panyarachun, former Prime Minister of Thailand and Kenan’s Founding and Honorary Chairman; Mr. Pairoj Kaweeyanun, President of Chevron Thailand Exploration and Production, Ltd; and H.E. Dr. Pichet Durongkaveroj, the Minister of Science and Technology.
What is STEM education?
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, but STEM education is more than just those individual disciplines. STEM education is a comprehensive, interactive, and interdisciplinary approach that integrates the four STEM disciplines into a cohesive learning platform based on real-life applications. STEM education focuses not only on educating students, but also on transforming that knowledge into applicable, real-world skills.
Why is STEM important for Thailand?
STEM education is particularly important for Thailand, especially as the country enters the newly formed ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). While STEM-related fields throughout the country are projected to see a large increase in the number of skilled workers required over the coming decades, there is currently a growing shortage of such skilled workers. These new STEM-related jobs will be higher-paying and have better prospects for long-term career growth. Improving STEM education is critical to increasing the number of students interested in STEM-related subjects who can then become skilled and innovative contributors to Thailand’s economy.
What is inquiry-based learning and why is it important?
Inquiry-based learning educates students by challenging them with questions, problems, or scenarios, rather than just presenting established facts. Such learning requires students to develop their research, critical thinking, and problem solving skills, instead of simply memorizing answers to pre-established questions. Inquiry-based learning has been proven as a highly effective teaching method, especially for STEM-related subjects, helping students mature into life-long learnings who pursue their curiosities. Through projects such as Chevron INCREASE, Kenan Institute Asia and Chevron have been instrumental in implementing effective and innovative inquiry-based learning concepts throughout Thailand, benefiting thousands of students.
What is TVET?
TVET stands for Technical and Vocational Education and Training and it is comprised of formal, non-formal, and informal leaning that focuses on providing students with immediately applicable, industry-related knowledge and skills. TVET benefits greatly from private sector involvement, allowing students to participate in highly-relevant internships and mentorships, and preparing them for improved job opportunities.
Why is TVET important for Thailand?
TVET is an essential and powerful education method that prepares current students for innovation-driven careers and works to upgrade Thailand’s current workforce skills. TVET benefits students, as well as individuals with limited formal education who are seeking to improve their job opportunities by enhancing their technical knowledge and skills. Additionally, TVET helps to lay the foundation for a strong and skilled workforce that will help drive Thailand’s future innovation and growth.
The Chevron Enjoy Science Project will have a wide-reaching impact on Thailand’s education and workforce development for years to come. Designed with significant stakeholder engagement and government participation, Enjoy Science will leave behind a sustainable framework for enhancing Thailand’s STEM education and TVET. This includes STEM and TVET Hubs throughout Thailand that will continue operating after the project is completed, international best practices that will be adopted by participating schools, an increased number of students pursuing STEM-related school tracks, and a common vision and roadmap for continued STEM and TVET development.
In all, Enjoy Science Enjoy Science will directly benefit over 500,000 students, teachers, principals, government education officials, and workers, providing increased career opportunities and higher wages. This includes at least 10,000 teachers who will implement enhanced curricula, more than 165,000 students who will participate in the STEM component, 150,000 students who will participate in the TVET component (including over 70,000 individuals completing workforce development and vocational training), more than 15,000 trainees receiving higher incomes, and over 160,000 families and community members throughout Thailand who will benefit as a direct result of the Enjoy Science Project.
- The Office of Basic Education Commission, Ministry of Education