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ExxonMobil-UKM STEM Club: Training of Trainers Programme bolsters skilled educators’ teaching of STEM in Sabah

Published by Afterschool.my on Mar 05, 2019, 11:49 am

KOTA KINABALU, Sabah, March 1 – In a joint effort to address the declining interest in science and maths among students, ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Malaysia Inc. (EMEPMI) in collaboration with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) have introduced a Training of Trainers programme under the ExxonMobil-UKM STEM Club @ Sabah initiative. The training aims to equip teachers in secondary schools with a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) approach to teaching science and maths syllabus in schools to drive students’ interest, participation, understanding and appreciation of STEM subjects.

A proponent of STEM-centred educational programmes for students, ExxonMobil is widening its focus to support a more holistic and inclusive approach towards STEM education. ExxonMobil believes that Malaysia’s future competitiveness and economic growth hinges upon highly-skilled teachers to encourage active learning from students and increase the quality of education. This view is aligned with the Ministry of Education’s ongoing efforts to create a pipeline of trained teachers and other education specialists in Malaysia, as set out in the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013 – 2025.

School teachers and Institut Pendidikan Guru Malaysia (IPGM) lecturers during one of the hands-on Knowledge Building sessions at the ExxonMobil-UKM STEM Club @ Sabah Training of Trainers Programme.

“As a champion of STEM-centric educational initiatives, ExxonMobil is proud to support teacher-focused programmes that bring renewed vigour to teaching STEM subjects, as it will allow educators to deliver the syllabus more effectively and efficiently by equipping them with new abilities and teaching skills,” said Sukiman Mohamed, general manager - public and government affairs, EMEPMI.

“Teachers are a key driving force behind students’ academic performance, and they have the potential to create motivation, interest and excitement in students to attract them to STEM. We hope this initiative will contribute towards efforts to increase the number of students in the science stream as Malaysia looks toward achieving a STEM-driven economy in the near future,” he added.

Facilitator from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) assisting the participants with their task during one of the hands-on activities for Knowledge Building session at the ExxonMobil-UKM STEM Club @ Sabah Training of Training Programme in Tuaran, Sabah.

The objective of the ExxonMobil-UKM STEM Club @ Sabah pilot programme is to develop a group of STEM Master Trainers using training modules developed by and delivered by UKM. Participants comprise 30 primary school and 32 secondary school teachers from ten selected districts (Tuaran, Kota Kinabalu, Penampang, Papar, Kudat, Kota Belud, Kota Merudu, Beaufort, Keningau and Ranau) and 30 lecturers from three Institut Pendidikan Guru (IPG) campuses at Kent, Gaya and Keningau. Currently in its first phase, the participants will undergo STEM pedagogical training, the building of STEM content knowledge in subjects such as energy, urban infrastructure, transportation, wireless communication, as well as developing a STEM Execution Strategic Plan for Sabah including a STEM Leadership Module for state education officers. The participants will be trained on various practical aspects of innovative pedagogic strategies in order to enhance their cognitive, psychomotor and affective skills, thus leading to a meaningful and productive inclusive learning experience.

Prof. Ts. Dr. Mohamad Sattar Rasul; Chairman, STEM Enculturation Center, Faculty of Education, National University of Malaysia together with programme participants during project presentation session.

“As a developing nation rich with biodiversity and resources, STEM plays a key role in ensuring sustainable solutions to meet increasing local and global demands and creating solutions to issues that affect water, energy, food security, healthcare, biodiversity and climate change. By training teachers to become STEM Master Trainers, we are able to make STEM more relatable and digestible for students, and subsequently, increase the uptake of Science and Maths subjects in schools. The programme is self-sustaining as Master Trainers will continue to regenerate the programme and train forthcoming batches of trainees, putting the wheels in motion to lay a solid foundation for the future of STEM in Malaysia,” said Associate Professor Dr Mohamad Sattar Rasul, chairman of STEM Enculturation Centre, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

The second phase of the programme will be conducted from July until September this year. It will require each participant to set up a project team comprising four students from their respective schools to develop a STEM project which addresses a problem in daily life. The teams will be given mentoring support by facilitators from UKM during this stage. Phase three, which is the culmination of the Training of Trainers programme and expected to run from October until November, will require the participant and their students to submit their STEM project in a virtual competition, where their project from Phase Two will be evaluated by a panel of judges from UKM and ExxonMobil.

The ExxonMobil-UKM STEM Club programme was initiated in 2015 to promote interest in STEM from lower secondary students in the Klang Valley and to encourage them to join the science stream when they enter the upper secondary level. In 2017, the initiative was revised to focus on teacher’s training and expanded to Terengganu under the ExxonMobil-UKM STEM Club @ Terengganu programme. More than 60 math and science teachers from secondary schools have been trained as STEM master trainers in the state.

Participants of the ExxonMobil-UKM STEM Club @ Sabah Training of Trainers Programme during the closing ceremony.


About ExxonMobil in Malaysia

The ExxonMobil subsidiaries in Malaysia are a group of companies which have business activities which include upstream production of oil and gas, business support services and marketing of chemical products. In the upstream, ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Malaysia Inc. operates more than 30 platforms in 11 producing fields and has a working interest in two fields offshore Peninsular Malaysia. These fields collectively produce about 15 percent of the nation’s crude oil and condensate and supply about 40 per cent of Peninsular Malaysia’s natural gas needs. The Business Support Centre entity in Malaysia provides IT services and engineering/technical support for ExxonMobil’s upstream, downstream and chemical facilities worldwide. ExxonMobil Chemical Malaysia Sdn Bhd has a strong market position, supplying a portfolio of specialty products.

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