The Science/China Corner of St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala, Cospicua was founded by Senior Science teacher Mr Martin Azzopardi sdc in 2010 following his first visit to China.
“I always loved China and its long history and culture since childhood but following my first visit to China in 2010 I returned back to Malta with so much interest and love for Chinese culture that I wanted to share this interest of mine with all my Science students” says teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc.
The Science/China corner was founded by teacher Mr Martin Azzopardi sdc in collaboration with the Malta China Cultural Centre and with the blessing of the Ministry of Education. It was founded as a Montessori Method of teaching Science with the aim of introducing Chinese culture, science and technology to Maltese students. This method surely enhances the multicultural aspect in students and leads them to develop more interest in research and reading particularly about China – a country with a long rich history of achievements especially in the Science and Technology field.
This year marks the 10th anniversary since the foundation of the Science/China Corner and throughout these years many students have benefitted from various Science and Technology research study projects in link with Chinese culture. Throughout these 10 years students did various research studies about various themes like: Making of Chinese Porcelain and Pottery, Healthy Benefits of Chinese Tea, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Invention of Chinese Fans, Making of Silk in China, Invention of Paper in China, China’s Advancements in Robotics, Technique of Glass Painting and Decoration in China, Bronze Making in China, Advancements in Sensor Production in China, Making of Chinese Vases, Making of Chinese Cloisonne, Making of Dolls in China, Technique used in Jade Sculpting in China, Making of Paper Umbrellas, Paper Cutting in China, China’s Advancements in Textile Making, Construction of the Great Wall in China, Earthquake Resistant Building in China, and many other research theme projects. Then each year these Science/China research study projects are presented by students at the MCCC in full collaboration with the MCCC Director and staff and the China Embassy of Malta.
Throughout these 10 years, the Science/China Corner of St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala, Cospicua managed also to offer students different lectures about China and involve them in various Chinese workshops, events and activities helping them to create a bridge between the scientific knowledge field and Chinese Culture, Science & Technology.
In October 2019, the Foreign and European Affairs Minister Mr Evarist Bartolo, then responsible for Education, said the following words about the Science/China Corner: “A good initiative that brings people, cultures and countries together, thanks a real lot for this work”.
In December 2019, H.E. the Chinese Ambassador for Malta, Mr Jiang Jiang, on being interviewed by two students from St. Margaret College commented:
“Before I came to Malta I already knew about the foundation of the China Corner at St. Margaret College and every year I am impressed with the deep research studies done by St. Margaret College students linking the Science field with Chinese culture and technologies. This is a very good idea.”
In February 2019, the Cultural Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Korea, Director of China Cultural Centre in Seoul / Representative of China Tourism Office in Seoul, Mr Wang Yanjun, then Director of the Malta China Cultural Centre, on being interviewed by three students from St. Margaret College added:
“Here I must express my sincere thanks to Mr Martin Azzopardi for coming up with the idea of founding the China Corner in the Science Department of St. Margaret College in 2010. This is one of the best ways to help students get in touch with Chinese culture via the Science and Technology field. It is also something permanent which can help to cultivate appreciation for Chinese culture amongst Maltese students throughout the scholastic year. Every year I am impressed by the research studies held by your students, linking Science knowledge & technology with Chinese culture. I can say that I myself have learnt lots from these research study projects, presented by your students under the supervision of their teacher Martin Azzopardi. Please keep it up”.
In January 2020, the Director of the Malta China Cultural Centre, Mr Yang Xiaolong wrote saying:
“It is a lovely initiative; both you (Mr Martin) and your students are great! Highly appreciate your efforts to promote bilateral understanding and friendship between Malta and China”.
In March 2020, H.E. the now ex-Chinese Ambassador for Malta, Mr Cai Jinbiao wrote saying:
“It brings back a lot of happy memories. Congratulations again for a job well done and wishing you greater success in the coming years. Thank you”.
In March 2020, the President of the Malta-Sino Friendship Society, Mr Reno Calleja added:
“I congratulate with Mr Martin Azzopardi for this initiative which surely shows his continuous commitment towards education and Chinese culture”.
In March 2020, the Education Minister Dr Owen Bonnici, wrote saying:“Just looking at all this prestigious work done on the Science/China corner throughout these last 10 years, I tend to say VERY WELL DONE and KEEP IT UP. Such an initiative is surely a catalyst for our Maltese students in enhancing their multicultural aspect and induce in them more love for study research. It is also an opportunity for our students to be young ambassadors between Malta and China. YOU HAVE MY FULL SUPPORT.”
Finally BIG thanks go to the MCCC and the China Embassy for all their HELP, APPRECIATION and SUPPORT throughout these 10 years since the foundation of the Science/China Corner at St. Margaret College, much appreciated. Special thanks go to MCCC Directors: Mr Gu Hongxing, Mr Wang Yanjun and Mr Yang Xiaolong and staff. Big thanks also to H.E. the Chinese Ambassador Mr Cai Jinbiao and to H.E. the Chinese Ambassador Mr Jiang Jiang and Embassy staff.
Article written by
Mr Martin Azzopardi sdc
B.A. (Hons) Theol. & Human Studies, P.G.C.E., M.A. (Melit.)
St. Margaret College
of the M.A.S.C.
Faculty of Theology
University of Malta
Institute for Education
Mr Azzopardi has been serving as a teacher in St. Margaret College for these last 25 years. St. Margaret College Secondary School was the Ex-Royal Navy School of Malta and then it became a state Grammar School for boys under the name of Giuseppe Despott Boys Junior Lyceum, Verdala, Cospicua. Since the comprehensive system was adopted in Malta, the name of the school changed to that of St. Margaret College Secondary School, Verdala, Cospicua with an intake of around 450 students with mixed abilities as the grammar school system was abolished from Malta. Then when segregation was abolished too from the educational state sector, St. Margaret College adopted the mixed gender education system or co-ed system and it was split into a Middle School (11-12 year old students) and a Secondary School (13-15 year old students).