In this competition, five out of 19 Vietnamese teams at primary and secondary schools excellently won awards and four others were in the Top 20. The People's Army Newspaper has had an interview with Dr. Tran Viet Hung, the co-founder of the organization about the championship.
The VEX WORLDS 2023, drawing more than 30,000 students from over 50 countries and 50 U.S. states, is a big tournament in the world.
Asked about the initial idea of STEAM for Vietnam – a U.S. non-profit organization, U.S. Center (under the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Vietnam), and the Hanoi University of Science and Technology about this playground, Dr. Tran Viet Hung emphasized the importance of STEAM education for those engaged in technology and to help hone students’ thinking effectively and unlock their potential. He mentioned Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg as good examples in early getting use of computer and technology. He confirmed that with deep knowledge, people fear nothing and dare to dream big.
Dr. Hung recalled that when guiding some Vietnamese students, his colleagues and he were aware that they are excellent. To help more students shorten their ways to get access to technology in a more effective way, STEAM for Vietnam was founded with the mission of promoting STEAM education-related activities in Vietnam through sharing of knowledge. Over 500 experts and scientists of the organization have silently contributed and created results with the desire to devote themselves to the development of the young generation of Vietnam, helping them to be exposed to the most modern technologies, acquire the most knowledge and go the farthest.
According to the STEAM for Vietnam's co-founder, five main activities of the organization are to teach programming, painting, soft skills; robotics; to open technology libraries nationwide; to train teachers with sufficient materials, lesson plans, and finance; and to build a network of volunteers. Among them, robotics is the effective tool for teaching and learning STEAM because of its closeness to reality.
He shared that a lot of knowledge is applied at a time to make a robot work. Moreover, designing a robot requires students to think technically, learn many subjects at the same time, and is very attractive. Therefore, they have chosen VEX IQ robot with a hope that Vietnamese students have experiences like those from developed countries, because the feelings of inferiority could hinder students to go further.
Mr. Hung noted the successful organization of the National VEX IQ Robotics Championship 2023 in Vietnam, which attracted 162 teams, over 700 students from 169 primary and secondary schools nationwide. Attentively, at VEX WORLDS 2023, Vietnamese students won five awards, an encouraging result right at the first engagement in. "This shows that Vietnamese students have a lot of potential and can go much further," Mr. Hung emphasized.
Attentively, according to Mr. Hung, there is no difference among students of different regions in the country. He mentioned three Tay ethnic students and their instructor from Cao Bang team who surmounted difficulties to get a slot to the tournament in the U.S. and completed their competition contents, helping improve the rankings from 1,187th to 183rd in the world.
Notably, in this global competition, Vietnamese students were confident to exchange with their foreign peers in English. Vietnamese teams surprised international friends not only with their bravery, but also their confident exchange and introduction of their country's culture.
During the time in the U.S., Vietnamese teams had a chance to visit NASA, Google, Stanford University to broaden their knowledge and be aware of lots of opportunities in the future.
To help more students have access to STEAM education, Dr. Tran Viet Hung said that, this summer, the STEAM for Vietnam will promote the teacher training program in the cooperation with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (the U.S.) by providing all teachers the link: https://www.steamforvietnam.org. Participating teachers will get the best possible support to gradually improve the teaching quality to bring benefit to both teachers and students.
Translated by Mai Huong
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