Wednesday, June 25, 2014

NTU Flagship Programme 2014

11:06 PM Posted by William Ming 威廉 No comments
On the 3rd June 2014, the Secondary Two students made a trip to NTU for the course of 3 days, without any overnight stay, unlike the previous cohorts did. There were lectures which they sat through but the most exciting part of it was the Applied Project Challenge, where students were given the chance to venture into their most favoured areas, be it in Arts, Sciences (Engineering etc) or ICT.

For today’s journalism update, it will be focused on Project 8, which is the Tensile Testing of Engineering Materials, Scanning of the Electron Microscope, as well as Composite Material Processing. In the first half of the day, we went through a briefing conducted by our teacher mentor, Professor Tan Lay Poh. She told us more about materials in our everyday lives, including composites, sports materials, nano materials, bio-materials and many others! Other than that, she gave a short explanation of how NTU's Engineering and Material Science school came to what it is today. Lastly, she talked about the itinerary, as well as the Professors who would be conducting the experiments with us. We then split up into our various groups.
Our first activity was the tensile testing of engineering materials. It was conducted in the Undergraduates Lab and we were guided by Professor Huang Jing Feng. He was an engineer and walked us through the basics of engineering materials. Other than that, through the slides, he mentioned several terms and graphs (which we had to take note of when testing). After that, we started on the activity! First of all, we tested for aluminium, PS, then PP (Polypropylene). We had to set up the experiment via the computer, as well as screw and clam the specimen into the machine. Aluminium took 1.5 min to break while PS took 45 sec to break whereas PP did not break! In conclusion, PP was the most ductile material, while Aluminium was the most brittle. PS was slightly less brittle than Aluminium. We had a really fun time playing around with the materials and their properties!

Now moving on to the second activity, “Composite Material Processing”. Thereafter, we went for the next activity, which was 'Composite Material Processing'. As we sat through the screening of the slides, we had gotten a better understanding of composites and what they are used for in our daily lives. In this activity, we had the chance to fabricate the composite materials. We had to mix the epoxy and harder to form a sticky substance, that would actually allow the fabrics to stick to each other. After that, we started forming up the materials, stacking them one by one and gluing the cloths (either black or white). We had a fun time and the composite materials would be heated up, returned to us tomorrow to keep!

Lastly, we went for a tour around the labs! We looked at the actual chromatography machines and the engineers at work. Other than that, we were introduced to the many projects that NTU has worked on over the years, inventions were also showcased, which inspired and shocked us as young teenagers (18 years to 21 years) were capable of creating this.

That marks the end of 3rd June 2014, but wait, there’s more! On the 4th June, we continued onto our projects and finished up our activities. Our last and final activity was the “Scanning of the Electron Microscope”. From the start we went to the Undergraduates Lab, to sit through a lecture regarding the Scanning Electron Microscope component. They told us that scanning the electron microscope was a complicated process (you need to vent the machine, then evacuate it). Electron microscopes were actually invented because light microscopes could not magnify up to a certain extent (like to the specimen's body parts etc) Anyway, as we did the experiment, we scanned the specimens of a sponge, a mosquito and an insect. Their intricate pictures were really cool and every part of them was so focused and magnified (as seen by the computer interlinked with the machine). Afterwards, we then worked on our presentations, compiling the information and details over the past day. Our presentation included our findings, what we learnt and what we did. Once we had added in all the details, we split up the parts and rehearsed. It was a rather fun and enjoyable time. Although our presentation had over 20 slides, we spent hard work on it and hoped for the best project award. In the end, after relentless times of presenting, it paid off as we knew what to say during the presentation process and how to engage the crowd. The other groups then presented their learning experiences at NTU. In the end, there was a clear victor. It was from group 4. The other groups then cheered for group 4 as they needed a lot of encouragement for tomorrow’s closing ceremony presentation.

Now moving on to the 5th June 2014. Students gathered at NTU’s Lecture Theatre and sat for the plenary session which talked about 3D-Printing. It gave us an in-sight on what 3D-Printing can print (ranging from clothes to food etc) and how the procedure is like. Other than that, Mr Phua (from NTU), also gave us a brief history of NTU and its progress over the past few years. They have made significant improvement throughout the years!

