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VTC STEM Education Centre Industry Partner Collaboration Scheme - A New Path for STEM Education
  • <p>“The combination of STEM knowledge, innovation and real-life practice will empower our young talent to apply their skills and help society take bold strides in STEM in the very near future.”</p>
  • <p>“The combination of STEM knowledge, innovation and real-life practice will empower our young talent to apply their skills and help society take bold strides in STEM in the very near future.”</p>
  • <p>“The combination of STEM knowledge, innovation and real-life practice will empower our young talent to apply their skills and help society take bold strides in STEM in the very near future.”</p>
  • <p>“The combination of STEM knowledge, innovation and real-life practice will empower our young talent to apply their skills and help society take bold strides in STEM in the very near future.”</p>
  • <p>“The combination of STEM knowledge, innovation and real-life practice will empower our young talent to apply their skills and help society take bold strides in STEM in the very near future.”</p>

“The combination of STEM knowledge, innovation and real-life practice will empower our young talent to apply their skills and help society take bold strides in STEM in the very near future.”

Nov 2018

Hong Kong proudly showcases an extremely well-connected railway system, a highly secure and reliable power supply, an internationally-acclaimed airport and many other robust infrastructures. All of such achievements would not be possible without the continuous efforts of our talents who pursue their careers in engineering and technology industries.

 Ir Dr Eric Liu, Chairman, VTC STEM Education Centre Steering Committee, as an engineer said, "Hong Kong must increase its efforts in the promotion of STEM education to encourage talented young people to participate in relevant industries so we can maintain our global competitive advantages.” According to Dr Liu, the essence of promoting STEM education relies on inspiring students and let them understand how the STEM knowledge in steering the world advancement. To help realise this goal VTC has emphasised three key aspects in its STEM education, namely practice-based learning, innovative teaching methods and a target-orientated delivery approach.

Explaining the value of practice-based learning, Dr Liu said, “We help our students deliver products with real-life applications. If they can come up with a concept, we need to help them turn the concept into a real practical product. STEM education attaches high importance to this ‘practice’, rather than just ‘concepts’.” Highlighting the importance of competitions in helping elicit such skills, Dr Liu added, “During the ‘Infrastructure Building Competition for Secondary Schools’ we require our students to plan and make models only utilising the limited number of wooden blocks provided while fulfilling specific load-bearing capacities based on design drawings. Moreover, the ‘New Energy New Generation’ solar car competition requires students to build drivable solar-powered vehicles from the ground up. Such practical experiences strengthen their problem-solving skills. More importantly, they could understand the importance of decision-making under limited conditions.”

The VTC also utilises innovative teaching methods to help students assimilate key knowledge on STEM programmes. Dr Liu explained, “Currently, VTC students are using Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) to engage in zero-risk training programmes for such areas as building service engineering, aircraft maintenance engineering and automotive engineering. The use of VR and AR in this way has been very effective in helping our students improve their understanding of the subjects.”

In terms of adopting a target-oriented delivery approach, Dr Liu emphasised, “To encourage students to persevere with their STEM subject learning, we have to let them know how this knowledge will be applied practically in our current and future society. One of the best ways of achieving this is to inspire our students by inviting industry professionals to tell their personal stories and share their experiences and their perspectives of the industry. With this idea in mind, ‘VTC STEM Education Centre Industry Partner Collaboration Scheme’ was created. Through the scheme, we hope to further enhance our students’ learning interests in STEM subjects by maximising partnerships between industry and academia—ultimately inspiring our students to set realistic career targets for themselves in the relevant industries.”

In addition to traditional activities such as lectures and industry tours, the VTC STEM Education Centre has also invited the participating enterprises of the Scheme to get engaged in volunteer programmes under the STEM Ambassador Programme. Dr Liu noted, “These kind-hearted volunteer trainers also help lead our students in a series of STEM activities and workshops—sharing their personal experience to inspire students in STEM. At the same time, the students gain further knowledge about trends currently defining the industry, enabling them to set long-term career goals and better prepare themselves for work in relevant industries.”

As society continues to develop in sync with technology, high school teachers are also playing an increasingly important role in helping raise awareness about STEM and promote its development. Dr Liu affirmed, “Education is a long-term pursuit, we hope that high school teachers will gain more knowledge regarding the trends as well as the future talent demands of every industry. Leveraging industry vision and experience, the Scheme has been specifically developed to help schools promote STEM education.” 18 sizable organisations have already signed up for the Industry Partner Collaboration Scheme organised by the VTC STEM Education Centre, joining hands with VTC for nurturing STEM talents.

Dr Liu encouraged students to conduct more cross-disciplinary collaboration projects in a bid to nurture their spirit of innovation and boost their STEM knowledge so they can embrace the new challenges of the 21st century. He concluded, “Innovation fuels progress and Hong Kong is in need of more innovative talents who can think outside of the box. The combination of STEM knowledge, innovation and real-life practice will empower our young talent to apply their skills and help society take bold strides in STEM in the very near future.”

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