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USAID BUILD-IT & Dow Vietnam STEM Program connects industry and young engineers

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Building University-Industry Learning and Development through Innovation and Technology (BUILD-IT) Alliance and the Dow Vietnam STEM Program on September 27 hosted their third industry mentorship eProjects Innovation Showcase.

The showcase saw six student teams demonstrate their industry-linked prototypes to an audience of students, faculty, and industry professionals from across Vietnam.

During the Engineering Projects (eProjects) program which was facilitated by BUILD-IT, students, faculty, and professional mentors from Dow Vietnam and Rockwell Automation, students developed unique solutions to address challenges in aquaculture, emission reduction, plastic waste management, and warehouse management.

Over the last semester, eProjects teams developed their prototypes through regular consultation with professional mentors. The mentors set out the vision for each project, shared their technical expertise, and met with students to build their prototypes.

Since April this year, teams have started working both online on campus and at Dow’s production plant to build and test their prototypes.

Joining the eProjects, the students gained professional skills in technical communication, team collaboration, and project management. Through patient mentoring, they are better equipped to develop the soft and technical skills needed to succeed in advanced science and technology careers.

In the Innovation Showcase, student teams displayed their project posters which tell their own stories about project development, prototype design, and how to achieve set goals.

Observing and mentoring students during the program, all industry mentors and faculty leads were excited to see students engaged in a real industry experience and to add real value to industry.

For the fourth year in a row, the USAID BUILD-IT Alliance, implemented by Arizona State University, and partnered with the Dow Vietnam STEM Program, have joined forces to bring industry-linked applied projects in innovation, entrepreneurship, and research to undergraduates across Vietnam.

With the sustainability targets to reduce carbon emission, eliminate plastic waste and close the loop, Dow continues the partnership with BUILD-IT to inspire Vietnamese students in innovation and entrepreneurship.

Applied projects not only develop technical know-how, but they also cultivate the 21st-century skills that graduates need to thrive in work and life.

Ekkasit Lakkananithiphan, Dow Vietnam’s President, shares, “As a material science company and solutions provider, we strongly encourage our employees to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to address the challenges. By creating a linkage between the industry and university, we are bringing young innovators the opportunity to solve the issues with real-world applications.”

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