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Friday, 4 March 2022

webinarmainDr Stefanie Zollmann demonstrated some live demos and live coding in the field of Augmented Reality

The world-class science teaching at Otago was showcased in a webinar series for Thai secondary school pupils.

A total of 480 students and teachers from 12 campuses of Princess Chulabhorn Science High Schools (PCSHS) Thailand attended the New Zealand STEM Webinar Series delivered by Division of Sciences academic staff and students.

PCSHS focuses on developing the talents of high-performing students in grades 7-12 (secondary and high school students) in science, mathematics, technology, and environment to support science and technology professionals in Thailand.

Over the course of the six webinars, selected PCSHS students and teachers explored various exciting STEM-related topics prepared by Otago academic staff and students.

webinarstudentsOne of the classes from PCSHS in Thailand, enjoying the live lectures from the University of Otago

In the first webinar, Associate Professor Ting Wang, Dr Matt Parry, PhD student Rakesh Banerjee and BSc Honours student Sam Jarvis talked to the students about the outlook of science as a field and a career.

In the later webinars, Professor Jim Cotter spoke about sports and exercise science, Veronica Liesaputra about computer vision, Dr Stefanie Zollman about augmented reality, Professor Zhiyi Huang on programming for the internet of things. Then in the last webinar, Dr Matt Parry and Tam Le from the International Marketing and Recruitment team talked about Sciences at Otago.

“What was exciting about this STEM Webinar Series was that all the webinars were delivered online via Zoom,” says Tam Le, Regional Market Manager, International Office.

“The sessions were highly interactive with hands-on exercises from Otago academic staff and insightful questions from the PCSHS students. It was a great opportunity for PCSHS students and teachers to have a taster of what is like to study in New Zealand and engage with our world-renowned academics.”

webinarhatDr Veronica Liesaputra illustrated the concepts of computer vision and how it is used in the real world through a series of small fun programming tasks

“This was an exciting and innovative project for the Division of Science to get involved in, not only supporting the work of Education New Zealand and our partnership with PCSHS, but also in line with the broader goals of the University of Otago's Internationalisation Framework.

“The creative teaching approaches by our academics to deliver these online/virtual lectures in an international environment were really impressive and well received by all involved in Thailand,” says Dr Matthew Parry, Associate Dean International, Division of Science.

webinarbossDr Matthew Parry, Associate Dean International and Professor Richard Barker, Pro Vice Chancellor - Division of Sciences, greeting students from various PCSHS classes in Thailand

Dr Parry was involved in the entire series as MC and host, while Professor Richard Barker, Pro Vice Chancellor of the Division of Sciences featured in closing remarks.

Tam Le facilitated the project with sponsor Education New Zealand (ENZ).

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