Bridging the Education Gap in China's Rural Communities
August 21, 2023
Trane Technologies collaborates with Yuanshan Foundation to empower rural students in China with STEM education, fostering sustainable futures.
3 min read
Millions of students around the world lack access to education to prepare them for future Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and sustainability careers. The problem is more dire for students from low-income and under-resourced communities. At Trane Technologies, our vision is to uplift and engage these young learners throughout their educational journeys.
Our corporate citizenship strategy, Sustainable Futures, is helping us achieve our goals. Through collaborative non-profit partnerships around the world, we are building pathways for students to access education and careers in STEM and sustainability.
As part of this work, two years ago, Trane Technologies established a partnership with Yuanshan Education Charity Foundation – a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring equitable access to quality education throughout China, with a focus on rural communities.
Rural education in China faces numerous challenges attributed to limited resources and uncertainties regarding the future prospect of rural students. The rapid evolution of technology and industries globally has significantly altered the landscape of innovation and competition, underscoring the growing necessity to foster innovative talents for the future. Now, more than ever, the adoption of a comprehensive and systematic approach is critical to effectively prepare rural students for success.
Recognizing this, Trane Technologies China partnered with the Yuanshan Education Charity Foundation, providing funding, volunteers, and other support to develop the STEM Enlightenment Class Program.
“Our goal is to help students have extensive experiences in STEM education by inspiring their innovative thinking and spirit for exploration,” shared Ivy Wang, director of communications and marketing of Trane Technologies Asia Pacific.
The program provides a dual-teacher science education model that delivers innovative STEM content and helps educators gain insight into the educational needs of rural schools. In September 2022, the program launched at five of them in Leishan County of Qiandongnan Miao, Dong Autonomous Prefecture, and Bijie in Southeast China Guizhou Province.
“With this program, we want to increase the supply of educational offerings, and make them readily available through technological means,” said Wang Jing, program leader of Yuanshan Charity Education Foundation. “Education consists of knowledge acquisition and student development. Knowledge acquisition can be done through technology, while student development requires more efforts from local teachers."
The STEM Enlightenment Class Program equips all five schools with audio/video equipment and enlists expert STEM lecturers from the region to deliver comprehensive training to teachers.
“Our hope is that through better teaching, technology and resources, the students can better connect to the world and learn,” said Ivy.
Equipped with newfound knowledge, educators are empowered to inspire children, fostering a scientific mindset that encourages exploration, learning and critical thinking.
Recently, the STEM Enlightenment Class Program organized a dynamic two-day volunteer event, where Trane Technologies volunteers visited three out of the five rural schools. As an integral component of the program, the volunteer event served as a platform for our employees to actively engage with the students and gain valuable insights about their lives and experiences.
"Our hope is that through better teaching, technology and resources, the students can better connect to the world and learn."
Director of Communications and Marketing of Trane Technologies Asia Pacific
The volunteers provided engaging STEM classes, interactive games, and other fun learning activities for the students. They also visited the families of two students and provided essential daily necessities. These visits served as an opportunity to understand the students' study plans, learn about their family conditions, and offer encouragement and support.
Volunteers and employees from Trane Technologies Asia, providing fun activities, resources, and STEM Education to uplift rural students in China.
The majority of this video is instrumental but at the end, the children say “Going into the distant mountain and changing the future”.
“We send our volunteers to these distant rural communities not only to support the students, but also to better understand their needs and explore how we can be of assistance," Ivy shared. “Their experiences provide valuable insights into the lives and challenges faced by the rural student population.”
In the first year of its launch, the program successfully provided 96 science courses and distributed 2,144 science experiment packs to the five rural schools. Starting in September 2023, the program is set to expand its reach to 21 rural schools in Guizhou and Sichuan, benefitting over 2,100 students. This expansion will further extend the program's impact, empowering a greater number of students with the opportunity to engage in enriching STEM education experiences.
As part of our 2030 Sustainability Commitments, we have allocated $100 million and 500,000 employee volunteer hours of support to ensure that communities around the world have the resources to teach and inspire all students to build sustainable futures. Our collaboration with Yuanshan Charity Education Foundation is one of a growing number of partnerships helping us carry out our mission.
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