SCIA STEM education: A hands-on approach

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Ismail Abdul Samat, SCIA Primary School Principal facilitating students on geometry. Photo by SCIA

Teaching and Learning in the 21st century is changing, and it is changing fast to keep up with and provide the necessary skills for our modern, technology driven society. STEM curriculum is the answer in preparing the workforce of the future to engage, analyse and commit to finding solutions for the problems of tomorrow as they arise.

At Singapore (Cambodia) International Academy (SCIA), Primary School Principal Ismail Abdul Samat, and Foundation Studies Centre Principal, Ng Bee Sun, are at the vanguard of such educational modernisation.

They gave The Post an insight into the unique way SCIA approaches STEM.

SCIA’s STEM curriculum aims to develop skills in students and cultivate entrepreneurial mindset that enable them to take on the challenges of their future.

Bee Sun reflected “STEM education will help the students because if they have the scientific mind, then they become analytical. They will also be very structured and logical in their reasoning and decision-making. The STEM skills that we introduce provide links between subjects.” This in turn, allows students to gain a holistic understanding of the subjects, how they relate to each other, and how they can be applied in real-world contexts.

The STEM curriculum can be implemented by any institution; not a rocket science, but what really matters is how the curriculum is delivered to students.

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Ng Bee Sun, SCIA Foundation Studies Centre Principal engaging in discussion with student during Information and Communications Technology lesson. Photo by SCIA

At SCIA, students thrive in a blended learning environment, where the use of technologies and laboratory equipment strengthen the teaching process through in and out of classroom practices, and application of theories learned in class.

Hence SCIA’s hands-on approach to STEM is vital to creating enthusiastic learners across the board. Ismail went on to explain why a hands-on approach to learning is useful for students, “SCIA is an international school, steeped in Asian values. To quote Confucius ‘I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.’ Based on that, students ‘need to do’ to understand better. It is a style of learning that involves the learners.”

Educators are key in the delivery of STEM curriculum. SCIA recognises the value of having the right educators in facilitating the lessons and piquing the students’ interests. “When the teachers join SCIA, we have to consider not only their aptitudes in the subjects, but also their attitudes.

“Because if their attitude is good, they will be willing to discuss and learn new strategies of student engagement resulting in the teachers making a big difference in class,” Ismail added.

To receive first-hand experience on SCIA’s STEM curriculum, the school is organising the “STEM Discovery Trail” from 23rd to 24th February at their campus.

Visitors stand a chance to win solar-powered gadgets, in addition to engaging in a series of experiments conducted at the science laboratory, journeying through interactive learning spaces, and exploring inquiry-based learning.