1st virtual STEM conference successful

by Joneil B. Medina, CED

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 3rd International Annual Meeting on Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics Education or I AM STEM Education was moved online to continue the discussion of the most pressing issues and trends in STEM education.

Held on September 24-25, 2020 via Zoom, the I AM STEM 2020 gathered STEM experts, researchers, teachers, and students to discuss relevant issues, trends, and initiatives in STEM teaching and learning. 

The two-day conference, organized by the  Department of Science and Mathematics Education (DSME) of the College of Education (CED), comprised plenary and parallel sessions, with topics central to the conference theme: Empowering Students through STEM Learning Communities.

During the conference, the following eight plenary speakers discussed various topics in STEM education: Dr. Pornpun Waitayangkoon (SEAMEO Center for STEM-ED, Thailand); Dr. Kuen Yi-Lin (National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan); Mr. Johnson Lam (Founder, KakiDIY, Malaysia); Dr. Chris Eames (The University of Waikato, New Zealand); Dr. Bill Atweh (Retired Adjunct Professor, Curtin University, Australia); Dr. Chokchai Yuenyong (Khon Kaen University, Thailand); and Dr. Ismael Suardi Wekke (Sekolah Tinggi Agama Islam Negeri Sorong, Indonesia). 

Science and Mathematics Education faculty and students (graduate and undergraduate) of CED and other researchers read their papers online. More than 40 research papers were presented in four parallel sessions, with topics ranging from:

  • Perspectives on STEM in education
  • Transdisciplinary learning in STEM
  • Research-based practices for engaging students in STEM Learning
  • Digital technologies/learning spaces facilitating STEM Learning
  • School-industry-community partnerships in STEM
  • STEM Teacher Education and Professional Learning
  • Integrated pedagogical approaches to STEM
  • Policy and leadership for improving STEM
  • Assessment and evaluation of STEM outcomes
  • STEM as critical literacy
  • Diverse learners in STEM
  • STEM and environmental sustainability

The research studies presented will be submitted to a SCOPUS-indexed Conference Proceedings Journal for possible publication. 

With MSU-IIT as this year’s conference host, its chancellor, Dr. Sukarno D. Tanggol, welcomed the participants during the opening ceremony. He highlighted the role of STEM in search for the cure of the coronavirus and in mitigating the effects of COVID-19 in the society. Chancellor Tanggol also urged the participants to collaborate and prepare for eventualities like a pandemic.

In the conference, CED Dean, Dr. Amelia T. Buan, also shared the experience of MSU-IIT in promoting school-based professional development programs for teachers in Northern Mindanao. She presented how MSU-IIT’s partner schools were transformed by the training and pedagogical support extended to them. 

Originally scheduled in August, the I AM STEM 2020 was co-organized by various universities and institutions in Southeast Asia, namely: Science Education Association of Thailand (SEAT); ASEAN Research Network for STEM education (ARN-STEM); Thailand Office of Basic Education Commission (OBEC); Khon Kaen University, Thailand; Rajabhat Yala University, Thailand; Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Malaysia; Sekolah Tinggi Agama Islam Negeri (STAIN), Sorong, Indonesia; State University of Malang, Indonesia; Galuh University, Indonesia; Thai Nguyen University of Education, Vietnam; Science Education Center of the National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan; Alliance for Improving Scientific Literacy (AISL), Taiwan; and the Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology (IPST), Thailand. 

Faculty members of CED-DSME, headed by Dr. Monera Salic-Hairulla, in cooperation with the MSU-IIT Center for eLearning, and CED Audio-Visual Media Center, facilitated the virtual conference.

I AM STEM 2021 is slated to take place in Taipei, Taiwan, with National Taiwan Normal University as the main host.

*Joneil B. Medina is currently an instructor at the Department of Science and Mathematics Education of the College of Education.