After that, the closing ceremony commenced and all the 9 project groups began to present their learning experiences and what they did over the past few days. It was truly enriching as we got to hear what they did and some of the groups even had a live demonstration for us! Once Group 9 had finished presenting, the awards were given out to the respective recipients and we were all requested to go outside for a group photo to commemorate our wonderful experience in NTU.

Overall, this was what happened throughout the three days. The experience that the students shared was truly enriching and they have gained more knowledge and lifelong skills that would aid them in their future endeavours.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

SST Open House 2014

11:31 PM Posted by William Ming 威廉 No comments
SST Open House 2014

On the 30th of March, SST’s staff and students banded together to help create the grand event known as the SST Open House 2014.

SST Open House 2014 is an important event in which parents of Primary School students and the young ladies and gentlemen themselves are invited to be displayed the many unique aspects of SST, and most importantly, advocate SST as a promising choice of Secondary School to the PSLE-examinable students.

Many events were conducted within the grand event, from Principle/Vice-Principle Talks to student demonstrations of certain subjects, by the many teachers, student volunteers and our Principle and Vice-Principle, Mr. Chua and Mrs. Chew.

Parents are given goodie bags once entering, with a stamping card given within it. Many booths, ranging from the subject booths, to Science Lab Sessions to CCA stalls provide activities in which the parents and their children can participate, and receive chops. Guided tours by the Student Council were provided, in order to give a brief overview of SST to the parents and their children.
                               Activities at the Mathematics Subject Booth
Student Councillors conducting guided tours
Activities at the Singapore Youth Flying Club Booth

Parents of these students were encouraged to attend the Principle/Vice-Principle Talk, a session in which the Principle or Vice-Principle would talk about the important aspects of SST, and why their child/children should enroll in this school.

“Students engaged in not only the head, but also in the heart and hands do well,” Said the Vice Principle, as she explained the unique attributes of applied learning. Applied Subjects, Talent Development Program, so on and so forth were shown and explained too. 

“You don’t want to work for your lunch? Someone else will come and take it. And do not come crying when someone else comes to take your lunch.” Said the Vice-Principle, as she explained how SST teaches their students about the real working world, the necessary work habits needed, along with interpersonal and leadership skills.

Another event which parents were encouraged to attend was the Student Panel, where SST students from Sec 1 to the Pioneer Batch talk about their experience in SST. 

A Secondary One student talked about how unsure he felt when deciding if SST was the right school or not, and how he is enjoying his three months in the new year. He also added how smooth the transition from Primary Six to Secondary One was, due to the fun and unique Orientation.

A Secondary Two student talked about the compulsory Global Citizenship Program, how he travelled to Thailand on a Scientific Trip. He learnt more than just Science, however. He also learnt about the importance of looking out for each other, and teamwork. He also talked about the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Camp, in which Secondary One students, after their major exams, studied about I&E in Ngee Agn Polytechnic, our sponsor and partner. He learnt about the importance of working hard to get results.

A Pioneer, now in a Junior College, talked about how SST helped her greatly in time management and skills needed to help her along her years. Another Pioneer, pursuing Psychology in a Polytechnic, talked about how as former SST Students, they had more exposure to the real world. This has made her more independent, proactive and participative in competitions.
SST Students at the Student Panel
Science subjects such as Physics were set up in labs, along with entertaining experiments for the young ladies and gentlemen. They were welcome to perform exciting activities, from making crystal gardens in Chemistry to assembling circuits in Fundamentals of Electronics.

While the children have their fun, parents are invited to attend Educamp at SST Incorporated, a display of the ongoings within the ICT TDP. Students went up to share their experience under the Talent Development Program. 

A particularly eye-catching presentation was from Ding Wen, one of the youngest iPhone programmers in the world. He gave a presentation of what exactly we are doing wrong in life, and thus help us realise how we could improve, in a rather crude, yet true and frank manner.

Parents were also invited to In Conversation, a session in which the subjects ADMT, I&E and IRS were presented by their head teachers and student volunteers. Many projects evident of the application of these non-traditional subjects were shown, impressing parents.

