Environmental issues in various aspects of life in our society have become very important topics, because the speed of environmental degradation is not balanced with the efforts to improve and preserve it through sustainable and environmental-based development. As an example, this can be seen from the increasing need for energy each year, especially fossil fuel energy, placing us in an increasingly precarious position. This limited energy will only be able to meet the needs of the world in the not too distant future. The same case is true of climate change issues which have been global issues for decades back and this is also the focus of Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs which are the joint responsibility of various majority of countries, including Indonesia. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Education can build people who have environmental insight.
To realise this effort, SEAMEO QITEP in Science in collaboration with various parties initiates the development of STEM House in Bontang, East Kalimantan, Indonesia. The STEM House aims to expand access to the use of quality science learning resources and encourage the use of STEM learning methods in science learning which are expected to increase student motivation in learning and increase teacher awareness of the importance of appropriate science learning and building 21st century competence of students.
The initiative has been supported by Bontang local government through the Education Office at the opening of Training of Trainers STEM -STELR Program at Bintang Bintuk Hotel, Bontang, on 8 October 2018. During the opening ceremony, Dr Indarjani, Deputy Director for Programme, exposed the development of the STEM House. She stated that the STEM House is designed as a building that has 3 main areas namely exhibition area, student creativity area, and training area for teachers. In the exhibition area, visitors will be presented with a variety of innovative learning media that can introduce various concepts of science and mathematics through STEM learning aids, called Science and Technology Education Leveraging Relevance (STELR), designed by ATSE. In the creativity area, students will get various experiences in conducting STEM related experiment activities either by using STELR kits or by using tools and materials that are easy to find. The training area will serve as a place for teachers from schools in the Bontang area to carry out various sustainable professional development programs (CPD) especially in STEM learning.
She then elaborated more that the involved parties in this project beside SEAQIS are Bontang Education Office, PT Kaltim Nitrate Indonesia, LPMP Kalimantan Timur, and PT Kaltim Nitrate Indonesia. She also stated that the project will take time for three years, and it is expected that the STEM House can be inaugurated by Minister of Education and Culture of Indonesia in 2021.