For many students at Zaman International School (ZIS), participating in the annual Cambodia STEM Festival, where one can enter various competitions, is one opportunity to realise their potential.
M. Gurkan Cil, principal of ZIS said, “As the mission goes, when the students realise their potential, they also realise the potential for their country.”
“In order to meet all the ambitious plans, the students need to acquire the STEM skills necessary to become better prepared for university studies, as well as form a vision of their future.”
STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education has long been a field that Cambodia still shows a lot of need for improvement and room for growth. And filling this void has become STEM Cambodia’s mission.
STEM Cambodia was born out of the initiative to wholly focus on STEM development in Cambodia. The annual STEM Festival has progressed to become a major event, and under the organisation’s umbrella there will not only be future STEM Festivals but also other STEM-specific activities, such as student conferences, forums and similar events.
The annual event, however, aims to reinvigorate the interest of Cambodia’s youth in STEM by producing and presenting the most compelling, exciting, entertaining and, of course, educational science festival in Cambodia.
For example, at ZIS, STEM assignments allow students to work on existing environmental projects through recognition of pressing, real-life problems, and finding cost-effective solutions for them.
“Several projects focused on water purification this year. Students used different micro-organisms, such as Moringa plants, aloe vera, and thyme, as well as bio-sand filtration using sugarcane waste as filter. One of the reasons they went for these alternatives was due to availability and low cost,” Cil explained.
Students who actively take part in the STEM Festival learn how to write project proposals and boost their research and critical thinking skills by conducting their own research and finding further information from available resources, publications or relevant media.
For Cil, the STEM Festival is a pivotal step in raising scientifically and technologically smart citizens which will be of great use to the development and the achievement of the Kingdom.
In reaching out to a wider audience and being more all-embracing, ZIS students let parents and other fair visitors participate in their findings during the two-day festival.
In May this year, ZIS organized the Cambodia STEM Festival, which lasted two days, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports featuring more than 200 projects on display and welcoming around 10,000 visitors ranging from public school students to parents of students and anyone interested, regardless of age.
“Visitors get to enjoy exciting hands-on experiences which spark their imagination and make them appreciate science and technology much more,” Cil said.