Int'l tinkering education conference held in Beijing

By Guo Xiaohong
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, October 27, 2018
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More than 300 hundred Chinese and overseas researchers, scholars and educators gathered to share insights and views at an international tinkering education conference hosted by theChina Soong Ching Ling Science & Culture Centerfor Young People in Beijing yesterday.

Jing Dunquan, vice president of the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation, at the int’l tinkering education conference. [photo courtesy of China Soong Ching Ling Science & Culture Center for Young People]

Setting the tone for the conference, Jing Dunquan, vice president of the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation, said innovation is essential for fostering talents in the new era, China attaches great importance to high-caliber talent cultivation, and he hoped the tinkering workshop can develop and serve young people better in shaping their creative minds.

In education, "tinkering" refers to part of a hands-on, trial and error-based process which encourages and rewards persistence, self-sufficiency, resourcefulness and creativity.

Dr. Yang Nianlu, professor of educational management with Peking University, said tinkering helped fuel children's natural curiosity about life and answered this through hand-on practice.

Tinkering, a project-based learning, helps to hone youngster's comprehensive strength, includingproblem solving abilities and developing peer relationships, added Yang.

Heurged coordination between government, schools and families to advance tinkering education, while beefing up training concerning mentors which were in dire need in China.

Youngsters are different from adults physically and psychologically and tinkering education is an inspiring form of maker education for this age group, said Tao Chun, an official with theChina Soong Ching Ling Science & Culture Centerfor Young People, urging Chinese parents to encourage their children to become tinkerers.

Overseas tinkering education experts also shared their research results and practices at the conference, including Ryan Jenkins,a founding tinkerer of Wonderful Idea Company in the United States, CEO Steven Berghmans ofTechnopolis Science Museumin Belgium andFrank Kusiak,an informal science educator and nanotech outreach specialist at Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science.

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