ECNU holds int'l crossover webinar series on STEM Education


The first session of the international crossover STEM education series on cloud file-sharing was launched successfully last week. The event was jointly sponsored and organized by ECNU’s Institute of Curriculum and Instruction, the International Culture for Engineering Education under the auspices of the United nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the International Center for UNESCO ASPnet under the auspices of UNESCO, the Institute of Education of Tsinghua University and The theme of this event isReimagining K-12 STEM Education during and beyond Coronavirus Pandemic: Creativity, Entrepreneurship and Sustainability.

The seminar captured worldwide attention as more than 4,000 participants attended the session on cloud file-sharing via virtual platforms such as Zoom and the online international version of the 40% of the participants tuned in from North America, Europe and Africa.

The first STEM session on cloud file-sharing was carried out in various forms, such as theme reports, dialogues, and Q & A. Four STEM experts, including ECNU’s Xiao Sihan, Associate Professor from the Institute of Curriculum and Instruction; Hoshi, Head of Stanford Online High School; Han Dong, Academic Principal of ETU Middle School; and Li Yi, senior teacher of High School Affiliated to Remin University of China, shared their thoughts on STEM education as well as their own practice and academic experiences.

Han Dong delivered a speech entitled Beijing Migratory Bird of Prey Monitoring Project. Speaking from his own experiences, he proposed that students could carry out scientific research at home during the pandemic. He also shared in detail his experience on how to integrate online and offline resources to enrich students' STEM learning experience in their daily life environments. In his speech, Han Dong provided effective plans for students to manage their time efficiently, make their own study plans, and become independent learners.

Prof. Xiao Sihan and Dr. Hoshi had an online dialogue. Xiao Sihan first asked Dr. Hoshi to introduce the organization and operation mode of Stanford Online High School regarding curriculum and teaching, as well as its experience in online teaching. They then talked in great depth on the use of daily life resources to promote STEM teaching, the integration of formal and informal education, and the sharing of learning resources in different cultural situations during the pandemic.

Dr. Li Yi shared four integrated STEM research and practice projects (including optical communication technology, brain computer interface, Internet of things and smart city, UAV manufacturing and formation flying). She also focused on how to improve students' mathematics and engineering capabilities based on these projects. She believes that future STEM education calls for the combination between online and offline education, between schools and laboratories, between subject knowledge and practical operation, between different schools, and between schools and enterprises. Her ideas help primary and secondary school teachers to carry out STEM curriculum designs.

Prof. Xiao Sihan concluded the session by analyzing the opportunities and challenges STEM education faces during the pandemic:

  • The pandemic is not an abstract concept or a grand narrative, but a specific issue that demands everyone to make judgments and decisions that are crucial to their daily lives.

  • STEM education should transcend the conventional academic discourse and the metaphor of talent pipeline implied in sciences, mathematics, technology, and engineering education, to focus on all students and ordinary people's daily lives.

  • STEM education means not only the intersection of fields and disciplines, but also of humans.

Xiao called for the audience to think about STEM education during the context of the pandemic. How can we utilize daily resources in the pandemic to reshape the relationship between education at school and real-world education? He believes that the answers to this question will enable humans to live together better.

Click to watch his presentation:

Password: thanksfromtsinghua

NOTICE:The second session of the international crossover STEM education series on cloud file-sharing is to be held in two weeks. Join us in our discussion of STEM education in the post-pandemic period.

Author: Xu Xincheng

Source: Institute of Curriculum and Instruction

Copy editor: Joshua Mayfield

Editor: Yu Wenxi


East China Normal University