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VTC STEM Education Centre unveiled Leveraging advanced technologies to drive STEM teaching and learning
May 2017

To drive STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education and train up talent in vocational and professional education and training (VPET) for the 21st Century, Vocational Training Council (VTC) has established STEM Education Centres in its member institutions, the Tsing Yi and Chai Wan campuses of the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (IVE) and Youth College (Kowloon Bay). These Centres were officially unveiled on 15 May. STEM teaching and learning is reinforced through the development of varied technological applications and the availability of state-of-the-art teaching facilities. The Centres will also showcase inspiring scientific and technological projects developed by VTC students, and play host to STEM workshops and mega competitions to strengthen the motivation among the younger generation to learn related subjects and to provide support in STEM education for primary and secondary schools.

The VTC STEM Education Centres are equipped with advanced facilities leveraging Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies to provide VTC students with simulated workplace training. The technologies have been in turn deployed for the teaching and learning of various programmes at different levels including building services, aircraft maintenance, automotive engineering and horticulture, honing the responsiveness of students and training up effective VPET personnel who excel in practical know how.

President of the Academy of Sciences of Hong Kong Professor TSUI Lap-chee officiated at the VTC STEM Education Centre Grand Opening Ceremony, witnessing the inception of the Centres together with Under Secretary for Innovation and Technology Dr David CHUNG, Deputy Secretary for Education Brian LO, Director of Electrical and Mechanical Services Frank CHAN, Member of Legislative Council (Engineering) Dr Hon LO Wai-kwok, VTC Chairman Dr Clement CHEN, Deputy Chairman Professor Eric YIM as well as Executive Director Carrie YAU. This year marks the 35th Anniversary of VTC and the opening of the VTC STEM Education Centres is one of the celebratory event.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Professor Tsui congratulated VTC for the inauguration of the STEM centres and said, “Hong Kong needs to invest in the innovation and technology industries to move towards a knowledge-based economy and so STEM education is an issue high on the agenda.” He further remarked that VTC would play host to workshops, competitions and seminars to nurture the pioneering and innovative spirit of young people as well as their abilities to innovate, collaborate and problem-solve in furtherance of technological entrepreneurship. In so doing, the students would be trained up to make their mark in their future road of innovation.

VTC Chairman Dr Clement said, “In today’s rapidly changing globalised world, success is driven not only by what we know, but by what we can do with what you know. It is therefore more important than ever for our youth to be equipped with cross-disciplinary knowledge and skills, and the abilities to apply them in the real-world contexts.” He pointed out that echoing Government’s direction and international education trends, VTC has established the STEM Education Centre, which is well-equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, to deliver various activities such as workshops and seminars to promote STEM education and to provide a platform for the exchange of knowledge and expertise between academics and industry practitioners.

Apart from the AR and VR technologies, the VTC STEM Education Centres also showcase scientific and technological projects undertaken by VTC students in collaboration with industry, such as the kinetic-technology-enabled robotic arm and the Chess Recognition System, with a view to arousing the awareness of secondary school students of STEM applications and raising their interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects. The VTC STEM Education Centres are actively looking for industry partnership to drive STEM education and have initially obtained the support of a number of enterprises including CLP and Gammon Construction Limited who provide updates on the latest industry development and technologies required for VTC and secondary school students. Following the inception of the Centres, varied activities will be organised for secondary school teachers and students including STEM-subjects-specific workshops, summer camps, an Infrastructure Building Competition for Secondary Schools, a Secondary School IoT Design Competition and mini-solar car contests.

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