21st Century Education

Innovation Camp: developing 21st century classrooms

Jan 26,2023

21st-century education is not only about preparing or providing knowledge to students; it also includes forming the habit of learning beyond the classroom. The Innovation Camp is a complimentary learning program for regular classrooms that encourages students to leverage their capability by applying the knowledge and skills learned from the camp to classroom and future lives. The camp delivered an array of fun and hands-on learning activities that inspired students to create innovations and simultaneously shaped students’ communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity skills.

With generous support from Caterpillar Foundation, Kenan Foundation Asia conducted Innovation Camps to enhance learning innovation to prepare youth for the 21st-century citizenship program. The program aims to promote a foundation in science and math that can enhance their higher education options and support career development in the future. Innovation Camp was constructed in connection with Kenan’s teacher development program to form a science and math classroom full of engaging environments to learn and build new knowledge. Through the endless learning experience and opportunities for students to explore outside the classroom, Innovation Camp will equip youth with crucial STEM thinking, 21st century skills, and inspiration to pursue careers related to STEM in the future.

We are committed to creating an impactful Innovation Camp for the partner schools to ignite the continuation of 21-century citizenship. In partnership with Caterpillar Foundation during 2021 – 2022, Kenan plans to deliver nine Innovation Camps to over 450 students from our middle school network in Rayong Province. Since July 2021, Kenan has conducted four camps in Bannongkho School, Banseeraman School, Wat Huang Hin School, and Bankhai School.

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Kenan launched its virtual learning program or Virtual Innovation Camp to supplement learning when traditional in-person classrooms were not able to operate. The redesigned virtual learning activities allow students to participate by smartphone, the only digital device widely accessible by Thai students, particularly to economically disadvantaged students from our extended opportunity school network. Kenan arranged for all the necessary learning materials to be delivered to the students’ homes, and we also covered their internet service fees to minimize the burden and ensure a whole learning experience.

Sutinol Sukchumrat, an 8th-grade student from Bankhai School, shared her experience of participating in an Innovation Camp; “because of COVID-19, all classrooms are online. I haven’t met my teachers and friends in person; we can only listen to the teacher. This means that there is less chance of interacting with others.”

“Innovation Camp allowed me to join new and different kinds of activity. There was a discussion session where everyone could discuss and freely share their views. I also had the chance to learn an interesting innovation that can be applied in both classroom and daily life. The camp is very educational, yet fun and useful for the future.”

Innovation Camp, conducted by Kenan Foundation Asia in partnership with Caterpillar Thailand, includes a series of activities. For example, electric lessons where the students will independently adopt electrical engineering skills grounded electric circuit and conductivity subjects to accomplish an aurora borealis (or southern lights) invention. During COVID-19, Kenan delivered its Innovation Camp program with pandemic-related activities by optimizing biomedical engineering to create a pandemic preparation plan, design vaccines, and prevent virus spread. We also designed a training about mathematical logic called Designing the City, a learning tool that makes math hands-on and more enjoyable.

Quanporn Songsri, an 8th-grade student from Bannongkho School, shared her experience: “The camp was full of brand new activities that I have never experienced before. My favorite activities are electric circuits and aurora lessons. While I was initiating the experiments myself, I found it approachable and resourceful. I was delighted with the outcome. The facilitators from Kenan are thoughtful, so I felt supported and full of joy throughout the process.”

Along with excellent feedback from the students, we also received positive feedback from teachers. Some of them would now like to share this impactful program with their peers regarding practical knowledge, skills, experiences provided during the training. They consider that Innovation Camp can accelerate their students’ success in the 21st century, where learning is not limited only in the classroom.

Kunatya Chamnan, a teacher from Wat Huang Hin School, shared with us: “Innovation Camp allowed my students to improve self-learning skills. Along with many experiments and coordination with others, the students can experience new ways of learning, which is different from the traditional instruction when a teacher directs students to learn through memorization and recitation techniques with little opportunity to engage actively with the materials.

The virtual camp also enhances the digital skills of the students. Now, we felt that they were ready to experience online learning. Thanks to Innovation Camp, it is a new beginning and learning journey for the future for our students.”

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