Barnas Monteith, chairman of the MSSEF board of directors and president of Tumblehome Learning, attended the week-long 2012 Taiwan International Science Fair (TISF) recently. A serial science fair winner himself — with four 1st-place MSSEF wins among many others — Barnas was impressed by the quality of the student work he observed at TISF. “The projects at TISF were mind blowing, some clearly worth of patents, and certainly all would be competitive at the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair, perhaps even a select few may someday lead to Nobel prizes in the not-too-distant future,” he wrote in an article posted to the Tumblehome Learning site.
Barnas’s article goes on to compare the challenges facing TISF with those confronted by science fairs in the U.S., including MSSEF. “Schools are faced with increased focus on tested curriculum, and accountability of teachers,” he writes. “Not to mention, while schools in Taiwan spend considerably more time on science & engineering than U.S. schools, they also face a shortage of resources (related both to learning time and physical facilities), and often parents with means supplement their child’s education with after-school “bushiban” courses, and standardized testing prep ‘cram’ courses.” He offers an interesting perspective on the state of science and inquiry learning beyond our borders. Read the full post for yourself!