What is STEM education and why Thai students must learn
STEM Education may not a new education in our country and important key of developing in Thai education plan clearly identified that many people might heard this word but may not know what is STEM stand for and where it from? So we are going to find the answer with RMUTL STEM team together.
Asst. Prof. Dr.Jutturit thongpron head of STEM study project team at Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna (RMUTL) said the concept of STEM education or transliteration to STEM study. At first, going back on 2009 Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn has speech that want to Thailand education has developed by encourage Thai students to show their ability more, Dare to think, Dare to do like a student in other countries. Her royal Highness held a round table meeting Thailand-United States of America for the first time at the United States. So on occasion, many experts in education attended the meeting such as Dame Sumontha promboon former the president of Srinakharinwirot University, Prof Dr.Krissanapong kirtikara former the president of King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi and Secretory of Office of the Private Education Commission at that time. By sharing and learning the difference of two countries and starting assign this study in Thailand education development plan. And in 2013 STEM study is well-known in Thai education by concretely, because The National Legislative Assembly has assign in National education agenda that Thai education requires STEM study to develop Thai education by schools and educational institution have applied in different ways and RMUTL is a first institution of Thailand has applied STEM education to improve teaching and learning in the university with a collaboration of The Chevron cooperation and The Kenan institute Asia and established as a center of cooperation in the university.
“STEM” is acronym comes from 4 word in each science included which are S is from Science, T from Technology, T from Technology, E from Engineering and M from Mathematic by integrated each science together through the process of learning and teaching that used practical industrial as a criteria.
Many people often ask why we have to learn in “STEM”
The studying of STEM is the answer of Educational skill in 21st century, Therefore the ultimate goal of Thai education is improvement the skill for the youth to keep abreast of changing, searching for knowledge the concrete that clearly seen. Is in the past we learned in the form of memorizing, tried and error but don’t find the cause of problem why it happened but when we studied in STEM we study to figure out why that happened, How and try to find the answer another key Issue is a parallel study along with the development of technology that never stop. Therefore, the reinforcement of skill for the youth to give an abilities to change with the time is important. Teaching in STEM is teaching to know yourself, systematic of thinking, study from the good source. So these methods should promote in primary education in Thailand. In the past we taught them to follow but we need them to imagine, have their own idea that previous education is good but not suitable for the present. One thing which help to improve is to “trust to new thing” any education institute that can fastly, can be fastly concreate. For instance the education in the lack area which lack of educational persons, only 1 teacher have to teach student in 6 classes how the teacher does teaching if we don’t bring the learning process by use the teacher as a mentor, a learning to understand the process which is integration it made us use the ability of a teachers “How do we do to improve ability of teacher?” this is an important thing this group of person is like a mentor to give an advice.
“Thai students nowadays are high readiness because they grow up with technology. However educator must improve themselves about learning technology or from process. A studying in STEM period instructor can be anyone because learning can occur everywhere and every time”
Dr. Suvit Thanasanvorakun, one of the RMUTL STEM team said that bringing the STEM education to apply to teach in RMUTL. First of all, an instructor needs to understand the STEM education system. Moreover, the lecturer must be able to analyze a content of the course for teaching. For example, what subject that needs to study in an alternating current course? The instructor must be able to analyze all content that how knowledge transfer can be forwarded to each other? Specifically, we need to build a model to link the content together, which may include physics, electric circuits, calculus, and statistics. The lecturer can integrate together to design teaching methods and create activities or products to meet the knowledge studying. Students may learn by the activity first and then access the content. After that, let them do the activity. It depends on the instructors to share their experience.
Assoc.Prof.Dr. Teerasak Urajanannon said that we must to gather subjects and integrated into connected teaching, which are Mathematics and Science by how studying science and math can apply in integrating within the program. That means same topic, and same knowledge. Nevertheless, the student must be able to apply the knowledge in their real life. If some course is not necessary, students needn’t to study it because STEM have concept that “What taught to be used, what used to be taught” This is the significant of the new education, but we must not leave the traditional education because we are at the beginning of the change, which can apply in primary and secondary education.
Creating the understanding of instructors teaching team by bringing the experience of lecturers who are expertise in the particular course come into integrate together. It is very important because it will be the same way in teaching. The first point is we need to develop instructor to understand STEM education system and Active Learning. The second point is creating an awareness in Active Learning format. At present, its required characteristics of enterprises or segment to support the career in the future to require what kind of knowledge that can make student conceive the future. The RMUTL STEM team have divided the specific characteristics of each career into 4 subjects for guiding student’s goal. We have divided into 4 careers which are 1. Automatic part, the student can learn about a part of engine and customization of various parts of the engine. 2. Smart Farm Smart Home, students can learn about the future technology, online education that can apply to agriculture. 3. Food, the student can study the production of safe food for consumers in the future. 4. Engineering, Smart Dam activity is the study of building the dam that can see a picture of all majors and subjects. Mr.Visut Asanavijit said.
In the operation of STEM education RMUTL team, there are 3 level of operation. Firstly, creating the awareness to understand the significant of STEM education. Secondly, integrating the curriculum and assessment. Finally, Creating the team or Coaching by taking lessons into the format of instructor in each school. Many universities have understood in STEM education. Furthermore, RMUTL STEM team participated as a mentor. By the next issue, we will go deep down to the school example that conducts the activity in studying of STEM education.