Scholarship holders and homework tutors shared Christmas coffee

Several of this year’s Sievert Larsson scholarship holders met with Chalmers students involved in various homework tutoring projects at the House of William Chalmers last Friday.
They were thanked for their activities over the past year with traditional Christmas mulled wine, ginger biscuits and coffee.
”This is really fun to do. Those who turn to us are always very grateful. And as a homework assistant the rewards are plain to see,” said Christoffer Olsson, a project veteran.
Chalmers run several homework tutoring projects aimed at secondary and upper secondary school pupils. This includes both field work and activities on Chalmers premises. Upper secondary pupils are welcome at the Chalmers library where they receive help to reasoning out solutions to difficult problems.
On Friday it was time to thank the homework tutors for their activities over the past year. Anna Näsbom, temporary head of the Communications and marketing department at Chalmers, invited the tutors to an informal Christmas coffee get together at the House of William Chalmers on Södra Hamngatan.
The library, that lends out its premises to the homework tutors, was represented by department head Annelie Janred.

Instructive and fun
Madeleine Appert is project manager for the fieldwork section of the homework tutoring project, together with architect student Wenxuan Zhang.  Madeleine is now in her second year of a degree in information technology.
She has acted as project manager since last spring when she was asked to take over from Tabassum Jahan.
”It ‘s very instructive and great fun to work with youngsters in this way. There’s the constant opportunity to start up new collaborations with different schools. Homework tutoring is something that I feel to be very worthwhile. That’s a very generous reward,” said Madeleine.

She looks after this work alongside her studies, as do all other students involved in the homework tutoring project.
”You find the time if you plan well enough,” said Madeleine, who intends to continue with the project at least until the end of the spring term.
As project manager she understands the importance of the collaboration between Chalmers and the secondary schools.
”It is difficult to reach out unless the schools are involved. We try to attend parent meetings at the beginning of term and spread information about what we do,” said Madeleine.

Eager to make more young people better at maths
David Hammarsten is reading architecture and helping secondary school pupils with their homework. So far he has been at Sandeklevsskolan and the International English School in Göteborg.
”I have always liked teaching, so it was very natural for me to join the homework tutoring project when I was looking for something to involve myself with as well as my studies,” explained David.
He emphasised that this is not just about being a human answer book for those requiring homework help. The children should understand the problem and build on that ability.
”If you take it easy and write down what you know, you can often solve more difficult problems than you thought you were capable of. It’s all about self-confidence,” said David.
In tangible terms, David gets to see how many pupils return week after week to learn more. His driving force is his eagerness to make more better at maths:
”I’m really keen to make more youngsters better at maths. I’m sure the present situation can be improved. I like maths as a subject, it’s important and I am aware of how useful it is in my everyday life.”

A true veteran
Morgan Berglund and Christoffer Olsson help upper secondary school pupils with maths every week at the Chalmers library. Both are reading the Industrial Design master’s program. Morgan got involved with the homework tutoring last autumn and intends to continue into the spring.
”I enjoy helping people,” he said.
Christoffer is one of the veterans of the project and now in his third year:
”At least,” he laughed, and went on:
”It is very entertaining and those attending are very grateful for our help. The rewards of being a homework tutor are very great,” said Christoffer.

Three Sievert Larsson scholarship holders in place
The House of William Chalmers Christmas gathering was attended by three talented Thai master’s students who have obtained Sievert Larsson scholarships in recent years. Irin Manurasada is the most recent. She won her scholarship in 2012 and began her masters studies in Software Engineering last autumn.
”The scholarship means a lot to me. It gives me an opportunity to develop my knowledge within the IT field. Additionally, it is a great advantage to work in a close relationship with commercial life. That makes studies particularly interesting,” said Irin.
She comes from Bangkok and enjoys Göteborg and Sweden.
”The weather is not quite so cold as I had expected,” she revealed.

Still at Chalmers after getting the degree
Nutvadee Wongtosrad was one of the first to receive a Sievert Larsson scholarship when this was founded in 2010. She stayed on at Chalmers after obtaining her master’s in Engineering Mathematics and Computational Science. Last autumn she worked as a guest researcher with the system biology group under professor Jens Nielsen.
”But I’m leaving at the end of the year. I hope to get a position in Stockholm,” Nutvadee told us.
She has enjoyed studying at Chalmers:
”It has been very nice. Nice but cold!”

Degree work at SIK
Tawan Thammasunthorn won a scholarship in 2011 and will be taking a master’s in Biotechnology this summer. The degree work begins in January and is to be conducted at The Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology (SIK).
”The work takes six months. Then I will see what happens. I shall look for a job, but I don’t know whether I’ll end up in Sweden or abroad,” said Tawan.

Photo: Michael Nystås

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