About Taiwan Math/Science Circle
(Left) Li You-Feng, Wang Wei-Zhong, Lu Liang-Zheng, Li Hua-Ning, Chou Zan-De, O Shan-Hui, Chen Dong-Yang, Lin Jing-Xiang, Chen Zhu-En
“Helping children find hope and a bright future through education” In a world where resources are distributed unevenly due to wealth gaps, TWMC (Taiwan Math/Science Circle) believes that education is the basis of changing the lives and the futures of people. Because of this, TWMC begins its work of integrating domestic and overseas educational resources, and providing multiple pathways for education in Taichung. The imbalance of education resources has been successfully improved due to the works of TWMC.
Various countries in the world have started advocating more international aspects of education to raise students’ academic competitiveness. Due to this fact, TWMC chief executive Julia Chu started the Taiwan Math/Science Circle in 2015 with the help of members of the Berkeley Math Circle. The Berkeley Mathematical Circle is an educational organization that was established a long time ago to assist children, fourth graders up to seniors, who are interested in mathematics. The professors at Berkeley University of California assist students in working through math problems step by step instead of giving out them the solutions immediately to ensure the children's understanding of the methods. After a few years, the Berkeley math circle successfully trained outstanding students, and this brought in professors from other universities to collaborate with them. It has also become a model that the other schools follow. The Berkeley mathematics circle in California has successfully cultivated a lot of exceptional talents; many winners of the International Mathematical Olympiad came from the Berkeley Math Circle.
Knowing that Taiwan lacks international education resources, TWMC worked to introduce educational materials from other countries as the basis for local educational plans. The main focus is on improving the student’s abilities to analyze logically and to apply knowledge to their lives. Due to this, not only is the number of students part of TWMC increasing, there are a lot of parents from the South and the North of Taiwan hoping that their children can join too. To accommodate for this phenomenon, TWMC has created an online problem-solving system to help students from all over Taiwan.
Connecting with Professors from both Domestic and International Universities to Make Education more Comprehensive
In order to give students the opportunity to receive more comprehensive educational resources, TWMC actively invites professors from both domestic and international universities to serve as a member of the educational committee of the association. Among them, Chairman Qiu Lin-Bin is not only the former chairman of Sinotech Engineering Consulting Company and the chairman of the Chinese institutes of Engineers, but he is also a core member that has integrated all the educational resources of Taiwan.
Chairman Qui Lin-Bin, who has been promoting industry-academia cooperation for a long period of time, believes that schools are only buildings where children learn basic knowledge and that education shouldn’t be limited to specific locations. Through highschool and the lower grades, students are able to discover their learning orientations and can connect them to different industries. This not only accelerates the accumulation of working experience; it also allows students to gain more skills and expertise than their peers. For example, mathematics, chemistry, biology and other subjects are starting to be taught in middle school, and there must be students are that more interested in these topics. Hypothetically, if these specific students start to do more in-depth studies and lessons for these subjects when they are still young, not only will they learn these topics faster, they will also have more time with applicational practice and studies of these subjects which helps them gain better and deeper understandings.
Currently, TWMC has more than eight professional education committee members which includes PhD candidates from University of California, Berkeley and California Institute of Technology, and also Chang Zhu-En (the former Minister of the Environmental Protection Administration of Taiwan and a professor of the Department of Environmental Engineering of National Cheng Kung University), Lin Jing-Xiang (Professor of University of Pittsburgh), Chen Dong Yang (the former vice principal of National Cheng Kung University and the current principle of National Cheng Kung University), O Shan-Hui (the former principal of Tajen University and the president of the Institute of Engineering Education, Taiwan, R.O.C. (IEET)), Chou Zan-De (the former Administrative Deputy Minister of the Minister of Education, former principal of Hsing Wu University, and professor of Cheng Shiu University), Li Hua-Ning (Professor of the Department of Civil Engineering at National Chung Hsing University and the vice chairman of TY Lin Engineering Consultants Company), Lu Liang-Zheng (the former associate dean of department of civil engineering at the National Taiwan University, the former chairman of the Chinese Institute of Civil and Hydraulic Engineering, professor of Civil Engineering at the National Taiwan University, dean of the Taiwan Construction Research Institute, and chairman of the Taiwan Society for Circular Economy), Wang Wei-Zhong (the professor of the National Tsing Hua University), and Li You-Feng (former International Director of the Office of international Affairs and professor of Civil Engineering at National Taipei University of Technology) and many professors in different fields. TWMC chief executive Chu believes that the roles professional education committee members are to provide varied opinions from different viewpoints and to strengthen the development of children that are aiming for specific subjects. TWMC helps children who have problems with unevenly distributed education resources caused by wealth gaps.
Helping the Disadvantaged Families to Advocate Justice
Since its establishment in 2016, TWMC has helped more than 200 local children in Taichung, including many disadvantaged families. TWMC chief executive Julia Chu stated that TWMC was created to help the disadvantaged children who cannot receive a good education and to support the gifted students and to give them an opportunity to learn and advance.
During the process of creating TWMC, honorary chairman Huang Huang-Hui, the former principal of the National Cheng Kung University and the spiritual leader of the association, said that the children of the disadvantaged families are lack good opportunities and environments to study due to the wealth gap, so the goal of TWMC is to help every child that want to learn. If a child wants to study, TWMC will reach out to help no matter what.
In order to use the resources of the association properly, TWMC is regularly testing the student’s learning process through exams and is giving out scholarships based on the results of the exam. In addition to regular afterschool tutoring, TWMC also emphasizes having upperclassmen support underclassmen and having gifted students support regular students. Through these study sessions, the students will be able to build up their communication skills and to learn new knowledge.
Emphasis on Integrating International Educational Resources and Connecting the World
TWMC has been connecting international educational resources with domestic resources for a long time. TWMC Chief Executive Julia Chu has been connecting with different countries, like the U.S., Bulgaria, Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, etc. and has been planning annual events to help students develop an international outlook. These events include college tours, lectures from international college professors, team building competitions, scientific experiments, and many more diversified lessons. This not only enriches the students’ lives and gives them more knowledge of other countries, it also accelerated the connection between Taiwan education and global educational resources.
TWMC believes that every child deserves to have an opportunity to receive a good education. Education should be the foundation of fairness and justice. Children aren't only the futures of their families, they’re also the hopes of their country.