Ms. Nichanun Puangpipat
Teacher, Wat Sukhantharam School, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Province
Caltex Fuel Your School
We were delighted to join this project and for the opportunity to bring our students to Caltex Fuel Your School Camp. The students showed improvement in critical and analytical thinking, along with planning and teamwork. Most importantly, this was a great experience for them to enjoy out-of-class learning.
Ms. Tarinee Konrum
Student, Wat Sukhantharam School, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Province
Caltex Fuel Your School
I’m very happy to get a chance to attend the Caltex Fuel Your School Camp. There were tons of fun group activities that allowed us to meet friends from other schools. We had a good time with Caltex staff who arranged learning activities for us to learn using the scientific method. Thanks for giving me a chance to learn outside the classroom.
Ms. Napapat Pimdee
Science Teacher, Mancha Suksa School, Mancha Khiri District, Khon Kean
Chevron Enjoy Science Project
I am very glad to be working with a group of experts to upgrade Thailand’s education system by training other teachers to use inquiry-based learning techniques. From this experience, I have learned how to manage my teaching, so that children can fully learn from each activity. Such inquiry-based learning requires me to teach students through practice-based activities, rather than just through explaining, which I believe motivates students in the classroom. Additionally, I have learned how to properly evaluate my students before starting a new class, allowing me to better tailor the way that I teach to their needs. With these skills, teachers can understand whether or not their students actually understand critical math and science concepts.
Mrs. Nanyana Janpetch
Math Teacher, Municipality School 2, Ban Sadao, Ban Sadao, Songkhla Province
Chevron Enjoy Science Project
I am proud to be part of the Chevron Enjoy Science Project because I have the opportunity to learn directly from foreign experts in order to train Thai teachers. This training truly changes our teaching behaviors by strengthening our involvement with students and pushing them to fully understand what they learn. In addition, I am able to integrate what I learn into my daily school lesson plans.
Dr. Boonliang Chordnork
Science Teacher, Ban Huaebung School (Extended Opportunity School), Udon Thani Province
Chevron Enjoy Science Project
Over a year ago, I began participating in Chevron's Enjoy Science's professional development workshops, and, as a result, I have become a more impactful teacher – a fact that is best demonstrated through my students' rising test scores and genuine interest in science. At workshops, education experts from Kenan Foundation Asia and Teachers College at Columbia University introduced me to the latest pedagogical practices, which enable math and science teachers to enhance classroom learning and spark student curiosity. Today, my classes are very much student led and feature kids conducting hands-on experiments, working together to tackle challenging problems, and asking questions. Furthermore, I am constantly collecting data and evaluating student comprehension to refine and improve my teaching. Although I have been implementing these techniques in my classroom for only a short time, the early data looks promising. For example, of my 23 students, 57% now say that they enjoy studying science and 30% received qualifying test scores to attend the provincial school's science branch, a significant achievement for the extended opportunity school in Udon Thani. I believe it is my duty to ensure that science students are developing their knowledge and critical thinking capabilities every time they enter the classroom. Providing students with opportunities to develop hypotheses, design experiments, and articulate their ideas are essential to building critical thinking skills. Students trained using inquisitive learning methods, rather than traditional rote learning, will acquire the skills that ultimately lead to the creation of bold, innovative, and transformative ideas.
Ms. Punnee Intrapitak
Chumchonmubanpattana School in the Klongtoey Slum, Bangkok, Senior Thai Language Teacher
Boeing One Computer Classroom (OCC)
At first I was not confident in using ICT because of my age; after the training, however, I become confident in my abilities and discovered that students pay more attention to the lessons when ICT is used, in comparison to traditional classroom teaching. ICT helps students learn more efficiently.
Ms. Chadaporn Distuyawat
5th Grade Mathematics Teacher, Recipient of the Boeing TEL Award, BannNaiPol School
I am very excited and proud to receive this recognition. I would like to thank my school for nominating me to participate in the Boeing TEL program, which introduced me to various ICT learning tools with which to teach my students. My students truly enjoy learning mathematics through animated instructional clips, where they can see numbers being added or subtracted on the screen. My teaching curriculum has benefiting not only by adopting new ICT resources to, but also by applying time managementand classroom questioning techniques that I learned during the Boeing TEL training.
