5 Things About Me….Getting to Know Yohanes Surya
Yohanes Surya is an Indonesian physicist and coach of the Indonesian
Physics Olympiad Team (TOFI) since 1993. In 2006, Yohanes Surya founded
the Surya Institute, with the vision of transforming science and math
education in Indonesia through creating teacher materials, guides, and
conducting teacher training events, seminars, and science camps.
Dr. Surya working with students from Papua.
Can you share a story from your past that has led to your choosing of your current field of work?
I coached the Indonesian Physics Olympiad team in 1993, which made me
interested to do more for this country. From this experience, I helped
develop the GASING (GASING = GAmpang, ASyik, menyenaNGkan or easy, fun
and enjoyable) system for teaching math and physics in very remote
places of Indonesia which have low standards of education. This made me
fall in love with my job even more.
What is one thing you wish other people knew about your field or profession?
People should know that they can easily learn math and physics even if
they often don’t think they can. I am trying to find a solution to make
them learn those subjects in an easy way.
Tell us about a hobby or passion outside of work.
I love to read books about various subjects. I like history, economics,
and any other topic besides physics as these diverse areas give me a
lot of great ideas and inspiration.
Share a news story/video/blog etc. that really excites you and tell us why.
I visited the website of the Khan Academy, which features thousands of
free educational resources. It inspired me to make Youtube lectures on
the GASING math and physics systems. I have made a lot of learning
materials using those systems and made them available through the
website. I hope that through these materials, people can learn math and
physics more easily.
What is one of the most important future challenges that Indonesian scientists can help address?
One of the unsolved problems in Indonesia is how children from
disadvantaged areas can attain the same level of skills compared to
children from big cities. If we could solve this problem using science
and technology the impact will be enormous. Such a success would make
Indonesia’s growth and these children’s impact on the world that much
-Interview by Keerthi Shetty
Source:USAID/Indonesia S&T Focus Newsletter - June/July
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