EDfutures Influencer: Chee K Wong
Chee K Wong, Owner – e2 Young Engineers Perth
Chee has spent most of his adult life acting as the “interpreter” between business and technical. He has this uncanny abilities of using simple language to convey very complicated ideas. He first discovered these abilities when he was working in the technology industry where he was often asked to “translate” business speak into technical specifications.
These days, he owns and operates e2 Young Engineers, Perth. His team of instructors can be found engaging, enriching and inspiring children from 11 primary schools throughout Perth. Chee is a regular guest presenter at Scitech and speaks at various conferences related to STEM education.
Tell us a bit about e2 Young Engineers…
“We live for one thing – to see our students experience that “light-globe” moment that makes everything possible.
We provide STEM education programs using Lego in primary schools – that’s what the marketing department would like me to say. I think what where we really excel is the way we come up with crazy but believable real-world problem-solving scenarios that takes students through amazing experiences. The keywords are problem-solving and experience. Through these experiences, students learn but more importantly it triggers their curiosity to keep them seeking new knowledge. When we create these experiences, we use elements of story-telling, hands-on demonstrations and our specially designed Lego kits to make learning fun, accessible and rapid. We work with teachers, school leaders & students from PP-6 and we are part of a larger network that also operates in QLD, NSW & VIC.”
What partnerships do you have with the community?
In 2017, we discussed forming partnerships with several schools, including John XXIII College about the opportunity to become what we call an Exemplary Engineering School (EES). The idea of EES is to demonstrate to primary school leaders and teachers that anyone can teach engineering (Yes anyone! It’s not that scary) and easily embed more authentic problem-solving opportunities into their classroom. In its entirety, EES is intended to be a whole-school – community – industry ecosystem. A concept that I know is used at EDfutures regularly. At present, several schools are piloting the first stage of EES – enabling internal teaching staff to deliver engineering in their school.
We are also engaging with industry to seek interested groups to collaborate on EES. I see industry as an important component to this ecosystem because so many kids lack the creative problem-solving skills that is so fondly looked upon by industry. In addition, I’ve read reports that suggests that many kids have already disengaged with STEM (ie, chosen a non-STEM career path) by the time they leave primary school. These are factors that industry should care about.
It is my hope that every school will deliver engineering as they would with any of the general capabilities in the curriculum. This may seem a far-fetched idea to most because of pre-conceptions of what engineering is, but once you get familiar with the idea that engineering is actually a methodology to solving problems then this really starts to make sense.”
What drives you personally in your work?
“Personally, I’m on a mission to save humanity. Seriously! I have this vision in my head that about fifteen years from now (when current primary students become adults) we will arrive in a workplace that is vastly different. There will be no jobs, no salary and lots of automation. It will be an age where creativity and on-the-spot problem-solving skills reign supreme because every previously known fact, formula or process would have already been coded into a ‘sub-routine’. Many futurists talk about the job losses when this age arrives, but I don’t see that as the biggest problem. I see mental health on a massive scale as the most profound problem we will face.”
Learn more about e2 Young Engineers here.
Rees Barrett, School Programs Coordinator, UNAAWA
Rees has 45 years’ experience in education including secondary teaching in the Humanities and Social Sciences area (geography, history and citizenship), educational administration, curriculum, assessment and school review. Curriculum experience includes the Kindergarten to Year 10 Social Studies syllabus (1980s), National curriculum for Australia (1990s) and VET in Schools. Rees has published textbooks in Australian geography and a primary library series Significant People in Australia’s History (2009). Since retiring from full-time work in education, Rees had led the development of the UNAA Global Citizenship Schools and related programs.
Tell us a bit about UNNAWA and how the organisation developed…
“Supported by a dedicated Executive and Education Reference Group, we set out in 2016 to build a network of schools and curriculum resources that promote active global citizenship. In a world of rampaging nationalism, we aspire to support schools seeking a broader perspective of citizenship for their students. Global challenges require global solutions.
The UNESCO model for Global Citizenship Education (GCEd) provides an ideal pedagogic platform, confirmed by its underpinning of the new PISA Global Competence test (2018). We tested its alignment with the new WA curriculum, demonstrating that GCEd is a value-adding curriculum lens rather than additional curriculum content.
The UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs or Global Goals) provide a concrete, unifying context for engaging our youngsters with authentic, integrated learning and problem-solving wholly relevant to their futures. Through this mix, we are adding value to our WA ‘curriculum capital’.”
Can you tell us some of the success stored from UNNAWA?
“The UNAAWA GCEd Schools network now has 27 members (from Kindergarten to Year 12) and our digital resources bank has over 25 items aiming to support teachers’ and students’ understandings of the ideals and work of the UN. Nine experienced speakers have joined our ‘human library’ in the School Speakers program and we are in our third year of Student Parliaments. We attracted nearly 100 students from 15 schools in two ‘sittings’ of the parliament this year. They designed and pitched student-led, school-based SDG projects.
