“I am a visiting international research student at the University of British Columbia”

First of all, I am incredibly honored and happy to visit at the University of British Columbia (UBC) as a visiting international research student for 4 months, and I have to thank Prof. Chatree Faikhamta (advisor) and Prof. Samia Khan (co-advisor) for giving me this remarkable opportunity.

Currently, I am a second-year Ph.D. student at Kasetsart University. My main goal this year is to develop research instruments and a PD program. Fortunately, I had the good fortune to attend a MII-STEM project when I was a first-year student invited by my advisor. Due to attending this project, I met with Prof. Samia who is one of my favorite key people looking at models and modeling and I am so honored to have Prof. Samia to be my co-advisor. Of course, my research interest is about models and modeling, in particular modeling knowledge and teaching with models. Yet, as a member of the mii-STEM team, I also contribute to the MII-STEM project with others. For example, during my visit, co-authoring and developing MII-STEM manuscripts is also one of my responsibilities. Therefore, the goals for my research visit are to develop research instruments, a PD program, and MII-STEM manuscripts. Prof. Samia and I have regular meetings every Tuesday.

On the other hand, I am writing this blog when I arrived in Vancouver almost 2 months ago. During this time, I have learned a lot and would like to share my experiences. Firstly, I gained a wonderful opportunity to attend the NARST conference 2022. To be honest, I am a lucky person because the NARST conference was organized and located in Vancouver this year and it is within the range of my visit. Basically, NARST is one of the foremost international science education conferences and its flagship journal,  JRST is not only one of the top journals in science education but also my favorite journal I read in my entire Ph.D. When I attended this event, I met many key people working on models and modeling such as Prof. Moritz Krell, Prof. Christina Schwarz, and Prof. Samia Khan (It was like a dream come true). Moreover, I learned most attendees were good listeners and participated by asking questions, sharing ideas, or making positive arguments. I think connection was also a key. There were many sessions to create new relationships between researchers and graduate students,  such as NARST’s mentors and mentees event, and the graduate students lunch, and so forth. Secondly, I would like to thank Dr. Oksana Bartosh and my co-advisor for allowing me to observe an elementary preservice teacher class. I was super impressed! As I observed, they were active, good listeners, and asked questions about whatever they would like to know more. Finally, 2 months ago, I gained experience myself learning outside UBC. For example, I typically ran around Seawall and Stanley park for relaxing on the weekend and hung out with my friends Downtown sometimes. I hope that my experience would be beneficial to the reader and I look forward to sharing my experience with 2 months left for my visit with Dr. Khan in the next blog. Here are my photos.

Thank you for taking the time to read.

Anupong Praisri

Second year PhD student from Kasetsart University, Thailand

Plenary Speaker at the 2nd Virtual ASEAN Multidisciplinary Research Conference 2021 in Philippines

One of the countries leads, Asst. Prof. R. Ahmad Zaky El Islami was invited as a plenary speaker to talk about MII-STEM at the 2nd Virtual ASEAN Multidisciplinary Research Conference 2021 on November 6, 2021.

Asst. Prof. R. Ahmad Zaky El Islami was invited as a plenary speaker to talk about MII-STEM at the 2nd Virtual ASEAN Multidisciplinary Research Conference 2021 on November 6, 2021. This conference was organized by the Philippine Association of Researchers, Educators and Statistical Software Users (PARESSU), Inc., in cooperation with Pangasinan State University in the Philippines. Asst. Prof. R. Ahmad Zaky El Islami was invited to talk about the efforts to sustain research productivity in Indonesia and presented MII-STEM as an International Research Collaboration: An Effort for Sustaining Research Productivity in Indonesia in the Field of STEM Education. He said that the MII-STEM project was started in 2019 by developing a proposal via email among ASEAN researchers. It was submitted by PI, Prof. Samia Khan, Ph.D. for internal grant funding from the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) in  the UK. The funded research began in 2019. He also said that after the announcement of successful funding, researchers conducted online international meetings using Zoom. Three to four meetings were carried out in order to prepare for an in-person symposium at the University of Dundee, Scotland, UK. In June 2019, all researchers met at the University of Dundee to present the science education or STEM education curriculum in each country. Each country contributed to a country profile using a template created by the project manager. The country profile was laminated on a poster and used for discussion and talking points throughout the week-long visit. Additionally, they collaboratively made a draft of a proposed framework for MII-STEM.

Furthermore, Asst. Prof. Zaky El Islami discussed design sprint and design research to refine the MII-STEM curriculum. He explained three phases of the research, including a pilot study of the impacts of the mii-STEM curriculum on teacher education in Indonesia, followed by an implementation in Thailand, and an implementation in Vietnam. The outputs of this research collaboration are journal publications and papers presented at international conferences. A paper is accepted by Asia-Pacific Social Science Review, an international journal in Q2 available on https://scimagojr.com in 2020 and Q1 based on the CiteScore available on https://scopus.com in 2021.

Many audiences were very interested in learning more about MII-STEM. Although it is challenging to respond to all questions from participants because of the limited time, the moderator said that the audience can send an email to ask more questions. At least five questions were answered in the presentation including: What is the MII-STEM? Is it the same as the MII-STEM approach in every country that participated in this project? Are you intending to introduce it to the Philippines? What is the requirement to be involved? Is it possible to implement it in the Philippines? Can MII-STEM be implemented in secondary school? What is the effectiveness of the MII-STEM on students learning?

El Islami answered that MII-STEM is a unique emphasis on Models and Modeling, Inquiry, and Integrated STEM Education. The MII-STEM curriculum was developed by all researchers together, so the MII-STEM was taught similarly in each country though in one country it was taught amongst working teachers in the first iteration. Additionally, El Islami said that the MII-STEM curriculum aims to be made available to additional ASEAN countries. Maybe in the future, this team will include a Philippines scholar to implement this MII-STEM curriculum. Furthermore, El Islami said that the MII-STEM curriculum that is being developed now for Indonesia is for undergraduate students to foster skills to develop models; however, for the MII-STEM 2.0 in the next year, the project will be implemented at the school level by inviting working science teachers from Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam to attend a mii-STEM PD program using an online platform. MII-STEM 2.0 will be developed by using a free online platform and for be intended for the benefit of working science teachers.