Alex Godskit, KWOK
Founder of COXANA INNOVATION
Coxana Innovation aims at inspiring people with technologies. The company focuses on domains such as STEM & Life Education (INSPIRE Education), digital content creation (INSPIRE Studio) and Modular IoT product development (COXA). COXA is a brand new concept of re-defining the traditional IoT development tools and processes with our re-engineered hardware modules and flexibly-customizable firmware architecture with proper A.I. Smart Management and extensive API portals. The target users cover from Education to industrial applications.
An article of opinions share on
Whether Philanthropy model should be adopted in running STEM Education services in Hong Kong
Since Year 1 of my UG in HKUST, I have started my STEM-related education to local school students based on drone technologies. Expanding from one-man team to now around 10-instructors-team, my team has served more than 500 students and 40 institutions, ranging from Primary, Secondary, Universities to adults training centres... (Part-time mode working only for us-UG students...) At the beginning, I was just thinking oh, STEM is another fancy term to embrace embed technical training courses to the audience. However, over the years of teaching, I was inspired and realised that STEM should be inculcating more innovators for our society. Therefore, since Year 2, I have tried to twist a bit the centric of my courses and workshops to more co-creation based. Meaning that, skill set taught is just a technical way to enable your intelligence, and let you unleash your creativity. Therefore, the more important element in the courses we provide should be inspiring points and sparks. Upholding thi s mission and target, I have a large agreement to this article when I read it today on Uber ...
Basically, this article shares that Researchers, educators and our political leaders have spent years for spotting the influence of valuable skills inculcated to teenagers to its national economic prosperity and global leadership. From economists to policy makers to parents, there is growing realisation that the experiences of problem-solving, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication skills provided in STEM education can be indeed life-long contributive. Those are like a good seed/DNA implanted to their mind so that they can master these soft skills intrinsically one day. are the skills that will fuel long-term innovation and productivity in all industries, including technology, health care, clean energy, and national security.
In view of the importance of STEM education, some advocate to boost the wide popularity by developing STEM education in a philanthropy model, meaning that the goal for running this thing is to help the beneficiary-students, to better equip different skillsets and soft skills on a fair, non-economic-sensitive basis. To this point of view, I reckon that it is somehow work-able, however it may not be necessary to be widely-introduced in Hong Kong.
As some of you may have heard of a policy introduced by the HKSAR government years ago for promoting more STEM Education opportunity for students, there have been more than 200K to several millions of funding granted to corresponding schools to ask them hold different STEM related workshops annually on a compulsory basis. A lot of schools are having the surplus of resources to select different workshops and services, as well as hardware upgrades from the market. However, there is a missing piece on the precise matching and selection. Personally I do not think that there are quite a number of STEM workshop providers like we do in the market that we would highly tailor-made everything from curriculum, teaching materials, objective of learning to the budget itself for clients-schools... As a result, there are Quite a lot of schools may be experiencing or hiring some providers to provide something that does not match the fundamental need or interest scope of students.
With the above mentioned, it is obvious to see that there is a gap between schools and service providers' matching. While this precise matching is somehow value-adding, however, it is not as economically-valuable as service providing. Therefore, the margin which can be earned as analysed from a business sense would be even lower... Therefore, if Philanthropy model can be implemented in this area, I think more schools and students would be directly benefited.
One last note is that the ecosystem of Hong Kong Education market (external parties for teaching) is already quite saturated. Despite every company tries to make gimmick and differentiation from competitors intentionally, most schools would only hire service providers with the final decision on price. (The lower the price, the higher the chance, if not absolutely, to secure the procurement). This phenomenon is quite worrying indeed because it may lead to lower quality of teaching because once the margin is somehow low, then those bad boss would hire inexperienced tutors for the workshops... Whether philanthropy model can solve this potential problem? I am still doubting and wondering if there can be some alternative business models to achieve the mission of delivering high-quality STEM education to majority students. Anyhow, we have the responsibility as educators to deliver the best of the best as we can...
Thank you for reading my long sharing! And I anticipate more exchanges on ideas with me if we can 😊