Three award programs use our global brand to promote outstanding GCEd initiatives in WA schools. The Yolande Frank Art Awards promote human rights education, engaging students (Year 4 to Year 12) in visually communicating a selected right. The Student Global Goals Challenge recognises student initiatives in one or more of the SDGs. The World Teachers’ Day Awards recognise diverse, outstanding teacher GCEd.
The School Curriculum and Standards Authority approval of the UNAAWA Global Citizenship and Sustainability program as WACE-endorsed units (2018 to 2022) is our most recent success. We aim to promote the creativity and intercultural understanding of our students by building a sample of their SDG innovations developed through this program. Year 10 STEM students at Shenton College who are piloting the program will provide our first samples and gain credit towards their WACE.”
How important have community partnerships been as you have developed and grown UNNAWA?
“The Learning Futures team at Curtin University was among the first to provide affirming support. Professor David Gibson, a world-recognised leader in his field, advised us that students participating in UNAAWA programs are eligible for Curtin SHAPE Scholarships. He encourages students to retain evidence of their learning through UNAAWA programs as ‘valuable Portfolio information about the kind of learning needed for the future’.
We now have a rapidly growing list of partnerships formed with like-minded groups including our member schools, Curtin Learning Futures, Fogarty EDfutures, One World Centre, Young Australians Plan for the Planet, Sustainable Schools Alliance WA, Museum of Freedom and Tolerance, Sustainable Development Goals Network and Meerilinga. These partnerships highlight the important unifying power of the SDGs and the critical role of civil society in progressing positive, democratic change.
We set out with a vision of empowering young Australians in our complex, uncertain world. The UNESCO GCEd model and UN SDGs provide our vehicle for achieving that vision. Our intergenerational work contributes to the moral imperative of building a fairer, sustainable world. Curriculum innovations like the UNAAWA WACE-endorsed units support schools wanting to provide highly relevant and engaging contexts for students to integrate and apply learning across the curriculum.”
Learn more about UNNAWA’s School programs.
Class of 2032 is a longitudinal project designed to facilitate and capture ideas about the future school experience. Through a series of documentary films and ideation workshops, the project engages students, parents, and educators in a conversation about the opportunities and issues impacting formal and informal learning environments of young children growing up with increased access to information and digital technology.
The event will begin with a screening of the film, followed by a panel discussion and a workshop activity which engages students, parents, and educators in a conversation about the future school experience.
- WHEN: August 23rd 2018, 5pm-8pm
- WHERE: Curtin University room 410.201:CT
- ABOUT THE FILM MAKER:
Matthew Worwood is the co-founder and director of the Class of 2032 Project. He is also an Apple Distinguished Educator and Associate Director of Digital Media and Design, at the University of Connecticut. Formally, a Digital Media Specialist at EdAdvance, Matthew has worked on a variety of statewide education initiatives in digital media. Past work includes the documentary Creativity in Education: Exploring the Imbalance, collaborating on the design and development for the Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, and founding the Connecticut Student Film Festival. More recently, Matthew has served on the advisory committee for the NMC Horizon Report: Higher Education Edition, published a chapter about the principles of Design Thinking as part of Springer’s Creativity in the 21st Century book series, and launched Digital Media CT, a statewide education initiative to support Connecticut’s film, television, and digital media industry.
Matthew is the proud parent of three young boys, serves as an executive board member for Everwonder Children’s Museum, and blogs at DadsforCreativity.com.
Follow Matthew @Worwood
- ABOUT THE PANEL:
Professor Kylie Readman
Professor Kylie Readman is recently arrived in Western Australia from Queensland. She has been appointed the new Pro Vice Chancellor ofr Edcuation at Murdoch University. Her role with the Centrefor University Teaching and Learning see her responsible for five functional teams who will work with you to achieve the goals of the Students and Education Strategy in the areas of Curriculum+, Learning Innovation, Support for Learning, Access Pathways, Professional Learning. Previously, Kylie was with the University of the Sunshine Coast.
Kylie is a 2011 national Australian Learning and Teaching Council citation winner in acknowledgement of her innovative partnerships to improve assessment practice. She is also the recipient of the 2010 USC Vice Chancellor’s Medal for Learning and Teaching.
Kylie’s research interests include innovations in assessment to enhance student learning, the role of leadership in curriculum and assessment design and the uses of technology for learning, particularly in relation to assessment.
Kylie has designed and taught courses in pedagogy, assessment and curriculum at undergraduate and postgraduate levels for a number of years.
