– A “STEM Career Academies in Central Vietnam” project has been launched in a bid to support Da Nang city’s drive towards a Smart City by 2030. The University of Da Nang – University of Science and Technology (UD-DUT) has partnered with Chevron and the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization – STEM Education Centre (SEAMEO STEM-ED) to replicate the best practice accumulated by Chevron Enjoy Science project in Thailand to promote STEM learning in Da Nang City. Associate Professor Doan Quang Vinh, Rector of the University of Da Nang – University of Science and Technology, said that the program aims to raise awareness of STEM education and inspire leaders, administrators, teachers, students and stakeholders to support STEM education in central Vietnam. It aims to develop professional skills for secondary and post-secondary students, and graduates, and build capacity for educational personnel in delivering STEM learning activities and implementing the STEM career academies program.
The project, which will last from April, 2022 to September, 2023, contains STEM workshops for higher-secondary teachers and students, a competition to motivate higher-secondary students to develop innovative STEM projects and engage them in teamwork, communication, problem solving, as well as prepare them for future careers, and STEM short-course professional development. STEM Career Academies will enroll 20 STEM employers or enterprises and enlist 10 high schools in this project.
Rector Doan Quang Vinh said: “The project’s inspirational activities, including science exhibition, camps, workshops, and competition, are expected to improve public awareness of STEM education.”
Chevron is one of the world’s leading integrated energy companies. In Southeast Asia, Chevron has a long history of supporting STEM education. The public-private partnership began in 2015 to lay a strong foundation for STEM education and workforce development in the Kingdom of Thailand. It built the capacity of more than 16,000 educators, benefited more than 2 million students, and improved STEM instruction at more than 700 schools across Thailand.
Dr. Pornpun Waitayangkoon, Centre Director of SEAMEO STEM-ED, said that STEM Career Academies is a pilot project implementing Chevron Enjoy Science’s practice outside of Thailand. The collaboration is a good opportunity to promote engineering technology in Vietnam and address Vietnam’s future industrial needs.
“The 18-month project kick starts regional STEM education collaboration, which has been unseen before in ASEAN. ‘STEM Career Academies’ will equip Vietnamese students with necessary skills, particularly those related to digital technology. It’s an urgent issue for Da Nang City, a significant economic center of Vietnam which strives to become a Smart City by 2030,” said Dr. Pornpun Waitayangkoon.
She added that the Academies set the goal to produce human resources for Smart City-related industries. Its goal is to involve 10 schools and 20 private employers in need of STEM human resources in Vietnam.
Mr. Nuntawut Pimpaeng – Project Manager – STEM Career Academy, SEAMEO STEM-ED Center said that the STEM Career Academy serves as a pilot project in implementing the best method of the Chevron Enjoy Science Project for units outside Thailand. This partnership is a great opportunity to promote engineering technology in Vietnam and address the future industrial needs.
“The project will last 18 months. This is a high-level STEM project when we launch the STEM school network program to operate and encourage STEM education, focusing on careers, skills, and IT. We learned this model from the US and has applied it in Thailand. And now, together with the Danang University, we will replicate the model. In terms of assistance for Vietnam, we offer a lot of resources of this field as well as experts to connect partners together,” said Mr. Nuntawut Pimpaeng.
Kurt Glaubitz, General Manager Corporate Affairs, Asia Pacific, Chevron Corporation, said that “If people and the community want to develop, education and vocational training should play a vital role. Skilled workforce equipped with knowledge needed for their future success is crucial to a country’s ability to compete globally. We invest in education and offer a holistic approach to our students, making them excited about joining a STEM Academy, and encouraging them to pursue STEM courses and ultimately develop their careers STEM. “
So far the project has been implemented a number of activities. On April 17, 2022 Danang University of Science and Technology hosted a seminar to kick off the project. Stakeholders, potential partners of Danang University of Science and Technology in this project, and business representatives discussed the implementation of the project’s modules and approaches in STEM education.
Dr. Nguyen Thanh Binh of the Department of Science, Technology, and International Cooperation of the University of Technology, University of Danang Nang evaluated the cooperation between the University of Technology, University of Danang, and Thai partners: “Thai partners, especially SEMEO STEM- ED Thailand, shared their experiences in implementing the Vocational Academy project in Thailand and expressed their wish to emplement this model in schools in Southeast Asian country. Danang Technology University is the first unit in the region to implement this model. The SEMEO STEM-ED Thailand sends experts to support on building the Academy. We regularly discuss with SEMEO STEM- ED Thailand in project implementation.”
STEM Career Academies in Central Vietnam Project will require a total of 194,500 USD. Of total, Chevron Corporation contributes 150,000 USD and UD – DUT contributes 44,500 USD.