Learning With a Purpose: Four Teach For Malaysia Alumni Inspire Students to Solve Problems with STEM
Their experiences teaching students in under-resourced public schools in Malaysia motivated Teach For Malaysia alumni David Chak, Felicia Yoon, Alina Amir, and Daniel Mohanraj, to launch Arus Academy, a social enterprise with a mission to make learning relevant through a "maker approach" that fosters students’ interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) skills and careers. In addition to developing and running Arus's popular after school programs, the co-founders have worked with the Ministry of Education to design lessons based on the national curriculum, and have collaborated with other organizations to create programs including an innovation camp, a free education program in rural cybercafes, and maker-centered camps for high-needs students. To date, Arus has run programs for close to 1,000 students directly, and has indirectly impacted 10,000 students via its teacher-training program.
The co-founders' goal is to bring relevance into learning to demonstrate how gaining knowledge can enrich students' lives. Core to Arus's approach is pairing instruction with real-life project-based challenges that require students to apply their knowledge to solve problems. As a result, Arus students have gone on to win regional, national, and international innovation and robotic competitions, and have represented Arus at various events and speaking engagements.
Watch the video above to learn about Arus Academy from two of its co-founders, Felicia Yoon and David Chak. For more about Arus, read co-founder Alina Amir's reflection on encouraging girls to explore STEM.