ME.REKA is an innovative and alternative education space, with objectives that associate closely with the National STEM agenda established by passionate academicians from institutions of higher learning – led by the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Sultan Idris Education University (UPSI), Prof Dato’ Dr. Noraini Idris. The agenda aims to inspire the young, empower them with knowledge, expertise and practice for a future in innovation.
What is STEM ?
According to a report done by STAR Online, STEM is more than just an acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics it’s a skill or a philosophy of sorts. STEM is an approach and a way of thinking for educators – and, to a certain extent, parents – to help students integrate knowledge across subjects by incorporating flipped learning and encouraging students to think in a more logical and holistic way in order to be equipped with 21st century skills.
The Investigative, Analytical and Inventive Skills Development in STEM
The subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics is where students learn the skills to gather and study information (investigative skills of science), evaluate and make sense of information and data (analytical skills of mathematics) and determine how the information can solve a problem (inventive skills of engineering) using the technology available to them today. STEM allows for all these aspects to merge to create an overall pedagogy for future learning.
The Arts in Motion
STEM, which is an abbreviation for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics is one of the priorities identified in the Malaysia Education Blueprint initiated in year 2011. However, in ME.REKA, there is an additional ‘A’ in STEM that stands for Arts. With classes, experiences and programmes that we offer, we’re taking the STEM agenda to another level, with STE(A)M.
How the Me.reka ‘STEAM’ model helps drive innovation
ME.REKA is a platform for innovators, problem solvers, dreamers, imaginative, makers at heart, and those interested in technology and making the future, hence a step towards the realization of one of the goals being set in the Vision 2020- to establish a scientific and innovative society. Coming to a close example, the Explorer Programme teaches you the skills of the future so that you can be leaders of tomorrow. One of the modules include ‘The 21st Century Design’ that helps to maximize ones creativity by enabling youngsters to see their imaginations come to life with the help of current technology, fitting with STE(A)M.
We also provide classes that train people in developing design, construction skills as well as using engines and machinery tools such as 3D Modelling with AutoCAD and Introduction to Laser Engraver classes. Same goes to the Beyond School Programme that we offer that enables students to learn how to use computer aided tools, to designing and making physical products. These align with computational thinking skills which is a methodical approach to solve problems and is used by engineers and programmers.
We also emphasize on Arts as it is relevant and important in the education process. We offer Arts & Crafts classes such as String Art, Hanging Garden Workshop, Shoe Planter Workshop and etc.. Virtual reality technology is widely used in ME.REKA too where it has become a viable platform to produce, view and connect with Art.
Creations become valuable with Arts
With Arts that is embodied with genuine and heartfelt emotions, our creations can tell the most awe-inspiring and incredible stories. There is usually a deeper meaning to each and every snippet of art.
A quote from the famous comic Calvin & Hobbes states, “As my artist’s statement explains, my work is utterly incomprehensible and is therefore full of deep significance”. Art is an expression of emotion that cannot be felt through just words themselves – By incorporating the Arts into the Design and Creative Process, we hope to unleash the inner creative child in all of us.