When the school bell rings at the end of the day in China, for most children this does not mean that it is home time. Many kids head off to lavish ‘training centres’ where they can learn dance, art, ceramics, language, music or sports. Now thanks to an Australian company, science is also on offer as an after school activity.
As part of its ongoing commitment to bring to science to audiences in any location, Australian science outreach provider Fizzics Education arrived in Shenzhen in early March to add the Australian science curriculum to the options for after-school education in Guangdong province.
Focussing on classic hands-on exploratory activities for children aged 3 to 12 years old, Fizzics Education staff will be delivering dual language workshops and shows each week throughout the coming year with a view to establishing permanent operations in the area. Children and parents have loved the program so far, jumping and cheering in response to experiments, demonstrations and hands-on activities.
“The science activity is wonderful,” says Mr. Zheng from YinYing No.2 Kindergarten, in Shenzhen. “The imported courses are both advanced and creative. Our primary and middle schools are now paying more attention to science education. This science program encourage students to learn science principles through real experiments and learn English at the same time, it’s truly good for my child.”
One of the young Shenzhen student’s mothers said she “… feels so good with this science program that it uses such a direct way to explain science principles that I used to learn when I was in my school time. My son also loves the foreign teacher and always behaves well in class. He laughs a lot during the course.”
Shenzhen is only half an hour from Hong Kong and is a prosperous city full of young parents with big ambitions for their children. With a population of 15 million people, it is the fifth most densely populated city on Earth in a super-heated economy.
Our move into China brings a potential opportunity for Australian science communicators to gain insights from interesting and rewarding challenges as the new Fizzics Education China business gains momentum. At this stage there is no shortage of potential customers! Additionally the establishment of science enrichment classes in China will serve to bridge cultural ties between the two countries from a grassroots level and educators and children from both nations will benefit from the experience.
Ben Newsome is the Director of Fizzs Education and Vanessa Barratt is one of the first group of Australian science communicators taking Fizzics into China. For more information visit www.fizzicseducation.com.au. You can also contact us on 1300 856 828 or check out the Chinese website see www.fizzics.cn