• Encouraging the hearing impaired students to shine by utilizing the STEM platform – Covestro MagicMaterial School
• Through interactive designs, the participating students can learn the importance of respecting another’s differences and understand that everyone has endless possibilities
In order to plant the seeds of equality and science in childrens’ hearts, today Covestro Taiwan is holding the first session of our 2018 “Covestro MagicMaterial School” STEM CSR at the Affiliated School for Students with Hearing Impairments of the National University of Tainan (ASSHI of NUTN). A total of 119 students and teachers from three schools are involved today - ASSHI of NUTN, Taichung Special Education School for the Students with Hearing Impairments and Sanwei Elementary School from Kaohsiung city. In addition to science education, this year the Covestro MagicMaterial School is turning into a D&I platform to let the hearing-impaired students and general students interact, learn about and respect each other’s differences, and realize the importance of everyone having endless possibilities and potential. The event includes the science stage show by the Taipei School for the Hearing Impaired. Nine experiments of “Little Material Magician Special Training” are also set up to spark the children’s enthusiasm for and interest in science. One of the scientific experiments is run by the hearing-impaired students from the science club that Covestro established at Taichung Special Education School for Students with Hearing Impairment. They guide both the hearing impaired students and the elementary school students without disability throughout the experiments during the event.
“I’m glad to lead the children to participate in science education events. Through learning scientific knowledge spontaneously from the hearing-impaired students, the children get to interact and share with one another. This helps them realize that it is important to respect diversity, be inclusive and learn that every individual has unlimited potential,” said Po-Chien Tseng, the Principal of Sanwei Elementary School. “The reason why a rainbow is beautiful is because multiple colors are coexisting. I believe that this event will teach children the value of embracing diversity. Meanwhile, the seeds of science have been planted in the childrens’ hearts, waiting to bud.” Sanwei Elementary School even shifted their dates of their mid-term exams to meet the event day so that their students could participate in it.
Added Circular Economy Concept into Experiment
In the “Little Material Magician Special Training”, the aim is to take our everyday materials and turn them into a brand-new compound, showing the children the way to “the magic world of polymer”. Moreover, through the example of recycling waste bottles and turning the plastic into laptop casing, children learn about the importance of circular economy. Also, in the experiments of “Magic Science Kingdom” children can build baking soda rockets and magic fountains. During the “Cheerios Effect” experiment, the hearing-impaired students from the science club of Taichung Special Education School for The Students with Hearing Impairment took their turn being the experiment’s host, demonstrating to other students how to utilize surface tension to create a chasing game between drawing pins and chopsticks. The experiment wowed the participants.
Covestro’s science education consultant, Prof. Liang-Rong Hsu of the Department of Science Education and Application, National Taichung University of Education (NTCU), says, “My thoughts truly echo with Covestro’s idea of bringing science to schools for the hearing impaired and letting the general elementary students recognize the limitless potential of the hearing-impaired students. I am glad to lead NTCU students to volunteer along with staff from Covestro to help at this meaningful event.” A total of six students from NTCU joined as volunteers for the Covestro MagicMaterial School.
“Covestro has long been supporting our school with science education resources. Its cooperation with NTCU’s Prof. Hsu and his team in setting up our school’s science club gives the hearing-impaired students the opportunity to get close to and explore science,” said Li-Jung, Lin, principal of the Taichung Special Education School for the Students with Hearing Impairment. The act of encouraging the hearing-impaired students to share the scientific knowledge they’ve learnt with the general students is extraordinarily meaningful.”
More Than STEM, It’s STEAM – Science Education through “Acting”
“MagicMaterial School” included the uses of science stage plays and scientific experiments inspired by the integrated curriculum, STEM. With “Dr Covestro’s Magical Lab” that was acted by the students from the Taipei School for the Hearing Impaired. “Polymer”, which is introduced in the 8th grade science textbook, is presented through the easily understandable stage play. Yi-Ping Chen, the student from the school who played the “robot cat” says, “I practiced really hard because I want to have the best performance. I wanted to let the students without hearing impairments know that our worlds are not that different – only the way we express things is different. I want to prove that hearing-impaired students also have endless potential.” By having the element of the science stage play, turned this science event from STEM to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics).
“In the past, few corporates would provide resources for science education,” said Xiu-Ya Chen, the principal of ASSHI of NUTN. “After the event (MagicMaterial School) last year, the children and teachers who participated have become curious about the profundity and mystery of science. I’m glad that we’re participating in this meaningful science education event again this year. We are grateful to Covestro for providing ASSHI of NUTN with resources for science education.”
“Although the hearing-impaired students live in a world of silence, they are just as keen to explore science and the world as those without impairments,” said Michael Lee, Managing Director of Covestro Taiwan. “To facilitate equality, Covestro hopes that through turning “Covestro MagicMaterial School” into a diverse and inclusive science education platform, these kids will be seen and better understood. Through the event, Covestro wishes to make substantial contributions to the UN’s sustainable development goals of promoting quality education and reducing inequality.”
About Covestro ‘MagicMaterial School:
Since 2014, Covestro MagicMaterial School has been offering science education activities in rural areas and the scope of the activities have further expanded to three schools for the hearing-impaired in Taiwan from the end of 2016. The main focus of the activities is on ‘polymers’, a topic in junior high school textbooks. The dynamic and interesting plays and experiments, along with the STEM experiments design that integrates course subjects, help cultivate students’ interest in science. The science education club ‘Covestro MagicMaterial School Science Club’ was commissioned by Covestro Taiwan and created by Steve Hsu, Professor of National Taichung University of Education and his team at Taichung Special School for The Students with Hearing Impairments in 2018, hoping to introduce long-term resources to science education for the hearing-impaired.
With 2017 sales of EUR 14.1 billion, Covestro is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products that are used in many areas of daily life. The main sectors served are the automotive, construction, wood processing and furniture, and electrical and electronics industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics, health, and the chemical industry itself. Covestro has 30 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 16,200 people (calculated as full-time equivalents) as at the end of 2017.
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MagicMaterial School at Tainan