Countries :: Vietnam

Vietnam - Hanoi ZeroCarbonCity
Vietnam - Hanoi ZeroCarbonCity

ZeroCarbonCity Vietnam, December 15th to 18th, 2005

The British Council in Vietnam recently organised three days of activities with climate change related workshops and wrap-around events all geared to enthusing the people of Vietnam to engage in discussions to do with climate change.
It took me about 35 hours to get to Hanoi after a protracted delay in KL and then straight to sleep.

…ZCC Exhibition, Hanoi…

15th Dec – Briefing and Prep

There was a briefing session with the Arts team and then a meeting with volunteer facilitators for the ZCC wrap-around activities.
…planning the project…
…testing the prototype solar-powered balloon…

Prep for the facilitators included hands-on practice of constructing the MUTR (Middlesex University Teaching Resources – climate change kits. These included a wind trubine, a solar-powered clock, a solar gismo and ultra-violet sensitive badges.

16th Dec - TV Day at VTV

We spent the morning at VTV2, an education channel with a select group of children (winners of the British Council pollution photography competition) to film the construction of the science kits. Interestingly, we communicated in French, English and Vietnamese (well, others communicated in Vietnamese, I was just embarrassed at how little I coped with the language).
…young TV climate scientists…

We built the solar clock twice and for some inexplicable reason it wouldn’t work. The producer suggested that we cheat and slip in a battery in the back of the clock mechanism, but thankfully it decided to work for us and all was well!

17th Dec – Café Scientifique

British Council Vietnam organised a Café Scientifique with the title ‘Climate Change – not our problem?’
As British Council Vietnam director Keith Davies explained in his introductory words, it was the first café scientifique in Vietnam and possible the first floating one in the world on a boat on a lake.
…The Potomac Restaurant boat…
…a show of hands on climate issues…
The Potomac set out for a tour around the lake as we began our provocative presentations unsure what sort of reactions we would get from the public.
Mr Quang a famous Vietnamese TV Science Communicator talked about the real science of climate change, and I talked briefly on climate change and young people.

18th Dec – Science Celebration Day

The Science Celebration Day was a splendid event AND the sun was out for the duration except when it decided to go to bed and we were left to sing and dance to the band and hand out the prizes.
…the clock making stand…
…Gismo makers at the Science Celebration Day…
…crowds and crowds of young visitors…
…inventors get younger and younger…
…Graham Sutcliffe sets off the prizegiving…      
There was a lot of interest in the whole series of events, some started long before my arrival in Hanoi to help with the ZCC exhibition.
We had to turn people away towards the end of the evening as we ran out of the MUTR Kits. I will keep good memories of new friends made in Hanoi and feel lucky that I’ll be returning in the New Year to Ho Chi Minh City for the next leg of the ZCC Campaign in Vietnam.

Many, many thanks to all who made me at home, and for making this such a memorable event!

Vietnam - Ho Chi Min City ZeroCarbonCity
Vietnam - Ho Chi Min City ZeroCarbonCity

Science Celebration in Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam

The British Council in Vietnam organised four days of ZeroCarbonCity activities in Ho Chi Min City this week, January 11-14th, 2006.
I naively expected temperatures similar to Hanoi in December but was surprised to be hit by the mid 30s in HCMC.

The flying three-day visit started with a workshop for local teachers interested in Science Across the World and this focused on children carrying out cultural investigations to exchange with partners in other countries.

…testing speed reactions…
Teachers were presented with a variety of techniques for carrying out survey work in the class as well as background information on the Science Across programme and being offered the chance to sign up to the network free of charge and add to the 15 schools already registered in the programme in Vietnam and also perhaps make use of the 7 packs translated into the Vietnamese language.
…Shaun Waller, Dir BC Vietnam, opens the Science Days…

I like to think of myself as a bit of a linguist but my ambitions with Vietnamese were given a rude awakening with its 6 tones, goodness knows what my attempts sounded like. Still, I met plenty of encouragement and I learnt the very useful Vietnamese phrases for glue, cellotape, scissors and screwdriver!
A team of student volunteers from the Department of Foreign Trade lended invaluable help to the Science Celebration days for over 600 16-22 year-old school and university from HCMC.
… volunteers getting in some practice…

I wasn’t sure how this age group would react to the awareness raising science activities we had to offer from MUTR - Middlesex University Teaching Resources, but the imagination and creativity was amongst the most impressive I’ve met in the 6 countries I’ve helped to run these workshops.
The British Council provided some great prizes (bright yellow WWF raincoats, essential for riding your moped in the rain!) for the best and all of the participants were presented with climate change t-shirts and wrist bands as well as information on the ZCC campaign in Vietnam.

…there were clocks of all shapes, sizes, colours and themes, and gismos like a flying trash collector travelling the world by solar power, windmills, planes, boats, cars and wind turbines decorated with climate themes…

Famous Vietnamese scientist professor Le Huy Ba gave a talk to the student crowd on the implications of Climate Change globally as well as for the citizens of Vietnam and asked students to think carefully about their own role in combatting climate change.

...concentrated listening to Dr Ba’s talk on climate change…

…prize giving…

The ZCC exhibition was well situated close by in one of the HCMC gardens and the British Council office came up with a wonderful idea of ‘flower wishes’ where participants could write their hopes and dreams for environmental future of their city. 
…the ZCC Exhibition in central HCMC…
…a wish for the climate in Vietnam…

These few days are part of the British Council’s world-wide ZeroCarbonCity campaign and follows on from similar activities held in Hanoi in December.

I’d like to wish all of my helpers many thanks, and to the British Council for their excellent coordination and also to the many many students for all of their enthusiasm and hard work, and for making the whole thing great fun!

… the team…