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Promoting science using microscopes

miscrospoe teacher article

The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC) hosted a training session for 17 primary school teachers on the proper use of microscopes, as a result of a project to set up Microscope Activity Kit loans by the Royal Microscopical Society, UK (RMS) in Malaysia.

This is part of the activities listed in the project “Promoting science using microscopes” which has been awarded a University of Nottingham Cascade grant of £4,259 (RM23,600) . The microscopes are on loan from The Royal Microscopical Society of Great Britain and the project was the brain child of Dr Susan Anderson. Dr Anderson from the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham, UK worked with the RMS to create the Microscope Activity Kits.

This project is now being run in collaboration with Centre for English Language and Foundation Education’s (CELFE’s) NEEDS (Nottingham Education Excellence Development Series) headed by Dr Sivabala Naidu with an aim to promote the use of microscopes in primary schools. 

The pilot workshop was held on 20 June at UNMC for 17 science teachers from five primary schools. including Sekolah Kebangsan Methodist (ACS) Seremban, Sekolah Rendah Sathya Sai, Sekolah Kebangsaan Puteri, Seremban, Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (T) Ladang Semenyih and Sekolah Kebangsaan Bandar Sunway Semenyih.

“Science is becoming less attractive for our young Malaysians. It is perceived as a difficult subject hence we see an alarming decline in students taking up science in higher education. In order to make science more appealing and exciting, we are sowing the seed from young therefore we are working with primary school teachers. The RMS microscopes that we have are easy to use and handle, and the learning experience of the children using them is tremendous.”  Professor Ting Kang Nee enthused.

This project is supported by UNMC the Faculty of Science, consisting of Professor Ting Kang Nee, Dr Then Sue-Mian, Dr Ho Wan Yong, Dr Alice Kong, Siti Nor Asma Musa and Vanitha Singaram, and from the School of Education Professor Ganakumaran Subramaniam, Dr Sivabala Naidu and Salomy Sumithra Krishna.

There will be a second phase of this workshop on using microscopes, mainly targeting teachers and students from another five to six schools.

In February this year, a group of students from Sekolah Rendah St Paul’s Seremban was invited to UNMC to use microscopes as a result of a project to set up Microscope Activity Kit loans by the Royal Microscopical Society, UK (RMS) in Malaysia.

“We plan to have the teachers workshop at least once a year to promote the awareness of the availability of the microscopes for loan to schools and to get feedback from the teachers on the activities attached with this microscope kit,” said Professor Ting who is leading the project.

Professor Ting Kang Nee and her colleagues from the Department of Biomedical Sciences at UNMC saw the potential in using these microscope kits to make learning science more interesting in Malaysia. Professor Ting was very excited when the RMS agreed to send 16 microscopes to UNMC. This RMS-Nottingham joint effort will greatly benefit children in Malaysia.

For schools who are interested to participate in this project, please contact Vanitha Singaram at Vanitha.Singaram@nottingham.edu.my  or +6 03 8924 8018.

About NEEDS

Nottingham English Education Development Series (NEEDS) comprises a series of homegrown workshops that draws on the knowledge-base and skill-sets of CELFE academic staff and primarily aims to provide new learning opportunities that are based on the constructivist approach to learning to students in Malaysian education institutions.

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More information is available from Professor Ting Kang Nee o, Dr Sivabala Naidu or Josephine Dionisappu, PR & Communications Manager on +6 (03) 8924 8746josephine.dionisappu@nottingham.edu.my.

Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and the winner of ‘Outstanding Support for Early Career Researchers’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2015. More than  97% of research at The University of Nottingham is recognised internationally and it is 8th in the UK by research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for four years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future.

Posted on 23rd June 2017

The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus

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