Edutech to address need to boost students’ science skills in the Middle East
Company to launch ‘SPARK’ system to support discovery-based science learning environment in schools
Edutech Middle East, a leading provider of technology-enabled learning solutions, is aiming to address the need to boost students’ science skills, in line with the government’s initiative to develop a capable scientific and technical workforce in the region for the future. In line with this, the company has announced its plans to launch ‘SPARK Science Learning System’, an all-in-one mobile device that supports discovery-based science learning environments, at the upcoming ‘Gulf Educational Supplies and Solutions (GESS) 2009’, which is slated to run from March 10 - 12, 2009 at the Dubai Airport Expo Centre.
According to the results of the 2007 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Studies (TIMSS), a global comparative test assessing student achievement in mathematics and science that was released in December 2008, Dubai maintains a leading position among regional countries, but falls short compared to some other countries of the world. Put side by side with world leaders, Dubai is nearly 100 points below Singapore and Hong Kong in terms of the international average in science or mathematics of students in both the fourth and eight grades. In addition, only 2 per cent of UAE students managed to achieve the advanced international benchmark, compared to 41 per cent of Singaporean students; while a mere 3 per cent of Dubai students surpassed the advanced international benchmark against Singapore’s 40 per cent. The unveiling of the solution for ’21st century science discovery’ to the Middle East market follows Edutech’s partnership with PASCO, the designer and manufacturer of the product.
“As an academic subject, science requires deep comprehension of the basic principles in order for students to gain a better understanding and perform an effective application of the theories,” said ASF Karim, CEO, Edutech Middle East. “By building on a technology-powered science learning process that empowers teachers and energises students, we have identified the potential of the ‘SPARK Science Learning System’ to boost the science skills of students in the UAE and in effect aid in the development of a capable scientific and technical workforce in the region for the future. Our partnership with PASCO to launch this solution in the Middle East through our extensive participation at ‘GESS 2009’ is aimed at helping schools and the education ministries who are undertaking science education reform initiatives across the region.”
Designed to seamlessly integrate the power of probeware with inquiry-based content and assessment, ‘SPARK’ - which stands for sense, perceive, analyse, reflect, and know, will enable students to explore the world around them and make their own scientific discoveries. It is equipped with a large, full-colour display, finger-touch navigation and completely intuitive data collection and analysis capabilities, which can help young scientists ask significant questions, gather data, reflect on the collected information and interpret their findings. With aims to cater to the need of regional schools to enhance their students’ science aptitude, Edutech has identified the huge potential for ‘SPARK’ to become the centre of discovery-based science learning environment among K-12 institutions, Vocational schools and Universities in the Middle East.
“Our success has placed our equipment around the globe - from Stanford, Harvard and Georgia Tech to Oxford, Cambridge and the National University of Singapore and today, we are proud to be here at this event with Edutech to bring our ‘SPARK Science Learning System’ to the Middle East. This solution underlines our commitment to helping students enhance their science skills. We have high expectations that ‘SPARK’ will be much appreciated by school administrators as well as representatives of regional education ministries, and will be soon integrated within K-12 science curriculum across the region,” concluded Dr. Wayne Grant - Chief Education Officer, PASCO.
In addition to ‘SPARK’, Edutech plans to launch ‘LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT’ a robotics toolset from Lego Education that provides endless opportunities for children aged 10 and older to build and program robots. This new version of the product incorporates data logging system and software and enables robot creators to build and program a working robot with new technologies and expanded sensor capabilities in just 30 minutes. Edutech will also showcase Lego’s ‘Education WeDo’, a new product that redefines classroom robotics. Bridging the physical world - represented by LEGO models, and the virtual world - represented by computers and programming software, LEGO Education WeDo provides a hands-on, minds-on learning experience that actively involves young students in their own learning process and promotes their creative thinking, teamwork and problem solving skills.
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