Learn Science And Math To Be An Astronaut
By Saiful Bahri Kamaruddin
Pix Abd Ra’ai Osman
BANGI, 3 Mar 2016 – Space Science should be taught in school to encourage children to learn Science and Mathematics, says Malaysia’s first man in space.
“My advice to all educators is to teach Space Science to young kids,” said Dato’ Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Al-Masri, Principal Research Fellow at the Institute of Climate Change (IPI) of The National University of Malaysia (UKM).
Speaking as a panelist at the Galaxy Forum for 21st century education, the astronaut said he was disappointed to find out that school children wanted to emulate him but eschewed Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Dr Sheikh Muszaphar, who gives motivational talks to pupils, advised the Education Ministry to make STEM subjects fun to learn.
“We should have Space Camp. It’s sad that out youngsters are not interested in Science,” he said at the interactive forum which was designed for teachers, educators, astronomers and students to encourage the study of Astrophysics.
Another panelist, teacher Dr Dave Lommen from Singapore, said we shouldn’t wait for children to be interested in science and mathematics.
“Don’t ask them to change, you have to change yourselves”, said Lommen who teaches Physics.
However, Mohd Fairos Asillam of the Malaysia Space Centre (ANGKASA) believes that youngsters can be enticed indirectly into Science by learning about the cosmos.
“We attract more students to science by using Astronomy, even if they don’t like maths and science,” said Fairos.
The forum was moderated by the director of IPI Prof Ir Dr Mardina Abdullah.