Over the last few years we have spent a lot of time with the research around science capital, making sense of it, applying it to our work and sharing it with others. Translating this to a different setting in a different country with a different culture was a valuable and rewarding experience for myself, the team, and for the teachers we worked with.
Croucher Science Week is a festival of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) events, organised by the Croucher Foundation and the Hong Kong Science Museum, for teachers, students and families. During this time the Hong Kong Science Museum is a hive of activity with a large variety of science shows and workshops happening inside the museum, on a specially built stage in their courtyard and throughout the region. It is a very exciting event that gets bigger each year.
This year was the fourth year we’ve joined the festival and delivered our teacher development workshops. It was a great opportunity for us to work with the teachers in Hong Kong and learn more about the challenges they face and how our resources can support them.
Science education is an important part of the curriculum in Hong Kong and there is strong emphasis on developing students’ science skills and interests to increase their participation in and lifelong learning of STEM, something our two nations have in common.
This year we offered training sessions for both primary and secondary teachers, where we shared a variety of our resources and approaches aimed at helping them engage their students with science and science-related subjects. The resources we shared included Wreck Your Tech, our Science Engagement Reflection Points and See, Link, Wonder tool.
The teachers were particularly excited by See, Link, Wonder and the prospect of using objects to promote science talk in and beyond the classroom. To demonstrate how this tool might be used we provided a variety of objects as a stimulus, some historical, for example a floppy disk and some more every day, such as a box of breakfast cereal, and encouraged the teachers to write discussion questions for their students using See, Link, Wonder. They generated some great questions and connected the objects to a variety of science topics and areas of interests in their students’ lives.
It was good to see the teachers respond so positively to our sessions and to hear how keen they were to try out some of the techniques in the classroom. We really enjoyed working with both the teachers and our colleagues at the Hong Kong Science Museum, finding commonalities between us and sharing our experiences.