Special Report  

Thousands Enjoy Fun and Science at Teaching Resource Center Expo

The Second Northern Taiwan Teaching Resource Center (SNTTRC) held a special exhibition to showcase the organization’s amazing accomplishments over the last eight years at the Huashan 1914 Creative Park in Taipei last November. The SNTTRC is a consortium of 15 universities—including NTU—that serves as a platform for the integration and sharing of resources among its member universities.

Held on November 25 and 26, the two-day expo featured a variety of fun and fascinating hands-on activities that allowed visitors to experience the pleasures of science. The activities included assembling a multi-colored LED tornado simulator, constructing a DIY 3D hologram projector, and shaping wire in the quaint style of Taiwan's vintage window grills. In another program, a scholar/magician used physics to explain his magic tricks. All of the activities were booked to capacity.

Drawing thousands of visitors and participants over its two day run, the exhibition was a festive affair that helped stimulate the public's motivation to learn as well as promote the concept of flipped classrooms.

In organizing the event, the SNTTRC focused on the two themes of teaching and learning in introducing the university resource sharing platform it developed to the general public as well as the ways it has integrated technology into its projects. The event showcased innovation in education and diversity in learning in its presentation of the new face of higher education in Taiwan.

The center's chief executive officer, Han-Yi Chou, a professor at the NTU School of Dentistry's Graduate Institute of Oral Biology, spotlighted the SNTTRC's Summer College, which is the center's most successful and popular program, as an example of its efforts to make its resources available to students from different institutions and academic backgrounds. Prof. Chou pointed out that the college adopts cooperative learning and interactive learning to enable students from different universities, disciplines, and academic levels to work together on exploring their common interests. Moreover, the college uses a discussion-oriented teaching assistant system as well as a teaching resources and interactive learning multimedia platform for the integration of classroom discussion and feedback.

The SNTTRC's innovative approach assists the teaching and learning of the traditional classroom to achieve a greater degree of diversity, and produces a win-win outcome in which professors continue to hone their teaching skills and students develop a deeper interest in the subject matter.

One of the most popular attractions during the exhibition was the program, Physics and Creative Thinking, in which Prof. Chung-I Chou shared his creative talents and love of science. Besides serving on the faculty at Chinese Culture University's Department of Optoelectric Physics, Prof. Chou is also an avid magician. Prof. Chou's program centered on a magic show in which he applied the principles of physics to analyze the sleight of hand and smoke and mirrors that enabled him to perform his magic tricks. By giving life to physics in such an entertaining performance, each of Prof. Chou's magic shows drew nearly 100 visitors. The audience members, old and young alike, sat with their eyes glued to the stage as they followed Prof. Chou through his routine.

The vintage window grill wire-shaping activity was organized by a student autonomous study group and proved to be a highlight of the expo, attracting a steady stream of participants interested in handicrafts. A physics activity led participants, including young children, to assemble a multi-colored LED tornado simulator, which provided an opportunity for them to learn about the formation of tornadoes.

The DIY 3D hologram projector activity integrated complex scientific principles with a hands-on life experience to present a new face of education and stimulate the motivation to learn.