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Physicist ‘lights’ the STEM education fire in Vietnam

"My wish is to develop an academy that brings science to everyone. ‘Science’ here is fun, easy to absorb, easy to learn and inspiring,” Dang Van Son, a proponent of STEM education, has said.

VietNamNet Bridge - "My wish is to develop an academy that brings science to everyone. ‘Science’ here is fun, easy to absorb, easy to learn and inspiring,” Dang Van Son, a proponent of STEM education, has said.


Dang Van Son, a proponent of STEM education

Son left Vietnam for South Korea to study physics for a master’s degree at Chungbuk National University. Later, he became a researcher at a scientific project in the UK sponsored by the Marie Curie Fund. At the same time, Son became a PhD student at Birmingham University. 

After obtaining a doctorate, he continued to work in the UK for one year before leaving for Germany where he did research for his postdoc. After finishing the project, he applied to some universities in Europe.

However, Son unexpectedly decided to return to Vietnam. “I had a number of choices for research works in Europe and the countries with developed science, but I decided to come back to Vietnam. I believe that besides doing scientific research, I can do many more things if I returned to Vietnam,” Son explained.

In Vietnam, Son became a researcher at the Nano & Energy Center at the Hanoi University of Natural Sciences.

"My wish is to develop an academy that brings science to everyone. ‘Science’ here is fun, easy to absorb, easy to learn and inspiring,” 
Dang Van Son, a proponent of STEM education

In the homeland, Son realized that the teaching of science in Vietnam remains unchanged compared with many years ago, when Son was a general school student.

“Universities and research institutes are not involved in science education,” Son said.

Son decided to join forces with two co-workers, Dr Bui Van Diep and MA Nguyen Thi Thu Huong, to establish S3 Academy. The initial goal was to work with primary, secondary and high schools to organize STEM training courses for students.

The training courses, programs and STEM days were organized for thousands of students in Hanoi and neighboring provinces. Of these, two events have been organized regularly, including the STEM Day under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Science & Technology and ‘STEM, math and science’ training course which has attracted 5,000 students.

With the support of S3, about 30 STEM Clubs at secondary schools in Vietnam have contacted schools in the US for exchange.

The young scientist came to Thanh Chuong district in Nghe An province to train teachers in STEM education. At least 88 teachers in the district attended the training courses to teach robot programming and 200 trained teachers will be able to organize lessons with STEM topics.

Son strives to promote STEM education in localities, and urges businesses, universities, institutes and professional institutions to join hands to form a STEM education ecosystem.


STEM education sees success but faces challenges

STEM training booms but not in schools

Thanh Lich


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