SPARKS:2001 V1/Q1

Academy in Singapore

Creative thinking. Problem solving. Enrichment programming. These were the topics of serious discussion held in Singapore this past August. At the invitation of government officials in Singapore, Jane Lacasse, Executive Director, and David Brown, Information Technology Director, represented the Academy of Applied Science at meetings on collaborative efforts between the AAS and Singapore's educational agencies.

Earlier in the year, a chance encounter between airline passengers, one a member of the Academy and the other a Singaporean official, resulted in enough interest to lay the foundation for future meetings. The initial meeting fell into place in May 2000 when guests from Singapore attended the Academy's 14th annual Young Inventors' Celebration at Merrimack Valley High School in Penacook, N.H. From a country proud of its students' math and science scores, but looking to bolster its creative programs, "these visitors went back to Singapore very excited about the creativity they saw in our young people," states Ms. Lacasse.

In the reciprocal week's visit to Singapore, meetings were held with Singapore officials from the Ministry of Education, the National Science and Technology Board, the National University of Singapore, and the Singapore Science Center. All of these educators expressed great enthusiasm in our Academy programs. The U.S. Ambassador to Singapore, Steven Jay Green, also welcomed Ms. Lacasse and Mr. Brown to the U.S. Embassy and indicated his interest and support of the Academy programs. Some of the proposed course offerings that stirred interest are "Teaching Creatively," "Inventions, Creative Thinking and Problem Solving," and "Humble Beginnings, from Garages to Grandness."

Visits to some of Singapore's schools were a highlight of the trip. With great pride, principals, teachers, and students were most gracious in welcoming the Academy visitors to their schools. Ms. Lacasse and Mr. Brown had the opportunity to tour each of the selected schools and talk with the children in their classrooms.

The Academy looks forward to continued conversations with officials at the Ministry of Education as possible partnerships through the Young Inventors' Program, the Junior Science and Humanities Symposia and our proposed course offerings are explored.

Copyright 2002 Academy of Applied Science