•Establishing a science education platform that promotes respect, inclusion and equality
•Encouraging hearing-impaired students to act in science plays and lead experiments and activities, guiding them to perform scientific magic together with mainstream students
•Understanding individual differences through an inclusive science education learning platform, planting seeds of science and equality in young minds
“When I was studying in my previous school, people looked at me differently and I felt hurt. Now that I am in the school for the hearing-impaired, I hope that my effort and performance can help others see that we are just as capable as everyone else. We can also fly high and achieve our dreams.” says Fang-duo Li, a student at Taipei School For The Hearing Impaired (TSHI), who has performed in the Covestro MagicMaterial School science stage show for two consecutive years.
Quality education and reducing inequality are key parts of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In light of the insufficient science education sign language experts in Taiwan, Covestro MagicMaterial School has been involved with schools for the hearing-impaired across the nation since the end of 2016. Starting this year, Covestro Taiwan created an inclusive learning platform that respects individual differences and serves science education purposes. The platform will allow mainstream students and the general public to see the capabilities of hearing-impaired students and learn about the unlimited possibilities of different individuals.
Covestro Taiwan is hosting the “Covestro MagicMaterial School” science education events at the Taipei School For The Hearing Impaired today, November 16th, following on from a successful event at the Affiliated School for Students with Hearing Impairments of National University of Tainan, which took place on November 9th. The target participants include schools for the hearing-impaired across the nation while 5th and 6th graders at the Taipei Fuan Elementary School and Kaohsiung Shangwei Elementary School are also invited. The 2018 Covestro MagicMaterial School event was attended by a total of 244 teachers and students and 49 volunteers.
“Covestro MagicMaterial School” with Diversity & Inclusive Elements
“Covestro MagicMaterial School” has two major parts. The first part is the “Dr. Science’s Magical Lab” science stage show by students of the Taipei School For The Hearing Impaired who are directed by the Godot Theatre Company under Covoestro’s comission. The second part is the Little Material Magician Training, including four experiments from the “Magical World of Polymers” and five experiments from the “Science Magic Kingdom”. These interdisciplinary integrated STEM science experiments are instructed by Covestro’s science education consultant, Professor Liang-Rong Hsu of the Department of Science Education and Application, National Taichung University of Education.
“Everyone needs respect and equal treatment. We hope that ‘Covestro MagicMaterial School’ will plant the seed for science in the minds of all the students, and highlight the importance of respecting individual differences, encourage empathy and tolerance, achieve the dream of inclusion, and realize that everyone has unlimited possibilities,” said Michael Lee, Managing Director of Covestro Taiwan.
Polymers, from Textbooks to the Stage
“Polymers”, which appear in junior high school science textbooks, are being presented in the “Dr. Science’s Magical Lab” science stage show in the form of fun experiment story. Fang-Duo Li, the student who plays “Dr. Science”, commented “After two consecutive years of attending Covestro's science education event, I can feel an obvious improvement in my self-confidence. I hope that people will see my talents through the performance.”
Ting-Li Liao, the sign language translator from the TSHI who has accompanied the students during drama training, says “Each child has talent, and they are just like any other kid who yearns to be understood and seen. I’m very happy that this stage exists to allow them to develop confidence and experience the joy of proving themselves.” Zong-Qing Ye, the Principal of the TSHI, further shared that “It is deeply moving to see the students bravely challenging themselves and devoting themselves to the performance on the stage. Hearing-impaired students need equality and respect. I hope this performance will start a ripple in the minds of the audience, and that they learn about the unlimited possibilities of different individuals.”
MagicMaterial School at Taipei
Hearing Impaired Students from Covestro Science Club Teach Elementary Students Science Magic
The “Little Material Magician Training” aims to guide students in an exploration of the mysteries of science through interdisciplinary integrated experiments designs using daily materials. The training includes two major types of experiments: the “Magical World of Polymers” and the “Science Magic Kingdom”. The experiment hosts include Covestro volunteers and National Taichung University of Education student volunteers led by Professor Liang-Rong Hsu. In the Magic 3D Image experiment, children can create drawings on glass and turn them into 3D images. The “Cheerios Effect” experiment is hosted by students in the Covestro Science Club of the Taichung Special School for the Students with Hearing Impairments (TSSHI) which was established in March this year; in the experiment, participating students enjoy in a surprising guided performance of scientific magic of a race between thumbtacks and bamboo chopsticks above the water. Hua-Xuan Lin, a student from TSSHI, says “I couldn’t believe it when I learned that I was going to host science experiments outside of school. I'm very happy to have this opportunity to teach the knowledge I have learned to general elementary students and other hearing-impaired students. I hope they can take what they have learned home to share and discuss with their families.”
Zheng-Zhi Hsu, the Principal of the Taipei Fuan Elementary School, said “This science education platform allowed our students to interact with the hearing-impaired students. It also taught the children to learn about mutual respect and inclusive even if people are born different. As long as one has a dream, anyone can push their boundaries and shine. I believe this understanding will have a positive influence in the children’s attitude towards life in the future.” Teachers of 5th and 6th graders at the Tamsui Zhuwei Elementary School Ziqiang Branch learned about this event through other channels and contacted Covestro voluntarily to request bringing their students to attend this meaningful event.
For the hearing-impaired students, living in a world of silence in no way diminishes their curiosity and desire to explore the world. In order to promote equality education, Covestro hopes that “Covestro MagicMaterial School” will transform into a learning platform that promotes respect and inclusion of diverse groups, so that these children can be seen and understood, and make a mesningful, contribution towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
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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