The University of Macau’s (UM) Macao Base for Primary & Secondary STEM Education, and Ciência Viva, Portugal’s national agency for the promotion of science, technology, and culture, have signed an agreement to increase collaboration in STEM education (‘STEM’ is short for science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and to stimulate public interest in science in Macao and Portugal. According to the agreement, in addition to jointly organising science popularisation events to promote cultural exchange between students in China and Portugal, both parties will take advantage of Macao’s unique role as a bridge of communication between China and Portuguese-speaking countries to develop the city into a science popularisation platform between China and lusophone countries.

Dr Maria Rosália Vargas Esteves Lopes da Mota, president of Ciência Viva, visited UM and was warmly received by Yonghua Song, rector of UM; Tam Kam Weng, director of the Centre for Science and Engineering Promotion; and Cindy Lam, director of the Global Affairs Office. Both parties exchanged ideas on science popularisation and expressed hope to increase collaboration in the training of professionals in science and technology by leveraging UM’s unique strengths in science education in the Greater Bay Area.

According to Dr Mota Mota, Ciência Viva aims to promote public awareness about science, technology, and science education at the national level, with a particular focus on young people.

Established in June 2018, the Macao Base for Primary & Secondary STEM Education aims to promote science popularisation and STEM education in collaboration with the Science and Technology Development Fund, the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau, the Chinese Educators’ Association of Macau, Macau Catholic Schools Association, Macao Science Center, and Macao Post and Telecommunications Bureau. With UM’s Centre for Science and Engineering Promotion of Faculty of Science and Technology as the core component, the base launches STEM programmes to support science popularisation in Macao and to provide continuous training for teachers and students from local secondary schools.