Sarochin Petkaew & Mattayom Suksa
Two Students, Tub Put Wittaya School, Phang-nga Province, Thailand
Though I was born in Phang-nga and am familiar with local natural resources, the IN-STEP camp taught me how we can explore and observe our environment. Facilitators and MSD volunteers are so friendly. They helped me learn a lot by asking questions that made my friends and I think and express our thinking. My experience observing the night sky with Professor Nibondh was exciting. I never thought that science could be so amazing!
The Emergence of a Young Scientist
For children like Nopparat who attend disadvantaged schools in Thailand, rote learning and sluggish classrooms are the norm. In 2016, however, Nopparat’s fortune changed when Kenan began transforming the learning methods at Wat Laem Fah Pah School in Samut Prakarn province as part of the Chevron Enjoy Science Project. Like the nearly 700 other lower-secondary (7-9 grade) schools in Kenan’s nationwide STEM network, Wat Laem Fah Pah’s principals and teachers now undergo continuous professional development training in which they learn innovative teaching techniques, such as inquiry and project-based learning, and receive world-class equipment for their students to use as they bring theory into practice.
Kenan’s blueprint for success is simple. Based on our fundamental belief that Thai students and teachers are capable of producing great outcomes, we build teachers pedagogical knowledge and confidence to deliver high-impact, student-centered lessons. As we have proven in schools across the country, when you transform a teacher-centered classroom into a student-centered classroom, amazing results follow quickly.
Today, rather than staring at her teacher, Nopparat works with her fellow ninth-grade students to perform experiments, solve real-world problems, and challenge preconceived notions about the physical world. Her teacher advises and guides instead of asserts and insists.
“After our teacher began using the new teaching methods and materials, the classroom atmosphere changed completely,” expressed Nopparat. “We spend our time conducting science experiments, having group discussions about what we learned, and presenting our ideas and assumptions to the class.”
Nopparat and many other students at Wat Laem Fah Pah are now keen on studying STEM fields as they embark on secondary school and beyond. To make Thailand 4.0 a reality, the time is now to empower the next generation with the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in the 21st century.
How Project-based Learning Leads to Student Innovation
Like his peers, Nuttawut comes from a family of fishermen and has obligations that extend beyond the classroom. Experience told him that academic knowledge and real-world application never intersect—that was, of course, until Kenan brought the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) project, supported with funding from Boeing, to Wat Phothaen. The project bridges the divide between project-based learning and purely academic schooling by empowering teachers with the knowledge and means to unlock students’ critical thinking skills.
From his home life, Nuttawut knew all about the needs of fishermen. As part of the TEL project, his teachers challenged him to apply his math and science content knowledge to solve a real-world problem. The assignment caused Nuttawut to ask himself a simple, yet important question: how can I increase my family’s income? The answer he came up with was to build a tool capable of catching a larger animal (frogs) that can then be used as bait to catch even larger fish that would fetch more money at the local market.
With the hypothesis in mind, Nuttawut and his team went about building the frog trap. Using only recycled water bottles, a PVC pipe, and some glue, the eighth graders engineered the contraption. After some trial and error, the trap worked brilliantly and, as Nuttawut stated proudly, “It helped me earn extra income for my family, which allows me to attend school.”
The Boeing TEL project’s integrated STEM approach has proven time and time again to spur student growth in key 21st century skills, such as the critical thinking application that Nuttawut exhibited. There are, however, too many students in Thailand that do not have access to this type of innovative education program. Reflecting the substandard education offered in many parts of Thailand, the average student correctly answered just 30-35% of questions on the science and math sections of the 2016 Ordinary National Educational Test (O-Net). Every day, Kenan strives to upgrade learning in Thailand by empowering more and more young minds with a world-class STEM education.
How Project-based Learning Leads to Student Innovation
Pongsapak found himself joining 74 other middle schoolers in a packed gymnasium at Bangkok’s Intaram School for the IBM STEM Caravan, a one camp run by Kenan Foundation Asia. Now fast-forward, after a day filled with designing prototypes, building robots, and launching projectiles, Pongsapak realized something that previously seemed impossible: science can be fun.
