Dr Margaret Chmiel, the Fullbright Specialist, for the Advancement of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education in Indonesia


SEAMEO QITEP in Science with the support of AMINEF had great chance to have the visit of a Fullbright Specialist, Dr Margaret Chmiel, the Division Director of Curriculum and Communications at Smithsonian Institution. Her arrival became prominent as the Centre initiated to embed Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education, which is her specialisation, into Indonesian education system since STEM has nowadays been considered to be able to enhance the excellence and the competitiveness of future generation.

During her stay, she was benefitted to introduce STEM education.  She provided lectures to teachers and students in the universities, involved in policy forum discussion with the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic Indonesia, and became the member of the board of judges for the Ki Hajar Dewantara Award convened by the Centre on 13-14 October 2016.

She started the first week by conducting a presentation entitled  ‘Developing a Strong STEM Teacher Workforce to Enhance Students’ 21st Century Skills in a workshop for school principals. She continued the activities by becoming the member of judges for the Ki Hajar Dewantara Award and the keynote speaker in the Intenational Seminar on Mathematics, Science, and Computer Education conducted by the Centre in the collaboration with Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia (UPI), Bandung on 15 October 2016.

In the following week Dr Chmiel with the representatives of the Centre attended the Workshop on Policy Review on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Content in Indonesian Curriculum convened by the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia in Jakarta. This opportunity was used to elaborate more on the importance of STEM discussion. Another valuable activity was the visit to SMAN 1 Parongpong to observe STEM implementation in class.  She was impressed by the teacher who gave the students the second even the third chance to make the terrarium.  “It is”, as she said, “somehing that is not common to be done by teachers in US”.

In the last week of her stay, she shared her knowledge on STEM Education to the Centre staff in an in-house training. Teacher trainers from the Centre for Development and Empowerment of Teachers and Education Personnel (CDETEP) in Science or Pusat Pengembangan dan Pemberdayaan Pendidik dan Tenaga Kependidikan Ilmu Pengetahuan Alam (PPPPTK IPA) participated in the programme.  Moreover, local science teachers came and showed their interests of learning more about STEM Education by attending the seminar held by SEAMEO QITEP in Science.

It is our great expectation that all lectures and discussion between Dr Chmiel and parties of the government as the stakeholder as well as science teachers can raise perople’s awareness of the significance of STEM Education to improve science quality education in Indonesia.

written by: Amalia Dwi Utami