Case Studies

The ACES project features the partnership between Coventry University (CU, UK) as the project lead, University Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS, Malaysia), Universitas Muhammadiyah Ponorogo (UMPO, Indonesia), and Hanoi University of Science and Technology (HUST, Vietnam), building on the combinations of complementary expertise, experience, and best practices as the basis for the educational research on the ACES pedagogical and practice model.


The ACES Vietnam team consists of devoted educators, led by Prof. Hoang Thi Bich Thuy through the Dynamic Lab for Innovation and Transformational Entrepreneurship (D-Lab), Hanoi University of Science and Technology (HUST). Joining ACES project, the multi-disciplinary team with people from science, technology, business and education will take advantage of the playfulness approach and educational 4.0 to create a transformative methodology for Vietnam educational reform.

Green Playground

The “Green Playground” is an educational playground model that combines playfulness and streamlined education, which is different from normal physical playgrounds. It consists of areas: physical playground, recycled garden, herbal garden, and Muong culture area. Facilities in the physical playground are made from recycled materials.

Nguyen Tat Thanh

Hoa Binh City, Vietnam

Frugal STEM

The Frugal STEM case study takes place in Hoa Binh, a mountainous province in the North of Vietnam. It is part of ACES Vietnam’s Playful School model which features the use of Playful learning and Frugal aspects in education. This case study consists of teacher training workshops in various districts, focusing on gamification, STEM hackathons, design thinking and evaluation of a design based on Frugal and Playful aspects.

Hoa Binh City, Noong Luong, Cao Phong

Hoa Binh Province, Vietnam

Muong Ethnic Language and Culture

The case study of the Muong Ethnic Language takes place in Hoa Binh, a mountainous province in the North of Vietnam. It is part of ACES Vietnam’s Playful School model which features the curriculum development of the Muong ethnic language, using the Green Playground as a pedagogical approach, as well as Playful and Frugal Aspects.

Nguyen Tat Thanh

Hoa Binh City, Vietnam


The Malaysia team focused on activities that would advance agentic practice and empowerment through inclusive learning to build resilience using a playful approach and frugal resources. These initiatives utilised the Sustainable Development Goals as a conceptual framework, creating platforms for environmental and climate change awareness, and the upskilling and empowerment of women and youth. As is highlighted in the case studies, the introduction of the ACES STEMBucket Programme paved the opportunity for teachers, parents, and children to collaborate, create fun experiments, and emphasise the values of scientific knowledge in everyday life. These case studies saw active engagement between the team and various stakeholders from government agencies, NGOs, industry, community members, students, youths, parents, and teachers.

ACES Malaysia Practice Recommendations

As part of the lessons learnt from the project, the ACES team developed a practical guide that outlines a shared pathway and support for communities and institutions planning for a future that is sustainable, resilient and ready to face challenges related to climate-change. These recommendations look at four different actions, namely in terms of learning and educational opportunities, cultural participation and social inclusion, external partnerships and collaborations as well as support research. Through these recommendations, it is aimed that schools and universities would be inspired to give people a voice in sustainable decision-making.

Playful & Frugal STEMBucket Programme

The STEMBucket © programme stems from the idea and desire to make STEM subjects more fun and enjoyable for students in schools by transforming everyday household objects into fascinating and exciting STEM-based projects that children can work on with teachers and peers. The programme was innovatively executed in three different modes: physical, online, and hybrid.


Country-wide participation.

PlayLab Bus

The PlayLab Bus is a product of the STEMBucket © programme, which converted a dilapidated school bus into a Playful-STEM lab for youngsters to investigate STEM-related subjects. The PlayLab Bus, on the other hand, has a dual purpose: it provides a platform for the university’s rising artistic talents to express themselves.

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS)

Kota Samarahan, Sarawak.

Gamifying STEM

A state-wide professional teacher development programme to train teachers to use Gamification to teach STEM subjects. It is part of a larger initiative by the State Government of Sarawak to increase STEM enrolment and English Language proficiency.

Sibu, Mukah, Bintulu, Limbang

Sarawak, Malaysia.


ACES Indonesia aims to develop the resilient social skills of children in Indonesia in collaboration with individuals, communities, and institutions. ACES Indonesia collaborates with Solo Mengajar in applying playful and frugal education principles in the non-formal education sector to improve children’s social resilience in across several villages and learning parks. The Solo Mengajar NGO is a community of young volunteers in Solo, Central Java, Indonesia, conducting learning mentoring activities for children in the area, particularly those with learning difficulties.

STEMBucket Indonesia: Kampus Mengajar

STEMBucket Activities is a form of implementation of the Indonesian ACES Model to develop children’s Social Resilience focused on the formal education community by designing, developing, and implementing frugal materials and playful activities as a curriculum transformation effort that has never been practiced in the Indonesian school curriculum.

Kampus Mengajar

Ponorogo Regency, Indonesia

Solo Mengajar

The ACES Indonesia Model aims to develop the resilient social skills of children in Indonesia with the help of individuals, communities, and institutions. Solo Mengajar NGO is a moral movement community in education for young volunteers in Solo City, Central Java Province, Indonesia, established independently on May 25, 2012, and is not affiliated with any political party or organisation in Indonesia.

Solo Mengajar

Central Java, Indonesia

Batik Makers Community

Rumah Harapan (The House of Hope) is a voluntary community committed to helping gifted people as Batik Makers in Karangpatihan village in Eastern Java Province, Indonesia, with self-reliance and entrepreneurial mindset to alleviate people from poverty and malnutrition. Karangpatihan village is a remote village located in the interior of East Java which has a very touching story of the people’s struggles.

Rumah Harapan

Batik Ciprat, Indonesia

ACES Play Corner

The ACES Play Corner is a physical learning space designed to be fun, comfortable, and safe for underprivileged children who live in a densely populated settlement where education and play facilities are still lacking. The Play Corner takes place in Taman Cerdas (Smart Park) Gandekan, Solo; a city in the Central Java Province of Indonesia.

Intelligent Garden Village

Gandekan, Surakarta City, Central Java, Indonesia

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