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AESOTOPE – Asia-Europe Scientists of Tomorrow Programme
The Asia-Europe Foundation is pleased to inaugurate the AEC-SEP with the AESOTOPE, which was organised in collaboration with the Istituto Nazionale per la Fisica della Materia (INFM or The National Institute for the Physics of Matter) and with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy in Genoa, Italy, from 26 October to 3 November 2004.

The programme was held in tandem with the Genoa Science Festival 2004, a massive scientific event organised in Genoa, Italy, from 28 October to 8 November 2004.

The AESOTOPE was a new project that ASEF conceived under the framework of the AEC to bring together young scientists from Asia and Europe (and their teachers) for collaborative learning and intercultural exchanges.

In brief, the AESOTOPE aims to:

Add a new dimension to the AEC initiative and further its long term objective of promoting cross-cultural exchanges and collaborative learning beyond the classroom at high school level between Asia and Europe;

Instill in secondary/high school students of Asia and Europe a greater awareness of the other region through personal encounters and intercultural experience, and greater sensitivity to different value systems and viewpoints, as well as the cultural diversity that engenders these differences;

Enhance the thinking (analysis evaluation, constructive criticism, reconciliation, etc) and social (communications, interpersonal skills, gender and cultural sensitivity, teamwork, consultation, etc) skills of secondary/high school students in Asia and Europe, and to give them some experience studying and working in different cultural environments.

Organisers of AESOTOPE made an international call for science proposals in early 2004, tapping on national education agencies and science departments to promote AESOTOPE to high schools, and to officiate applications for the pre-conference selection of science projects to be represented at the AESOTOPE.

Participation in the AESOTOPE was solely by invitation. With the help of the AESOTOPE Committee of Scientific Advisors – a panel of six eminent scientists who were specially engaged for the judging of AESOTOPE project entries – the organisers selected 19 (out of 32) AESOTOPE projects teams from 16 ASEM countries for the programme. Each AESOTOPE team comprised a teacher-advisor and a maximum of two high school students aged between 14 to 17.

The 19 shortlisted AESOTOPE projects were further grouped into four themes, namely, “Water”, “Energy”, “Nature” and “Technology”, and were showcased at the Le Meraviglie della Scienza (or the “Marvels of Science Exhibition”), an exhibition at the Genoa Science Festival 2004.

AESOTOPE Awards were specially conferred on three AESOTOPE teams responsible for the most outstanding science projects to commend their efforts and to motivate them towards greater excellence in science. The winners of the AESOTOPE Awards were the “Multi-Functional Remote Control Disinfection Car” from China, “The Mediterranean Sea and its Different Stories: Sulla Rotta di Omero” from Italy, and “Turning Prawn Pond Sludge into a Fertilizer” from Malaysia.

Apart from participating in the Le Meraviglie della Scienza, student participants of AESOTOPE engaged in the “Multimedia Classroom Activity“, taking Physics lessons from CDs produced by the INFM. Yet another classroom activity came in the form of maths games conducted under the “Kangeroo Network” – an international education network from Australia.


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