James Dyson Foundation invests $3m to inspire more young engineers in Singapore

St. Hilda's Secondary School students testing an air quality monitoring device they built as part of a pilot programme by the school and James Dyson Foundation last year. PHOTO: JAMES DYSON FOUNDATION

SINGAPORE - Students from primary to tertiary level can expect to tap a slew of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) educational activities supported by a $3 million investment from the James Dyson Foundation.

Announced on Thursday (Jan 27), the donation will also fund multidisciplinary engineering facilities in Singapore universities and a mentorship scheme with Dyson engineers here. The tech firm's global headquarters are in Singapore.

To date, the charitable foundation started by British inventor James Dyson has donated more than $235 million to design, technology and engineering education and work worldwide.

More than 100,000 students aged six to 25 stand to benefit from collaborations between the foundation and the Ministry of Education, Science Centre Singapore and education institutions under the latest investment.

Learning resources, for instance, will help children appreciate the value of engineering in tackling global issues such as air pollution.

Over the next five years, the foundation will roll out the resources to 50 primary and secondary schools.

The foundation will also launch an engineering innovation studio at the Singapore University of Technology and Design - a 6,200 sq ft space where the university's students can work on Dyson technology projects.

Dyson has a similar studio with Nanyang Technological University, in a collaboration that will continue for the next five years.

By March, aspiring scientists and engineers can expect to see Dyson products and philosophies at Science Centre Singapore under the foundation's partnership with the centre.

Among the technologies featured is the Dyson Hyperdymium motor co-developed in Singapore.

Mr Shawn Teng, 51, who has two teenage sons, said he looks forward to more Dyson educational activities that will help inspire students in Singapore to explore engineering fields.

His 15-year-old son, who attends St Hilda's Secondary School, was among the Secondary 3 students who participated in a scientific thinking programme to find solutions to air pollution last year.

This pilot programme by the school and the foundation exposed his son to the process of brainstorming, prototyping and selling a solution under the programme and helped him see the fun and exciting side of being an engineer, said the retired chief executive of a logistics firm.

A Dyson engineer conducting a prototyping workshop on solutions to air pollution for St Hilda's Secondary School students as part of a pilot programme by the school and James Dyson Foundation last year. PHOTO: JAMES DYSON FOUNDATION

University lecturer Oh Hong Lye, 51, welcomed the involvement of global companies such as Dyson to help students see engineering processes in action.

The father of two girls aged 18 and 20 said: "Children typically have a vague understanding of how engineering is applied to solve real-world problems.

"Where engineering is concerned, nothing beats hands-on experience."

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