Follow Kylie @kyliereadman
Robin McKean is the Digital Technologies Project Officer at CSER, University of Adelaide. Robin developed a passion for ICT with opportunities provided as Microsoft Innovative Teacher 2005; 2007; Westfield Premier’s Research Scholar (Technologies) 2006 and the National Award for Quality Schooling; Excellence by a Teacher – Outstanding National Achievement 2006.
As a former Teacher Librarian, Learning Technologies Specialist, Curriculum and STEM Coordinator and more recently as a Heritage Perth E-learning Consultant, Robin is well placed to promote the learning opportunities provided by the Digital Technologies Learning Area while delivering future focus and depth across Australian Curriculum learning areas.
Follow Robin @rmckean
Yvonne Harrison is Deputy Principal of Singleton Primary School with a specific focus on digital technologies mentoring. A former level 3 classroom teacher, Microsoft Innovative Educator, and Getting It Right literacy specialist, she has been teaching for 30+ years and has always been interested in the development of cross-curriculum project based activities. Yvonne is an active member of the ECAWA committee, the editor of login light, and a very much in demand presenter. Yvonne was recently declared the 2018 ACCE / ACS leader of the year.
Follow Yvonne @yharrison
Sonja Kuzich is a Lecturer at the School of Education (Curtin University) with experience of teaching from early childhood through to primary and tertiary. As well as teaching and curriculum development work, she has been involved with in-service teacher education in the areas of literacy, numeracy, science and learning difficulties. Sonja is currently Vice President of Professional Teaching Council of Western Australia (PTCWA), Executive member of the Western Australian Institute of Educational Research (WAIER) and a member of the Australian Association for Environmental Education (AAEE). Sonja has had a long standing interest in pursuing wider acknowledgement (by educators themselves and within the community) of the contribution that educators make towards achievement of broader societal goals. Her research interests include social justice and equity, educational policy development and implementation particularly through a sustainability agenda, and the impact of nature on children’s affective and cognitive outcomes. Her current PhD research is in the field of Education for Sustainability (EfS).
Paul Gardner is a Senior Lecturer in English in Education at Curtin University. In addition to teaching at universities in the UK, he has been a Secondary teacher of Drama and English, a primary teacher and an educational leader in early learning centres. He has published four books and numerous articles and book chapters. His texts cover themes ranging from creativity in English teaching; socially inclusive education; writer identity and the compositional process and the nature of English in the curriculum. He is especially concerned about issues around creativity, critical pedagogy and education for social justice.
Follow Paul @pauGardner
- PRESENTED BY:
EDfutures Community Night: Sensing our emerging future in education
WHEN: August 7th 2018, 5:30 – 7:30pm
WHERE: Lotteries House, City West
WHY: Community nights are an opportunity for us to welcome new members and a create some energy and understanding around EDfutures. Each community night will focus on a different theme. This month, Karen Wellington will be joining us to present key ideas on our theme of, “sensing the emerging future in education”, inspired by her recent involvement in Presencing Institute‘s program during the Perth Social Impact Festival (check it out!).
WIIFM: WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?
- Learn about the work of EDfutures
- Meet other EDfutures members
- Hear about the work members are doing to challenge the status quo in education
- Have the opportunity to discuss your needs with the community
- Find collaborators in our community
ABOUT THE PRESENTER:
Karen is a social innovator and systems change catalyst. After joining the Fogarty Foundation in 2014, Karen led the growth of the CoderDojo WA network from 2 to over 130 computer programming clubs statewide. In 2015 Karen completed the Graduate Certificate in Social Impact at UWA under scholarship from the Australian Centre for Social Impact. She is currently completing a Masters in (Sustainable) Community Development and has been recognised as a Student Fellow of Murdoch University’s Learning Excellence Academy (LEAD). In 2017 Karen travelled internationally on a Westpac Social Change fellowship, investigating the question of “how could we collectively build a learning society that benefits all?”
Connect with Karen @Karentton
Shared drives and the Sea of Change
We thought it would be helpful to check in with the EDfutures community every now and then with a little round-up of what we’ve been up to at the Fogarty Foundation. And so, without further ado, here’s our EDfutures Round-Up: July edition.
Phew, OK, it’s been a crazy six weeks since we launched EDfutures on May 29th! Our mission at the Foundation is to support the EDfutures community to grow the BIG vision of our little ecosystem. While all the heads down, bums up action that entails is exciting, this round-up presents a good opportunity for us to pause and have a, “what the hell have we been doing with our lives?” moment.
After finishing up on launch night, I was seriously eyeing up the remaining Little Creatures Pale Ales! Being pregnant, I settled for a hot cup of Milo which, after reading the “nutrition” information, I decided was basically like eating a salad — Iron, B vitamins… Milo, my hero! I took a couple of days downtime to stare blankly into the distance and then it was right back to business.
What follows is a snapshot of some of the key initiatives we focussed on over the last few weeks — the ideas, who we talked with and what we learned….