Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman to speak at Yale-NUS College symposium on STEM education in the region

24 April 2017

From 27 to 28 April, Yale-NUS College will host the STEM Singapore Innovations Symposium, where faculty from various universities will discuss the latest developments and promote innovation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in Singapore and the region.

At the symposium, Professor Carl Wieman, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics, will deliver a public lecture titled ‘Taking a Scientific Approach to Science Education’ on 28 April, 6.30pm. He will discuss how educators can use scientific research to improve the teaching of science and evaluate learning. Professor Wieman will also examine how scientific research can be combined with information technology to develop a new approach to teaching and learning in STEM education.

Professor Wieman holds a joint appointment as Professor of Physics and Professor at the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University. He has received numerous awards and honorary degrees, including the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2001 for the achievement of Bose-Einstein condensation in dilute gases of alkali atoms, and for early fundamental studies of the properties of the condensates. Aside from his extensive research in atomic physics and laser spectroscopy, Professor Wieman is renowned for his contributions to science education, having served as the founding chair of the Board of Science Education of the National Academy of Sciences and the founder of PhET, a website which provides online interactive simulations that are used 100 million times per year to learn science. Professor Wieman also directed the science education initiatives at the University of Colorado and the University of British Columbia. As a champion of innovative, active learning techniques to improve the teaching of science, Professor Wieman has inspired many educators to change and improve the way they teach.

Organised by the Yale-NUS Centre for Teaching & Learning and the National University of Singapore’s Centre for Development of Teaching and Learning, the symposium aims to enable educators to improve their teaching methods in order to prepare their students to engage with the complex problems of the 21st century. Other speakers for the symposium include faculty from Yale-NUS College, the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, and Singapore University of Technology and Design, among others. With a focus in cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary curriculum development and innovative pedagogies, the topics for the symposium are Quantitative Reasoning; Life Science; and Physical Science. Discussion topics include what an interdisciplinary STEM curriculum is like, the role of technology in STEM education as well as the challenges and solutions of teaching mathematics and quantitative reasoning.

Professor Bryan Penprase, Director of the Yale-NUS Centre for Teaching & Learning and Chairperson of the STEM Singapore Innovations Symposium organising committee said, “Science, technology, engineering and mathematics have the potential to solve many of the most pressing problems facing society and our planet. At Yale-NUS, our liberal arts education model provides students the opportunity to design their own research questions and proposals to discuss the deeper contexts of science problems. Through this seminar, we look forward to exploring the many exciting approaches in science education. We are pleased to have Professor Wieman share his thoughts on how best to teach science, I believe this will have a significant impact in further improving our approaches to course design and science teaching.”

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