Stars and STEM Stories
Enhancing GLOBE through Partnerships
We all have experienced a few outstanding teachers who made a difference in our lives, teachers who were able to motivate us to do our best, and to instill a love of learning that continued beyond the classroom. Good teachers engage students through passion for the subject, creativity in the classroom and constant encouragement. They use a wide variety of methods, experiences, assignments and materials to be sure that their students are achieving cognitive objectives. In many schools, it is GLOBE activities that provide teachers with the scientific tools they need to teach students about the environment in which they live, but the GLOBE classroom becomes most dynamic when the teaching of science enhances the development of a diversity of skills. GLOBE recently learned about a school in Thailand where students are studying Earth as a System through partnering GLOBE with other activities to create an interactive environment for a broad range of learning experiences.
Princess Chulabhorn's College, Trang, a secondary school in southern Thailand, joined the GLOBE Program in July of 2003. Teachers at this science specialty school have made learning real by partnering GLOBE activities with English teaching and international partnerships. The school incorporated "Green English" into their classrooms while examining environmental education topics. With the help of Steve Cameron, an English teacher from Australia, the school has initiated a partnership with a watershed or catchment organization in Brisbane, Australia, called the Bulimba Creek Catchment Coordinating Committee, or B4C.
Through this partnership, students in the Green English Program at Princess Chulabhorn's College, Trang, are learning about a local river in Trang, and about Thailand's animals and plants and are sharing this knowledge with Australian schools through digital media. Students will further engage in hands-on activities such as tree plantings and water quality testing and will share this information with their pen pals in Australia while learning about Australia's environment and culture. They also plan to initiate an exchange program with High School students in Brisbane schools in collaboration with B4C activities. Ultimately, they hope to present at the International River Festival and the International River Symposium.
Thorough knowledge of English is an important goal for the students at Princess Chulabhorn's College, Trang, because they may have the opportunity to present their science projects in international competitions. Recently, five out of ten student project proposals were awarded funding from the Thai Ministry of Science and Technology to participate in their Young Scientist Competition. If selected in the first competition, these students will present their projects in Bangkok with a possibility of further competing in the U.S.
The students at Princess Chulabhorn's College, Trang, are being mentored by GLOBE teachers, Ms Pongmanawut and Ms. Treechada Tawornmas. Ms Pongmanawut recently returned from Schenectady, New York, where she participated in an eight-month Teacher Exchange Program through AFS with support from the U.S. Embassy in Thailand. AFS is an international, voluntary, non-governmental, non-profit organization that provides intercultural learning opportunities to help students and their teachers develop the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to create a more just and peaceful world. During her stay, Ms. Pongmanawut introduced high school and elementary students in Schenectady, New York to Thai culture through language, geography, religion, art, cooking and dances. Ms. Pongmanawut is now encouraging her high school students in Thailand to become involved with the AFS Student Exchange Program to expand their cultural and educational experiences.
The GLOBE Program wishes the students of Princess Chulabhorn's College, Trang, the best of luck and we hope to see them advance to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Albuquerque, New Mexico, May of 2007.
For information regarding GLOBE program implementation in other languages, please visit "Language Study Around the World".
16 October 2006