Nowadays, there have been increasingly many young Vietnamese wishing to learn science to follow research career. However, being confused by misleading social and indeveloping science, these people are challenged by a many questions regarding science, research career and tend to lose their determination of pursuing research career. A sustainable and basic approach for developing science and research for our home country is to do from the bottom in which the young generations are enlightened by essence of science, by scientific backgrounds and fundamentally suited by essential skills of research methodology. The establishment of Vietnam Summer School of Science (VSSS) is an innovative solution to realise this approach.
The VSSS aims at inspiring and supporting young Vietnamese generations (including young higher-education academics, young researchers, and students) who are potential and/or keen as well as full of passions on pursuing research as a career. The summer school is held annually on a basis of purely academic and non-profit activities. The lectures given at the summer school will cover essentials of science, research skills as well as selected studies in natural, technical, social, and economic fields.
Vietnam Summer School of Science (VSSS) is an initiative of a young Vietnamese scientist group working oversea and nationwide who wished to inspire young students in their home country. It aims to inspire courage and support Vietnamese students and young generations who are keen as well as full of passions on pursuing research as a career. The first summer school (VSSS’01) was held in August 2013 thanks to great support from VNU University of Science via several staff members including Dr. Trinh Thi Thuy Giang (Vice president, VNU Scientist Link – VSL). The VSSS’01 took place in two days (5, 6 August 2013) with 80 students selected from 180 competitive applicants. The students enjoyed 10 lectures from 6 speakers, ranging from basis of science, research experiences and skills, and their application to the experiences in getting admission and scholarships. Organisers of the summer school thereafter received large number of positive feedback from the participants and student communities regarding teaching program and inspired lecturing methods in the summer school.
Triggered by the success of the VSSS’01, the second summer school (VSSS’02) was organised at Vietnam National University Hanoi in 2014 summer in three days (20-22/0/2014) with larger scale. The organisers received lager numbers of applications submitted by over 500 applicants, among them 250 excellent applicants were invited to participate. The lectures were increased to 23 presented by 18 lecturers. The lectures covered not only natural science and engineering but also economics and social sciences. Several VSSS’01 students, who obtained certain successes after the first summer school were invited to share their experiences in the interactive and experience-shared session.
In summer 2015, the 3rd VSSS was again held successfully in Hanoi (24-26/8/2015) with over 200 students. Together with basic lectures optimised from the last summer school, new lectures on interactive and team-work exercises were added to the teaching program. This content was further developed and optimised in the 4th and 5th VSSS where the participants had more time to practise their lesions via interactive activities and team-work assignments. Since the 4th VSSS, we have been received important support and sponsor from Rencontres du Vietnam. The 5th VSSS (2017) was the first time the summer school was held in Quy Nhon, Binh Dinh at Interdisciplinary Center for Science and Education as an official activity of the Rencontres du Vietnam.
After five summer schools, the VSSS have received large number of positive feedback from the participants who praised our teaching program and teaching method, as well as encouraged the organisers to keep developing the summer school. These feedback are crucial for the organisers to keep optimising the teaching program at the future summer schools. Several alumni, who reached certain successes in their study, were invited to present at the summer schools as typical experiences for the present participants.