- lScience stage play featuring experiments and supporting diversity and inclusion – performed by hearing impaired and mainstream students.
- lStudents with hearing impairments serve as science tutors to assist the other children in conducting experiments.
- lCovestro MagicMaterial School is moving toward its fifth anniversary, and has now benefitted over 1,200 people.
Hearing-impaired and Mainstream Students Work Hand In Hand to Unlock Their Potential
“A-Chi, Bubble, Zi, and Lala are good buddies at school, but A-Chi has been acting strange recently. He rarely plays with others and has started to collect wastes. Bubble, Zi, and Lala decided to follow A-chi to uncover his secret.” This is A-Chi’s Hidden Secret, a science stage play that incorporates the concept of a circular economy. In the past, Covestro’s annual performance tour has only starred hearing-impaired students but in 2019, students from Fuan Elementary School were invited to take part in the performance, to bring greater diversity and inclusion to the event. Through their long-term practice and joint-performance together, the children have integrated both verbal and sign languages, helping them realize what they can achieve when they work towards a goal with strong determination.
The southern Covestro MagicMaterial School event took place today (29th November) at The Affiliated School for Students with Hearing Impairments of National University of Tainan. The event consisted of two main activities: a science stage play and science experiment. The students from “Covestro MagicMaterial School Science Club” of Taichung Municipal Taichung Special Education School for The Hearing impaired were invited to be the science tutors for the “Magic Lava Lights” experiment. They led the children in performing scientific magic tricks, a true testament to Covestro’s mission of promoting science education for hearing-impaired students. Except for both institutions, Kaohsiung City Shanwei Elementary School was also invited to participate in the event. The northern event also came to a perfect close at Taipei School For The Hearing Impaired this week (on the 26th).
“‘Responsible manufacture’ and ‘responsible consumption’ are not only key elements in transitioning into a circular economy, they are also parts of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Through our science activity, we share our scientific knowledge with students, and hope that the concept of a ‘circular economy’ can take root in children’s hearts,” said Michael Lee, Managing Director of Covestro Taiwan. “In addition, we expect that students can learn the values of respect and inclusion from the student actors on stage as well as the hearing-impaired from Covestro MagicMaterial School Science Club, who take the role of activity keepers. Moreover, the idea of inclusive education can be put into practice through this program, encouraging young students to follow their hearts and present themselves to the audience.”
Drama and music can be pleasurable for those who love to explore their individual potential and can help them connect with others who share the same ambitions and outlook. The hearing-impaired students from Taipei School for the Hearing Impaired and the students from Fuan Elementary School were not acquainted prior to this event. Thanks to the opportunity that the stage play offers, the students eliminated the barriers between one another by communicating with both verbal and sign language. The students encouraged each other to improve and left their own footprint in each other’s lives. The source of motivation which brought the kids tightly together was not only their interest in performing arts, but their desire to be seen and recognized. “I like performing, so taking part in this science stage and it gradually builds my confidence,” said Zheng Yi-wen from Taipei School For The Hearing Impaired, who played a generous grocery store owner in the play. This is her third year participating in Covestro’s science stage play.
A few months prior, when the students from Taipei School for the Hearing Impaired and Fuan Elementary School met each other for the very first time, they were all shy and timid. Over time, their acting and dancing gradually cultivated mutual understanding and friendship. By the time the program had ended, the sparkles in their eyes as they engaged in lively conversation indicated their appreciation for one another. A fifth grader from Fuan Elementary School, Hong Yu-ting, took to the stage for the first time and said, “I really appreciate the students from Taipei School For The Hearing Impaired because their strong willpower and hard work has allowed them to overcome difficulties and complete the training program, while also experiencing the joys of the stage play. I am moved by their commitment and I feel honored to have participated in this performance with them.” One another student, who lacked confidence at first, overcame the fear of performing in the training program. Cai Jia-yu, who plays a doctor’s assistant, also shared, “In the rehearsal process, I practiced sign language with the students from Fuan and witnessed their improvements over time. I am happy for them. We have become good friends because of this stage play, and I really cherish our friendship.”
A total of 13 students from Taipei School For The Hearing Impaired and three students from Fuan Elementary School auditioned for this stage play, and 12 passionate students among them were selected to be the actors. Then they underwent a three-month, eighteen-class professional training program in acting and dancing. Liao Ting-li, teacher at Taipei School For The Hearing Impaired, bridged the communication gap as the sign language interpreter. She talked about her observations of the students: “The actor training not only opened an alternative way for hearing-impaired students to express themselves, but also enabled them to make the most of their talents. During the training period, the students from Fuan took the initiative and began learning sign language. I think their proactive behavior and courage also inspired the hearing-impaired students. I think the arrangement was meaningful and sweet, especially when I saw students from both schools learn from one another.”
In addition to the science stage play, Covestro Magic Material School this year planned many eye-catching and interesting thematic experiments with science education consultant Prof. Liang-Rong Hsu of the Department of Science Education and Application, National Taichung University of Education, in order to encourage hearing-impaired students and others to conduct science experiments together and make respect and inclusion a reality. In the experiment “Magic Lava Light” during the southern Taiwan event, the students from Covestro Magic Material School Science Club at Taichung Special School for Students with Hearing Impairments worked as activity keepers to assist classmates in making their own colorful lava lighting. “Taichung Municipal Taichung Special Education School for The Hearing impaired has benefited greatly from Covestro’s long-term provision of science education resources,” said Lin Li-jung, Principal of Taichung Municipal Taichung Special Education School for The Hearing impaired. “I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Covestro and Professor Hsu at NTUE for continuously encouraging our students to spread the scientific knowledge they learned to other children. This is an extremely meaningful activity.”
Every individual has limitless potential. All students deserve to have an opportunity to present themselves and pursue a bright future.With these science education activities, Covestro hopes that a love of science can start to develop among the students, and more young people can learn to understand and appreciate each others’ differences by interacting and exchanging ideas.
The annual event “Covestro Magic Material School”, held in both southern and northern Taiwan in 2019, was open to 278 teachers and students, thanks to the efforts of 62 volunteers. Since the start of these series in 2014, a total of a 1,203 participants and 263 volunteers have taken part in Covestro’s science education events.