Rather than watching and listening to a teacher for eight straight hours, Pongsapak and his peers brainstormed, developed hypotheses, and tested solutions to interesting problems. In other words, they were active participants in the learning, a key factor in developing 21st century skills. As Pongsapak said of the Caravan, “There were many challenges for us to work on as a team, and the activities gave us the chance to practice our creativity, ingenuity, and decision making.”
Kenan’s STEM camps serve as a springboard for students to prepare for learning in the 21st century. Guided by Kenan’s team of education experts, students solve challenging problems and perform group activities that involve key science, technology, engineering, and math concepts. The action-packed day leaves students filled with confidence and inspired about their potential in STEM fields.
During “Hit the Target,” one of the engaging activities at Kenan’s STEM camps, Pongsapak’s team received an odd assortment of materials (e.g. water bottles, cardboard, and rubber bands) and had to construct a device capable of launching a ping pong ball accurately enough to nail a target three meters away. The simple assignment involves physics, geometry, engineering, and several other sub-components of STEM. A quick glance around the room at the various groups and it is readily apparent how clever kids can be when given the space and support to create. Some groups used popsicle sticks to construct structures that resembled a medieval catapult, while others built flexible slingshots. Critically, instead of a teacher dully explaining physics, IBM staff and Kenan experts provided guidance and advice to students, while granting students the freedom to explore and dig into high-level concepts in way that is fun and informative. The approach fosters the development of critical thinking, teamwork, and STEM content knowledge all at once.
The one-day STEM Caravan event made a real impression on participants. At the end of the day, Pongsapak said that “STEM is very important for us. I wish other students had the same chance to join this kind of event.”
And so do we. Like Pongsapak before, there are tens of thousands of students scattered across Thailand who have yet to experience the wonders of an empowering STEM camp. Let’s give them that opportunity.
Ms. Orawan Chuenjitra
Want Engaged Students? Enable Student Creativity and Wonder to Flourish
Ms. Orawan hasn’t always employed a project-based learning approach, but through the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) project, supported by Boeing, she mastered the art of harnessing the curiosity of students to carry out inquisitive projects.
To help her students clean the water, Ms. Orawan taught them the science behind water purification and then let them loose. Applying Ms. Orawan’s lesson, the students collected natural materials, such as papyrus leaves, banana tree fibers, and small rocks, found in the schoolyard. By packing these items into recycled water bottles, the students created a sponge-like system. After pouring the river water into the bottle, the students gazed with antsy-anticipation as the water meandered at snails-pace through the tiny fissures in the system. And then, viola! Crystal-clear water slowly dripped out of the bottle much to the amazement of the onlookers.
Today, Sai Jaew is only one of the fascinating activities Ms. Orwan’s 4-6 graders at Wat Pak Khlong Phra Ajarn School undertake. For Ms. Orawan, project-based learning is a game changer because it promotes key STEM content knowledge and 21st century skills simultaneously. Beyond knowledge alone, Ms. Orawan has found that students develop a genuine interest in STEM.
“Most importantly, project-based learning makes learning enjoyable for students. Once they start to take charge of the learning process, they have fun and want to learn more,” Ms. Orawan delighted. “Students feel like they’re playing, but actually they are learning the very things that we as teachers want them to develop.”
For the past decade, Kenan Foundation Asia has embedded innovative practices, such as project-based learning, into schools across Thailand with similarly impressive results. Still, too many schools utilize outdated teaching methodologies, which contribute to the consistently low performance of Thai students on international examinations. For example, Thailand ranked 55th and 56th on math and science out of 72 eligible countries on the most recent Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). Kenan is committed to bridging the gaps of education in Thailand, and we look forward to empowering more dedicated teachers like Ms. Orawan with the absolute best in educational practices.
Mrs. Wilailuck Pinkaew
Shifting to a Student-Centered Classroom Leads to Lasting Impact
Mrs. Wilailuck discovered Kenan’s Thai Teachers TryScience (TTS) program, supported by IBM, which she jumped to join, a decision she would not regret.
Unlike other professional development programs for teachers in Thailand, all features of Kenan’s programming are geared towards achieving one thing: Impact. To realize a measurable impact on student outcomes, Kenan localizes international best practices in STEM education and trains teachers on how to bring these practices into the classroom. Mrs. Wilailuck quickly became well-versed in a student-centered learning approach that emphasizes critical, analytical, and innovative thinking in lieu of rote memorization. Beyond training in isolation, Mrs. Wilailuck gained access to cutting-edge lesson plans and STEM modules through the IBM TryScience web portal as well as received on-going mentoring support from Kenan’s education experts as she began inserting the modules into her classroom.
