Potential Science Talent,a program launched by the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) and the Ministry of Education, aims to build up a reserve for innovative science and technology talents from China's high school students. The program is intended to attract a number of high quality high school graduates who are interested in taking up STEM(science, technology, engineering and mathematics)-related careers and have the potential of innovative research to universities. The program also aims to promote the collaboration between universities and secondary schools for jointly cultivating top-notch innovation talents.
Initiated in 2013, the program has involved 20 top Chinese universities such as Peking University, Tsinghua University. Up to date, a total of 347 instructors have been assigned by those universities, including many members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering, prominent scientists who have returned from overseas, and outstanding teachers. Some universities and high schools have integrated the program with their daily teaching work. Over the past three years, a total of 1,755 outstanding high school students have been trained, most of whom have been admitted to the nation’s key universities and all of them are studying on the field that they had chosen to worked on in the program.
Xu Yanhao, vice president and executive secretary of CAST, noted that the cultivation of innovative talents is the key to building China into a science and technology powerhouse. For the next step of the program, he said, we will improve the mechanism for tracking those student, facilitate the interlink of the program with secondary and university education, as well as to expand the coverage of the pilot project and training scale, so as to enable more outstanding students to get into the university laboratory, and help them realize their aspirations.