Innovation at vocational schools achieves impressive results

Creative projects to make educational equipment or innovative products of students at vocational schools in Ho Chi Minh City have been wholeheartedly welcomed by businesses and the community thanks to their practicability. This is a positive achievement of the encouragement for innovation in educational institutes to serve life.

Lam Duc Sinh, a teacher in HCMC College of Economy – Technology, is guiding his students to operate the mini CNC machine model in their practice session

A week after winning the first prize in the contest ‘Startup Kite 2022’ for innovative ideas of students at vocational schools (held by the General Department of Vocational Education and Training), Nguyen Thi Cam Tam from HCMC College of Industry and Trade still felt lightheaded. Her project of ‘Smart Blood Pressure Monitor – GAC’ has attracted an investment of nearly VND1 billion (US$42,000) to commercialize.

This product is quite compact and 50 percent lighter, 75 percent cheaper than its counterparts in the market now. It makes use of available smart phone screens and components, sensors of the same quality as famous models in the market to ensure its reliability and preciseness. Thanks to its simple interface, many people can use GAC easily to check and save their daily blood pressure as well as reading suggestions to improve their medical status. The machine can automatically contact relatives or the emergency number 115 when detecting unusual signals from users.

Another outstanding project is DefiMaps – an application for locating subjects on an interactive map by 4 students from Vien Dong College in HCMC. It has attracted an investment amount of VND2.2 billion ($92,000) from two investors. DefiMaps operates similarly to Google Maps, but is mostly used to locate people at public places that are displayed as 3D structures on its map.

Not just students but many teachers at vocational schools also enthusiastically join in innovative startup activities, creating useful educational equipment, designs that can save billions of VND for their organizations.

For instance, the horizontal shaping machine model of Dang Nguyen Nhan, Nguyen Dang Khoa, Nguyen Van Vu, and Nguyen Van Thong from Cao Thang Technical College has been highly appreciated thanks to its usefulness to students. The model is completed in 6 months, in hope of enlivening the lesson on cutting machines and enriching the machining technology at the College’s workshop. With its easy operation and various functions, it is now widely used in both theoretical lessons on metal shaping, cutting machines, and practice sessions at workshops.

Another prominent project is the robot model by teachers from Thu Duc College of Technology, winning the second prize in the 7th national contest ‘Self-made Educational Equipment 2022’. The model is considered extremely essential to students of the mechatronic engineering technology and industrial automation majors. It allows them to get used to industrial robots in real life and improves their programming skills via simulating automation systems with industrial robots.

Other highly appreciated projects are Industry 4.0 practice model by Ly Tu Trong College, plastic injection molding machine model HCMC Vocational College, mini CNC machine model by HCMC College of Economy – Technology (third prize in the 7th national contest ‘Self-made Educational Equipment 2022’). They have all been praised by experts to use in theoretical and practical lessons for multiple professions.

Nearly 400 vocational schools in HCMC now all have their own innovative startup club or center to support their students to develop feasible ideas. This has allowed learners to approach advanced technologies so that they are more capable in the labor market after graduation.

Obviously, this tendency among vocational schools has proved its usefulness and should be further fostered.

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