Subject booths were set up to display the many other subjects offered. From compulsory academics to Talent Development Programs. Many parents were awed at the display of the student’s works, evidence of the Applied Learning Process.

This Open House is none but the work of SST Staff whom banded together to plan this event. But let us not forget the student volunteers, who not only held expertise in a certain subject or CCA, but also gave up the weekend following up to their holiday to help out in the actual event itself. To hold everything together. To actually make it all happen. To be the living example of an SST student.

Overall, the SST Open House 2014 was a marvelous event that helped portray SST’s finest and best to the potential ladies and gentlemen, and especially their parents.

Written by: Athiyah Tamanna Azeem (S307)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Cyber Wellness Student Amabassador Programme (CWSAP) 2014

12:19 PM Posted by William Ming 威廉 1 comment
Launched in 2009, the Cyber Wellness Student Ambassador Programme (CWSAP) is an initiative under BackPack LIVE!, a collaboration between the Ministry of Education (MOE), Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and Microsoft Singapore to inspire, explore and promote safe and responsible use of ICT among our students.

In line with the theme for this year’s Safer Internet Day which we commemorated on 11 February 2014, the theme for this year’s conference is “Let’s Create a Better Internet Together”. It focuses on how student ambassadors can take the lead in becoming a positive online presence by creating meaningful and responsible relationships online.

This year, the 2014 conference was organised by SST for primary schools and secondary schools and by Innova Junior College for junior colleges and IP schools. It was held over three days for students from different levels. 

On the 12 February, SST held the first conference for primary schools.  

On 26th March, SST held the third conference for secondary schools. 200 secondary schools joined the conference. The focus of this conference is Creating a Positive Online Presence

The Secondary CWSAP 2014 conference started off with a showcase of student efforts in various schools by The Cyber Wellness STudent Ambassador Recognition (STAR) Award nominees. This award is given to schools in recognition of their cyber wellness ambassadors for their active involvement in promoting cyber wellness to their peers. This year, SST nominated 2 student ambassadors who fulfilled the criteria. They are Ryan Tan Zheng Ning and John Cheong Zhan Hao. All nominees presented about their school's activities and efforts to promote cyber wellness among students. They were judged by a panel of 3 judges and audience votes.

Next, Mr Wong Siew Hoong, Deputy Director-General of Education (Curriculum), MOE, gave the opening address. After that, the keynote speech was made by Dr William Wan, general secretary of the Singapore Kindness Movement. A token of appreciation was then presented by SST to the speakers. Lastly, the top 3 schools from the showcase were awarded the CWSAP STAR Award. The winners of the award are SST, River Valley High School and Ang Mo Kio Secondary School. After the presentations, the students moved to the classrooms to participate in discussions facilitated by SST students based on the Cyber Wellness Framework.

                       Opening Address by Mr Wong Siew Hoong
Keynote Speech by Dr William Wan

There are 3 segments in the Cyber Wellness Framework, ‘Sense’, ‘Think’ and ‘Act’. For ‘Sense’, students played a bingo game, to sense the online habits of children in Singapore. For ‘Think’, students had a scenario based discussion to think of options and consequences of their online behaviour. They watched two videos, focusing on online footprints and digital dossiers. Next, students were introduced to the idea of advocacy. They were given a question, which they have to advocate their stand on. They then pen down their ideas and compile them in a video. For ‘Act’, students and teachers come together to plan a cyber wellness programme to benefit their school community. The entire CWSAP event ended off with an evaluation & feedback session to gather the participants' views on how to improve the programme.
Finding out about online habits of Singaporean children
Discussion on options and consequences
Planning a Cyber Wellness Programme for their school

Written by: Chew Yun Hui (S308) & William Ming (S308)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Mid-year Post-Exam Activities 2014

