NI, UNESCO and Science Centre Hold 2012 STEEL Workshop in Singapore

National Instruments
2012-07-18 09:04 1013

News highlights:

  • Over 30 teachers from seven Southeast Asian countries attend the 2nd Science, Technology and Engineering Exchange Laboratory in Singapore from 17-19 July 2012.
  • Teachers from Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Timor Leste and Thailand take part in hands-on workshops and curriculum training sessions to enhance STEM education. 
  • Workshops showcase technology-at-work in the classroom and drive awareness on Sustainability. 

SINGAPORE, July 18, 2012 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- The 2012 Science, Technology and Engineering Exchange Laboratory (STEEL) opened yesterday at the Science Centre Singapore (SCS), with more than 30 teachers from seven Southeast Asian countries.

Launched last year, STEEL is a pioneering initiative of National Instruments (NI), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), and Science Centre Singapore (SCS).

Educators and teachers from Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Timor Leste and Thailand are taking part in immersive laboratory workshops and curriculum training sessions designed to enhance Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. 

"With solid foundation in STEM, the global challenges of today and tomorrow -- from poverty to climate change -- can be addressed. Our vision for STEEL is to create avid interest for STEM amongst the youth by engaging highly capable teachers using practical and innovative methodologies," says Dr Hubert Gijzen, Director of Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, UNESCO.

While demonstrating technology use in the classroom, STEEL 2012 aims to raise awareness on sustainability. Using tools like NI myDAQ and myGrid, the participating teachers will be able to monitor energy usage, investigate ways to conserve energy, and explore the concepts of smart grid technology to create sustainable energy sources.

NI myDAQ is an affordable, portable, and easy-to-use data acquisition device used by students and teachers to explore electronics and take sensor measurements. myGrid is a NI myDAQ demo that creates model power grids, showing how power is generated, transmitted and distributed in the real-world in industrial or residential settings.

"The scientific community is all abuzz with the discovery of the Higgs boson, the biggest breakthrough in particle physics in half a century. One little known fact was that CERN used our tools to control their Large Hadron Collider. What really excites us is that the STEEL participants are learning the same set of tools and technology that the physicists at CERN have been creating for the world's most powerful particle accelerator," says Chandran Nair, Managing Director of NI in Southeast Asia.

This year's participants include a 15-strong delegation of educators from Thailand. "Last year's devastating floods raised the importance of preparation and having contingency plans. To mitigate the impact of calamities, and to sustain economic progress, we believe that Science education plays an important role," says Dr. Orathai Mookum, Advisor to Permanent Secretary of Office of Basic Education Commission.

STEEL 2012 highlights also include trainings in animation, visit to the National University of Singapore Physics Lab and the Raffles Museum, and an insights sharing session with last year's participants from Singapore.

All the workshops will be held at SCS, facilitated by NI and SCS trainers. "Science Centre Singapore is a proud partner of the STEEL programme and delighted to once again host the trainings here in Singapore. We look forward to taking another step forward in stimulating interest for STEM through creative pedagogy and involvement in addressing sustainability issues," says Associate Professor Lim Tit Meng, Chief Executive of SCS.

Press Contacts:
Jessie Lee Masami Nakata
National Instruments Technology - UNESCO
+65-6226-5886 +62-21-7399818 
Eunice Choy Donna Garcia
Science Centre Singapore Rice Communications
+65-6425-2372 +65-6221-8045 
Source: National Instruments