The University of Macau's (UM) Macao Base for Primary & Secondary STEM Education recently organised a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) Summer Camp, which attracted about 40 students from ten primary schools in Macao. The first science summer camp designed for primary school students, the event aimed to help participants acquire STEM knowledge and soft skills, such as critical and creative thinking skills, collaboration skills, and problem-solving skills. It was jointly organised by the Faculty of Education (FED) and the Faculty of Science and Technology (FST) at UM, with support from the Science and Technology Development Fund (FDCT).
During the camp, students learned a variety of STEM-related concepts in the process of building an emergency boat. For instance, at the end of the camp, students were able to describe the concepts of pressure and density in a liquid and articulate and calculate the buoyancy force. They used Scratch to simulate the concepts of forces related to buoyancy, and used MS Excel to calculate the result of the forces. They built boats based on the concepts of energy conversion and engineering design learned during the camp. They also learned the concept of vectors addition based on the parallelogram law and applied it using Excel. Apart from learning STEM-related concepts, students also had the opportunity to develop communication, collaboration, creative, and critical thinking skills through group discussions and building boats with the materials provided. The summer camp was jointly coordinated by Prof Emily Oon Pey Tee, Prof Miranda Mak Chi Kuan and Prof Alice Lei Si Man from the FED as well as Prof Tam Kam Weng and Mr Miguel Gomes da Costa Junior from the FST.
Established in June 2018, the Macao Base for Primary & Secondary STEM Education aims to promote science popularisation and STEM education in collaboration with the FDCT, the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau, the Chinese Educators' Association of Macau, Macau Catholic Schools Association, Macao Science Center, and Macao Post and Telecommunications Bureau. With UM's Centre for Science and Engineering Promotion as the core component, the base launches STEM programmes to support science popularisation in Macao and to provide continuous training for teachers and students from local primary and secondary schools.
Source: Faculty of Science and Technology
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