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Saigon parents seek out meaningful summers for children



Parents across Ho Chi Minh City are finding new and exciting ways for their children to enjoy meaningful summers – a serious departure from the traditional extra tutoring classes that commonly fill most summer schedules.

Thang, originally from Quynh Luu District, north-central Nghe An Province, has lived in Ho Chi Minh City for 25 years.

He currently lives with his wife and children near the city center.

With two very young children, Thang has found it difficult to visit his hometown in summertime.

This year, for the first time in nearly a decade, he has planned to finally make a trip home so that his children can experience the environment their father grew up in, even if it means shelling out quite a bit of money to afford the high travel costs involved.

“You shouldn’t wait to do what you want because the opportunity might suddenly disappear, and that would lead to regret,” he said.  

Thang plans to make the trip in late July and is most looking forward to his mother’s home cooking.

He believes it will be the most meaningful summer he could possibly provide for his children.

Hanh, hailing from Binh Duong Province, just outside Ho Chi Minh City, also hopes to create meaningful summer memories for her child.

This summertime, Hanh would like to visit Da Lat, Phan Thiet, and the Mekong Delta region.

She believes it will be an escape from both the bustling city and from the pressures of daily life and electronic devices.

Bin, Hang’s 11-year-old son, had a successful school year and she hopes her planned vacations will be a fitting reward for a job well done.

“Everyone needs to refresh and find a new point of view,” Hanh explained.

“What we have now is not natural.

“Our ancestors have a saying that goes, ‘Go out one day, and come back with a basket full of wisdom.’”

Hanh hopes this ‘wisdom’ will come in the form of soft skills and a recognition of the importance of caring for the natural environment.

Family bonding

Loan and Thong, a couple, plan to use the summer to teach their children about charity.

Each Christmas, Lunar New Year, or summer holiday, they bring their kids to various charity centers, orphanages, and mental asylums so that they can help those less fortunate than themselves.

Thong explained that he tries to teach his children that each person is born different and experiences their own issues and problems, and it is up to each and every human being to help others overcome their problems.  

Summer days

While older generations typically had full three-month summer breaks, newer generations typically spend their summers enrolled in extra classes.

“We have to balance and guide the way we educate our children,” said Le Truong An from the Ho Chi Minh City Open University.

“We need to let them connect with nature.”

Bringing children to visit their grandparents can help families connect, especially during visits to parks, zoos, swimming pools, and martial arts centers.

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Vietnam to host inaugural NASA Space Week next week



The Vietnam Space Week will be organized in three Vietnamese localities next week, making Vietnam the first Southeast Asian country to hold such a NASA event.

The collaboration for the event involves the People’s Committees of Hau Giang Province, Thu Duc City under Ho Chi Minh City, and Binh Dinh Province, alongside the Ho Chi Minh City Computer Association and the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

The Hau Giang Convention Center in the Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang will kick off the first two days of the multi-day event on June 5 and 6.

The Student Culture House in Ho Chi Minh City, located at the Vietnam National University-Ho Chi Minh City in Thu Duc City, will host the third day’s activities on June 7.

The final two days of the event, June 8 and 9, will take place at the Binh Dinh Convention Center in the south-central namesake province.

The objective is to motivate the young generation through captivating stories of astronauts and to introduce scientific research aimed at protecting the earth, mitigating environmental pollution, and raising awareness about the potential dangers of asteroid collisions.

The event’s agenda also includes a NASA STEM Day providing students with the opportunity to participate in various STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) activities such as astrophysics, zero gravity experiments, robotics, virtual reality experiences, and other engaging scientific programs.

Former astronaut Mike Baker, who was on four space missions, and former flight surgeon Dr. Josef Schmid will be in attendance at the five-day event, according to The Saigon Times.

“It marks the inaugural implementation of this event in a Southeast Asian country,” The Saigon Times quoted chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Computer Association Lam Nguyen Hai Long as saying at the event’s press conference on May 29. 

“We look forward to its continuity as an annual event and aspire for Vietnam to be a host country preferred by NASA, with the possibility of elevating the event to a regional scale in the future.”

The concept of the Space Week has been prevalent in Scotland since the early 2000s, following the introduction by Hyang Lloyd, a former NASA employee, according to The Saigon Times

The event is also held annually to showcase NASA’s remarkable accomplishments and contributions in the realms of space exploration, scientific investigations, and technological advancements. 

It encompasses a range of activities organized by NASA and its affiliated partners.

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Vietnam bags 4 silvers, 2 bronzes at 2023 Asia-Pacific Informatics Olympiad



All six members of the Vietnamese team competing at the 2023 Asia-Pacific Informatics Olympiad won medals, including four silvers and two bronzes, the Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training announced on Tuesday.

The four silver medals went to Nguyen Duc Thang, an 11th grader from Hung Vuong High School for Gifted Students in the northern province of Phu Tho; Nguyen Ngoc Dang Khoa, a 12th grader; Pham Cong Minh, an 11th grader; and Tran Xuan Bach, a 12th grader, all from High School for Gifted Students of the University of Science under the Vietnam National University-Hanoi.

The two bronze medals were secured by Le Ngoc Bao Anh, a 12th grader from Le Quy Don High School for Gifted Students in Da Nang, and Tran Vinh Khanh, a 12th grader from Quang Tri Township High School in Quang Tri Province, north-central Vietnam.

The 2023 Asia-Pacific Informatics Olympiad was held online with 1,471 contestants from 36 countries and territories, including students from Canada, Mexico, and Brazil who were invited to participate in the competition but not considered for prizes. China was the host country.

Fifteen Vietnamese students joined the competition at the University of Engineering and Technology under the Vietnam National University-Hanoi on May 20.

Six contestants with the highest scores were chosen for prize consideration, according to regulations of the competition.

With the six medals, Vietnam ranked ninth among the participating countries and territories.

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Vietnamese students win four bronze medals at Asian Physics Olympiad



A team of eight Vietnamese students competed in this year’s Asian Physics Olympiad, winning four bronze medals, according to the results announced by the contest organizers on Sunday.

The four bronze medals went to 12th graders Phan The Manh and Nguyen Tuan Phong of Bac Ninh High School for the Gifted in northern Bac Ninh Province, 11th grader Vo Hoang Hai of the High School for the Gifted of Natural Sciences under the University of Science, Vietnam National University-Hanoi, 11th grader Than The Cong of Bac Giang High School for the Gifted in northern Bac Giang Province.

Four 12th graders, namely Vu Ngo Hoang Duong, Nguyen Minh Tai Loc, Le Viet Hoang Anh, and Nguyen Tuan Duong, were awarded certificates of merit.

The eight students from the Vietnamese team participating in the 2023 Asian Physics Olympiad in Mongolia. Photo: Ministry of Education and Training

The eight students from the Vietnamese team participating in the 2023 Asian Physics Olympiad in Mongolia. Photo: Ministry of Education and Training

The 2023 Asian Physics Olympiad is being held from May 21 to 29 in Mongolia, where 195 students from 26 teams representing 25 countries and territories sit for both theoretical and practical examinations, each lasting 300 minutes.

Vietnam has taken part in the Asian Physics Olympiad a total of 22 times, according to news site VnExpress.

Last year, the Vietnamese delegation claimed a silver medal, two bronze medals, and five certificates of merit. 

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