First Little Makers STEAM Education Festival supports UNICEF HK’s “Cherish Water” Campaign and celebrates VEO’s 55th anniversary
Victoria Educational Organisation (VEO) held the Opening Ceremony of the “We Think, We Feel, We Care” Little Makers STEAM Education Festival, a central part of VEO’s 55th Anniversary celebrations, on 14 April 2021. The event was attended by Guests of Honour Mr. Kevin Yeung Yun-hung, JP, Secretary for Education, the Government of the HKSAR, Ms. Judy Chen, JP, Chairman, Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF, and Ms. Guo Jing-jing, Ambassador, Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF, all three of whom also enjoyed a student-guided tour of the Festival exhibits.
The pioneering STEAM-focused education event was held in support of UNICEF HK’s “Cherish Water” Charity Campaign to raise students’ awareness of the global water crisis. The Festival served as a valuable experiential learning journey for students during an extended period of remote learning. Embarking on a voyage of their own making, VEO students used their imagination as a compass to create unique, colourful and trilingual expressions of themselves and their hopes for a future world.
Together with donations from the VEO community, VEO will join forces with CTF Education Group and Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group, aiming to raise HK$1 million for UNICEF HK’s campaign to support UNICEF’s various water-related measures, including the procurement of water purification tablets that can transform 4-5 litres of dirty water, for every single tablet, into safe drinking water for vulnerable communities. To support UNICEF’s mission, VEO is not only raising funds from the community and within the organisation, but has also published two unique activity books about water and produced a video by VEO kindergarten principals to educate PN-K3 students about the innovative measures being implemented today to provide people, particularly children, with secure access to drinkable water.
Mr. Kevin Yeung Yun-hung, JP, Secretary for Education, said, “Our world is constantly changing. To enable children to thrive in it and adapt to its growing complexities, parents and educators need to prepare children well by fostering in them an inquisitive mind, an interest in lifelong learning and exploration, the confidence to communicate their ideas, as well as the abilities and skills for problem solving. Today’s Festival not only provides opportunities for children’s fun and creative learning, but also encourages children to explore and discover for themselves the knowledge of our world. I hope this Festival will inspire our beloved young generation to keep your curiosity burning, to let your imagination run free, and to dream big. Throughout the period when we are under the threat of this new virus, Victoria Educational Organisation has closely followed the Education Bureau’s guidelines on ‘suspending classes without suspending learning’ by, for example, preparing home kits for students to facilitate their learning at home. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Victoria Educational Organisation as well as all kindergartens in Hong Kong for their magnificent efforts to keep our young children safe and to sustain their learning”.
Mrs. Jennifer Yu Cheng, Group President and Deputy Vice Chairwoman of CTF Education Group and Supervisor of Victoria Educational Organisation, said, “Today’s STEAM Education Festival demonstrates Victoria Educational Organisation’s continued excellence in early childhood education despite the challenges presented by the pandemic. Throughout this academic year, and with the support from CTF Education Group, our schools have successfully maintained the standards for which they are known through rich blended learning. In particular, we enhanced our online interactive lessons and designed engaging educational home kits and materials, so students could continue to learn, explore, and give back to the community”.
Mrs. Cheng continued, “In 2018, VEO participated in a pioneering research initiative with Project Zero at Harvard Graduate School of Education to launch a research initiative which resulted in the publication of a ‘Playbook’ featuring VEO’s pioneer adoption of the Maker-Centered Learning (MCL) approach in our kindergarten classes. The STEAM Education Festival is our way to share the outcomes of our adoption of the Maker-Centered Learning approaches from the research, and to capture the way in which our K3 students from our 7 kindergarten campuses learned during the pandemic through our creative interdisciplinary blended learning. At school and through online lessons, our K3 students explored STEAM, which includes arts and innovation; and learned about the important theme of water and climate conservation”.
Ms. Judy Chen, JP, Chairman, Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF, said, “Under the theme of ‘Cherish Water’, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the support of Victoria Educational Organisation. VEO is the first educational institution in Hong Kong to include the programme in its curriculum, and to educate students about children’s worldwide need for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, also known as WASH”.
Ms. Rebecca Ip, Executive Director of VEO, said, “Our amazing students began the creative process – brainstorming – for the Festival during a period of remote learning and then made a smooth transition to face-to-face, hands-on collaboration. Words fail to express how proud we are of our students for their resilience, vibrant creativity and unique vision. We are also so grateful to our Principals and leadership team and our Curriculum Development Team. Their tireless efforts and out of the box thinking over the last year are the reason we are sitting here today at this seminal education event during what has been a very challenging year for education around the world”!
The Little Makers STEAM Education Festival will be presented to VEO’s students and parents during 22-29 April 2021 in a virtual format featuring highlights from the Opening Ceremony and other various campus-based activities from the Festival.