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Students of Dept. of TAHRD at NTNU held a workshop on integrating English into STEM education

The Department of Technology Application and Human Resource Development (TAHRD 科技應用與人力資源發展系) at National Taiwan Normal University was invited by the Center for Research on Bilingual Education(CRBE, 國北教大雙語教學研究中心) of National Taipei University of Education to hold teaching workshop on integration of English and STEM education.

The workshop was held on April 30th, 2022, through an online meeting platform. Director of CRBE, Jane Chien (簡雅臻) mentioned that the workshop is to teach 18 pre-service bilingual teachers to use the engineering artifacts of robotic arms to teach elementary school students the concept of computing thinking (CT), specifically about the steps, loop, interruption, and choices in computer programming.

The robotic arms were equipped with RFID cards as teaching aids to help elementary school students learn CT by playing with the robotic arms. The workshop was mainly held by two TAHRD overseas Chinese students, Cecilia (許美惠,Veronica Cecilia Hidayat), and Anne (張嫻安, Carrieann Caroline), who are from Indonesia. They integrated English into the robotic arms class for elementary school students.

The workshop coordinator Hui-Ting Chang (張惠婷) of TAHRD at NTNU mentioned that, due to the pandemic, the workshop was conducted through an online platform. The workshop needed to tackle the challenge of how to conduct the hands-on activity. The robotic arms components had to be delivered to the participants prior to the workshop. Also, the other challenge for this workshop was that since most participants' majors were not technology-related, without too much experience in the technology and engineering field, they may face some difficulties during the assembling of the engineering artifacts of robotic arms.

Yet, even with these challenges, 張思榆 (Nina), the participant of this workshop, successfully made the robotic arms in her NTUE dormitory. She said “At the beginning, I was really nervous when I saw these components which I found I had to assemble them by myself. For me, it’s hard to imagine a person like me who had nothing to do with science and technology is able to make the robotic arm successfully. Fortunately, thanks to the patience of the robotic-arm-team from NTNU, they taught us step by step and were willing to solve our questions or obstacles we encountered. They definitely created a friendly environment for us so that we could ask questions without fear. After this workshop, I have better understanding of STEM education, and it raised my interest as well.”

Below are more reviews from the participants of this workshop:洪靖嵐 (Betty): “I really appreciate that we have a chance to take this interesting and meaningful lesson. I'm even more grateful for learning how to deliver computational thinking properly to pupils and build our robotic arms in this workshop. The workshop provided us with a big picture of giving a bilingual course, so that we could elaborate our lesson plan.”

羅廷文 (Kevin): “This workshop was really fun and informative. I always have interests in everything related to robots. We had a chance to explore and learn the mechanisms of robotic arms. Furthermore, their demonstration of teaching really helped us to structure and design our lesson plan. During the workshop, the Professor of NTNU said something that impressed me a lot. That is 'Robotic arm is only a tool, what really matters is the knowledge that we want to pass on to our students.' As we design the lesson, we need to think about what we want the students to learn, and not miss the goal. All in all, I had a blast in this workshop. I learned a lot!”

Finally, the workshop coordinator Hui-Ting Chang (張惠婷) gratefully thanks NTUE Bilingual center for offering this opportunity for her and her team members of robotic arms project to demonstrate their current development of integrating English into STEM learning.