STEM is so much Fun ! A social event organized by Sipar and Smart Axiata

Sipar and Smart Axiata organized a social event for more than 450 primary school students on 2nd February 2019. The event was held at Sethey primary school in Sethey Commune, Samaki Meanchey District, Kampong Chhnang province.

Since launching their first partnership in 2016, Sipar and Smart Axiata have conducted many activities promoting ICT and reading in Cambodia. During 2018 and the coming year, the partnership, with the theme of “Innovation at The Heart of Reading”, is launching 3 new projects dedicated to “Youth, Innovation and Stem”, in line with the Ministry of Education’s Youth Sports strategy. Since Cambodia is faced with a lack of human resources on STEM and limited access to IT tools, Sipar has designed 3 projects, in response to these challenges: STEM Awareness project, Vocational Orientation for secondary school students, e-book development and e-reading activities in remote villages.

Sipar and Smart Axiata in primary school in Kampong Chhnang province

In addition to 450 primary school pupils and teachers as well as 20 Smart staff, 15 students from the Smart Scholarship program (Smart Volunteers), 20 Sipar staff and 2 Sipar Scholars took part in the event. Pupils from first grade to sixth grade were eager to compete with their friends in many exciting activities and contests: Quizzes on ASEAN / Food Groups / rabies, A game of Khmer consonants, and animal imitation, but also E-reading contests (Ipad and Tablets), and STEM experiments. All these activities allow children to improve their reading literacy and their general knowledge in a very amusing way. As a reward, the 100 children who won competitions received Smart backpacks with books, while the others got a pack of stationery.

Amongst all the game activities mentioned above, STEM was the star of the event. Children were able to discover different areas of STEM: electricity, weight, construction, and chemistry experiments.

The weight experiment taught each group how to predict if objects are sinkable or not. Then, children were given the opportunity to prove their answer by experiment. It was not so easy: only a few groups won!  

For construction experiments, each group had to construct a building in Lego. The winner was the one who used all the Lego pieces, with the most creative design.

One of the most spectacular activities was the chemistry experiment of a volcano built with a balloon, vinegar and baking Soda.  Pupils as well as Smart staff were great fans!

Nul Sophorn, who received a Smart scholarship this year, was very happy to do the electricity experiment. “I used to hear about getting electricity from a lemon but I had never done it before”.

All these STEM activities were very beneficial to the kids as they allowed them to do real experiments as well as merely learning theories in class. Smart Volunteers actively helped the children to win the group competition and really appreciated the activities. Nul Sophorn, said “I think that STEM is very important, it helps children to be innovative and creative as well as to improve their academic studies and livelihood.” Kheang Leab, a Smart Volunteer, added “these STEM activities provide them with practical science experiments that they will soon get familiar with in high school.”

 

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