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Asia's Inaugural Regional STEM Conference
The 1st Asia Science Educator Academy (ASEA 2010) brought together 67 national education policy makers, education specialists, curriculum planners, and science professionals from 15 countries to develop action plans to support science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education across the region. The conference addressed a variety of issues relating to STEM education, including policy development, curriculum, research, professional development, and science fair management.

The ASEA 2010 conference was sponsored by the National Science Museum of Korea (NSM-K), Intel, and the Korea Foundation for the Advancement of Science & Creativity (KOFAC).

At the event, in August 2010, participants shared best practices and discussed various approaches to developing the (STEM) education systems in their respective countries. The inaugural event included an analysis of the major challenges besetting STEM education in Asia and created a vehicle for ongoing regional collaboration on these issues.

“We believe that holding a science educators academy and other conventions inviting Asian science educators and renowned scientists, as well as the appropriate timely sharing of information on STEM education, will contribute to the spread of science education and culture throughout the Asia,” said Eun-woo Lee, director of NSM-K.

Delegates at the ASEA2010 event developed collaborative action plans, discussed common issues, shared best practices, and forged new relationships to help advance STEM education in Asia. The event combined the participating organizations’ expertise into a shared vision that formed the basis for a common regional endeavor to further develop STEM education in the Asia region.

Sharon Snyder, Society for Science and the Public, said, “I’ve learned a great deal from this conference. It’s amazing how so many people from different countries come together, and how we work as teams, and how much we learn from each other on science education, and how to improve it in our countries.”

“We learned a lot about the best practices in STEM from different participating countries. Based on the innovations that I’ve seen from participating countries, I think we shall be able to sit down and plan things for STEM development in our country. We should be able to have more focused or systematic approaches in terms of having similar activities like this.” said Ester B. Ogena, Director, Science Education Institute, Department of Science and Technology, Philippines.

As a result of the ASEA 2010 conference, a declaration was signed by all countries committing to continue to connect, collaborate, and exchange ideas in support of the goal to build capacity in STEM education across the region. In addition, a specific list of key STEM areas for future collaboration was created, and working groups were established to sustain progress and momentum on an ongoing basis.