After joining the program, Mrs. Wilailuck’s classroom blossomed into a bastion of higher-order thinking, where students experimented, probed, and analyzed. Mrs. Wilailuck began attaining the impact every teacher dreams of because her students were learning and actually enjoying the process.
“The lessons and activities not only helped my students understand difficult concepts, but also enabled them to analyze physics’ questions,” Mrs. Wilailuck said gleefully. “Most importantly, everyone in my class, whether a good or poor student, enjoys learning and is more confident in their creativity. Many of my students have been inspired to study or pursue careers in STEM.”
Once an open skeptic of STEM, Mrs. Wilailuck is now championing the approach in her role as a TTS Master Teacher. In this role she shares her experience and helps fellow teachers craft the type of learning environment that has worked so well for her. Expanding the application of these teaching methodologies will be critical to improving Thai students’ performance on the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), on which Thailand ranked 55th and 56th on math and science out of 72 participating countries in 2015. With your support, we will empower more dedicated teachers like Mrs. Wilailuck who unleash students’ potential and enable them to soar in the 21st century.
Ms. Chalalai Churat
One Teacher Explains How Project-based Learning Sparks Student Creativity
When Ms. Chalalai began teaching, she discovered that her students wanted to learn but lacked belief in their own capacity to do so. It was all too common for her to pose a question and scan the room only to find students dropping their heads like flies in an effort to avoid being called upon. On an individual level, she would probe her students and find flashes of potential. It dawned on her that their confidence, not ability, was scarce.
One year ago, rather than throwing up her hands in frustration, Ms. Chalalai joined Caltex Fuel Your School, a Kenan Foundation Asia-led STEM program, in which she received training on project-based learning (PBL) methodology and was tasked with guiding a student group through a long-term extracurricular project. As she had become accustomed to in her own classroom, the students were hesitant to dedicate themselves to the assignment. Ms. Chalalai, however, insisted that this was no ordinary classroom and the students were wholly unconstrained in how they wanted to apply STEM topics.
With Ms. Chalalai’s persistence and their own curiosity, the group gradually began to ask questions, discuss problems, and identify potential solutions. “Math is boring,” was a theme that kept popping up in brainstorming sessions. Ms. Chalalai posed a simple question that lit the flame of their project: how do you make math fun? Turn it into a game, the students responded. And, thus, “Game of Math” was born. After several iterations, the students developed a game that resembles a mythological Chutes and Ladders in which players answer math equations as they work their way across the board. The game combines the excitement of gameplay with challenging problems that build players’ math knowledge. Inspired by their creation, the group began playing the game with younger students and mentoring them through the most challenging problems. In Ms. Chalalai’s eyes, “Game of Math” exemplifies the pinnacle of education: students actively seeking out knowledge and having fun along the way.
The power of PBL arises because the methodology leverages the ingenuity of children. When students take a leading role in the learning process, they are free to explore, experiment, and grapple with problems that they observe in the world around them. Recognizing the impact PBL had on her group in the Caltex Fuel Your School project, Ms. Chalalai soon adapted the methodology for her own classroom. The reliance on outdated pedagogies in Thailand contributes to the nation ranking just 81st on the World Economic Forum’s 2016-17 evaluation of the quality of math and science education among 138 countries across the globe. Today, instead of lecturing entire classes, Ms. Chalalai guides, challenges, and supports groups of students as they investigate math content through open-ended projects.
“I learned several new techniques from the Kenan trainers (supported by the Caltex Fuel Your School project) that do not rely on textbooks,” Ms. Chalalai said. “I have since moved towards a student-centered approach, and I’ve found that my students actually learn more by doing.”
When asked about her students, Ms. Chalalai smiles as wide as the Chao Phraya River. It is obvious that she has a passion for helping students learn and develop the skills and knowledge that will open up the doors to their dreams. Your donation enables Kenan to spread high-impact practices to passionate teachers like Ms. Chalalai who strive every day to help their students thrive.