8:03 PM Posted by William Ming 威廉 No comments
On the 26th May, the post-exam activities for the Secondary 1 and 2 students commenced. It lasted for one week and was enriching for the students to reduce their stress and at the same time, learn something new. Firstly, for the secondary ones, they had a service learning camp and a chance to program a game via Game Salad. For the service learning, the Secondary 1 students went to nursing homes such as Orange Valley Clementi where they had a chance to interact with the elderly there. They talked to them and entertained them. They were able to listen to various stories and experiences from the elderly people. For the GameSalad activity, they were to program a simple application. No doubt it was difficult for some as they were not familiar with the application. Nonetheless, the guidance of the instructors helped them complete it! Now, on to the Secondary 2s. There were various activities lined up for the Sec 2s, to prepare us for the outdoor expedition at the end of the year. On the first day, we attended the Integrated Humanities briefing for the learning journey that was to be held on Wednesday. We then proceeded to a talk by Mr Lam regarding what OE (Outdoor Expedition) was all about and how it would benefit us. Shortly after that, we went to our respective venues. Pitching the tent and learning how to tie knots were the first two activities. We were divided into groups (our camp groups) and learnt how to pitch a tent. There was some standard of difficulty but most teams managed to pitch it up perfectly. There were also some who needed assistance but managed to do it in the end. Well done! Following that, we went into the ISH to learn the art of tying knots. These were important in securing the tent! On 27th May, the Sec 2s went to the I&E room to have a talk on RAMS. This stood for Risk Assessment Management System. We were divided into groups and discussed on the factors that affected a certain activity and how safe it was for the participants. This geared us for the outdoor cooking session that would happen later in the days. Outdoor cooking had risks as students could sustain minor cuts and injuries when opening the tin cans or when setting up the fire. Compounding that, another talk was coming up! The 'Hygiene talk'. This talk basically briefed us on how to keep clean during the camp and the specific items we were supposed to bring. To ensure our understanding, Mr Dennis Lam tasked the class to come up with a list based on the categories, 'Clothing', 'Equipment', 'Personal', 'It's nice to have' and 'Do not bring'. Other than that, teams were tasked to put shoes, books and umbrellas into the bags so that Mr Lam could check whether it was placed appropriately to avoid the straining of the back. Lastly, the Secondary 2s had to attend the Rio Tinto competition, which tested them on their general knowledge for Science. Now, onto the third day! The activity was the Integrated Humanities Trail. Before it started, students were to report to their classes to fold the Poppy Flower. The Poppy Flower was a tribute to the soldiers who died in the Kranji War Memorial. Other than that, the Poppy Flowers were also used for the IH Booth for SST's Open House! The classes then went to Kranji War Memorial and Labrador/Kent Ridge Park. At the Kranji War Memorial stood the graves of more than 24,000 soldiers who died in World War II. The ages ranged from 6 weeks old, all the way to around 88 years old. Next, we proceeded to Labrador Park, where we saw the cannons used by soldiers and the bases they used to hide in during the war. It was truly great and touching to hear about their stories. On 29th May, we participated in the Maps and Scales activity. In this activity, we were to walk around the school, measuring the steps walked and the bearings of the compasses. We were also required to take a selfie to prove that we went to the places. It was a rather fun and enjoyable time as we got to explore the school a little more than usual and had team-bonding with our friends. After that, First Aid came in. We learnt how to bandage an arm, elbow, leg and head within the span of 1 hour! We tried different types of bandages, including the roll and triangular bandages. Other than that, we also took the opportunity to learn more about the severity of the wounds and how we can prevent them. Some of them were gruesome but we were glad that it was taught because, if an incident were to happen, we were prepared. Lastly, on 30th May 2014, it marked the last day of school. Did you know what other day it was? The answer is Kindness Day! The students proceeded to their respective classrooms and the teacher preached about kindness to the class and how we can make a difference. A kindness card was issued out to every student and they were require to write a note to a elderly, thanking them and showing their appreciation. Right after that, the time had come! Outdoor cooking. First of all, we were given the apparatus and instant noodles. It was not the modern stove but it was the old-fashioned portable ones. As we cooked the noodles, we had to watch the fire. We had to be careful to avoid getting burnt or scalded. In the end, the food turned out great and tasty! To end off the school term, students then cleaned their classrooms and cleared their lockers. That marks the end of SST's post-exam activates! Written by: Johanna Lim (S209)