Pupils from two countries bond over STEM future
Budding engineers had a trip of a lifetime to Cambridge after winning a competition involving two-million contestants in China.
Scores of students from schools in Beijing and Cambridge joined education experts for a pioneering project on Saturday, August 24, at Cambridge University’s Sports Centre.
Cambridge-based First Landing Education, backed by the Association of Education and Technology, created The Future Engineer Youth STEM Maker UK Challenge 2019 which is aimed at breaking down cultural barriers and inspiring future scientists, engineers, and mathematicians.
Teams of young people aged from nine to 16 took part in a series of fun competitions focusing on a wide range of activities. They used 3-D printing technology and imagined how the Internet of Things could transform people’s lives.
Dylan Williams, 15, of Ashwell, said: “I took part in this because I want to be an engineer and we do need to reach out to other countries like China if we want to stay ahead.”
Nicole Zuo, 15, of Beijing, said: “It has been a fantastic experience coming to Cambridge and being able to see this beautiful city that has seen so many breakthroughs.”
Cui Yue, an English teacher at Number Two Middle School in Bejing, explained how teaching in China was seeing a radical transformation: “In China and especially in teaching, people like to be in control. Chinese teaching has always been about the culture and is very traditional. Nowadays Chinese teaching and Chinese education are changing.
“We want pupils to dig deeper to find their potential. We want them to say more, to do more, to perform more and to achieve much more and that is why this has been perfect.”
Su Wong, director of the STEM Research Centre, from the National Institute of Education Sciences, was delighted the event was a hit with youngsters and sent out a message to leaders to get on board.
She said: “In China, like in the UK, we look to and pay attention to the traditional and we are also both interested in the innovation, the creativity, the imagination.
“So I hope this event can help our pupils understand the UK pupils and the same for the UK pupils so that we can work together and learn from each other.”
She called out to business leaders and education chiefs to back the campaign saying: “Come together with us and create a future.”