Mathscientiz Day 2014
“Whodunnit?” That was the one word etched in the minds of 237 Sec 1 girls as they scoured the school for evidence from the various “crime scenes” on a non-so-typical Friday afternoon of 7th March 2014.
It was MathScientiz Day 2014 or MS Day 2014 as it is affectionally known as. A day specially set aside for the Sec 1 TKGians to engage in hands-on activities to further appreciate the applications of Maths and Science. Planning for the event began as far back as 3 months ago in Computer Lab 4 when the plan for a CSI-themed MS Day was hatched. A flurry of preparation ensured which included soil samples, blood type analysis, shoeprint photographs, murder weapon impact tests, decryption codes, and not forgetting the creation of our very own TKGS CSI story – The Mystery of Blue.
Leads to crack the case was achieved through a series of blizzard twitter feeds and a CSI–style briefing video, the Sec 1s learnt that Cookie Monster had been done in! By someone in the school! They were now detectives and their task was to work in groups and solve the mystery behind the disturbance by the Sherlock Holmes’ way - using the science of deduction. The girls divulged into their tasks eagerly, testing evidence from the crime scenes at the labs and obtaining additional information at the “clue” stations. The studio was silent before the truth was finally revealed to the girls through a live interrogation by our sporting student suspect and chief teacher detective.
To the detectives who successfully identified the culprit, they were awarded the TKGS investigator badge. The crowd went wild with excitement as the event culminated with a winning group stating the password code to the cookie safe! The event ended the only way it should, leading to the reappearance of Cookie Monster to distribute cookies to all detectives and rewarding them for their wonderful mind work on MS Day 2014.
Science students in TKGS will benefit from learning and experiencing science from a group of highly motivated teachers. Teachers teaching a particular science subject are subject specialists and place emphasis on inquiry-based teaching and learning.
What’s up lately: MathScientiz Day!
On 6 March 2015, Secondary TKGians participated in an exciting afternoon of crime-solving action during our annual MathScientiz Day.
This year, the girls took on the challenge to solve the mystery revolving round the ‘kidnap’ of our beloved Cookie Monster. The event had the youth sleuths applying crime-busting techniques such as analysing blood stain, background sound profiling and identifying inks from traces of evidence left behind. They even used computer programmes and internet tools to make sense of mathematical clues and identifying geographical locations in Singapore.
The race to the truth kept the girls hot on their heels and being absolutely engaged at each activity station. By the end of the event, over 90% of the groups managed to identify the kidnapper and accurately pinpoint the location of his hideout!
Most importantly, all Secondary 1 girls agreed that MathScientiz Day was engaging and that they would definitely recommend it to their schoolmates!
Kuddos to the TKGS Science and Maths teachers, student leaders and VJC Astrophysics Club for their stewardship in another highly successful round of MathScientiz Day.
Lastest happenings: Science Quest selection
From 1st August to 9th August 2015, 3 TKGians and 2 Science teachers embarked on the International Research Experiences (iREs) programme in the pursuit of bettering their understanding of science research methodologies. This journey took them from the sunny shores of Singapore to the cooling temperatures of Dalat, Vietnam where they met the rest of the iREs family. Numbering 31 in total, there were instructors from America, Hong Kong and Vietnam and programme participants from Dalat and Hanoi, Vietnam as well as Singapore. Brought together by their fierce passion for Science, all were eager to start their fieldwork of obtaining data and samples from the primary forest of Bidoup Nu Bai National Park (BNBNP).
The girls were split into 3 teams namely – Soil, Dendrochonology, Water Chemistry and Atmospheric Chemistry. Their aim was to obtain information to study how climate changes have affected the growth of trees during their lifespan as well as to get quantitative data of the conditions of the soil and water sources in the forest. The two days spent at the secondary forest of Giang Ly station and cloud forest of Hon Giao station were not easy-going. From setting up the transact line to accurately pinpoint locations within each plot to digging for soil samples and obtaining tree cores, each team had to work together and communicate effectively to obtain the responsibilities assigned to them. A language barrier was non-existent as the girls thought of innovative ways to communicate e.g. using hand signs and code switching between different languages. By working closely with the instructors and their team members, they gained a close understanding of the working style and culture of other nationalities.
Close guidance by Dr Glen, a chemistry professor from City College New York, was essential in analysing the samples obtained. All of this data was presented to the staff members of BNBNP including the director of BNBNP, Mr Le Van Huong and director of research at the International Centre for Tropical Highland Ecosystems Research (ICTHER) at BNBNP, Mr Minh Ton That. They were very impressed with the high caliber of the data obtained and responded that this will help them in understanding their primary forest even better.
As the trip neared its end, the TKGS iREs team were sad to leave as they were now part of the iREs family. While the elements will degrade away the neon-coloured and biodegradable transact tapes and the seasonal rains wash away the footprints in the soil, the legacy of iREs 2015 will remain firmly etched in their minds and hearts.
Shimadzu-CRADLE Spectroscopy Workshop
The spectroscopy workshop organized by CRADLE and Shimadzu was way beyond what I expected it to be. I had the initial thinking that as spectroscopy was about light, there was nothing much to learn about that topic. This perception was immediately proven wrong. The experience and content I learnt there was something to be remembered. It was not like a typical workshop where you just sit down and look at the instructor going through boring powerpoint slides. There were a lot of hands-on activities for us to try. I learnt about the different instruments to test and analyse the different properties of light. The size of the apparatus varied from small, like a microscope in our school, to large like the size of the teacher's table in our school. The Shimadzu staff even taught us how to make a mini spectroscope which we could bring home to keep! With our spectroscope, we were able to see the spectra created by different light sources eg. Energy-saving LEDs, fluorescent lamps and natural sunlight. We learnt that we were to see the different spectrum lines in an emission spectra due to the diffraction grating in our spectroscope. We were awed that as Secondary 2 students, we were given the opportunity to be exposed to a tertiary level concept like diffraction grating.
The staff were kind and patient with me when I encountered difficulties during the workshop. Furthermore, they allowed us to discover the properties and functions of light in different objects such as the different types of light bulbs that we see every day. All in all, the workshop allowed us, students, to get familiar with the science and physics behind spectroscopy and provided us with an opportunity for hands-on experience with Shimadzu's UV-Vis spectrophotometer. I was amazed by the experience and greatly enriched with the new knowledge that I gained from the workshop.
Science Subject Representative
TKGS contributes to the National Science Experiment (NSE)!
Some students in TKGS participated in a nation-wide science project launched by President Tony Tan at the Global Young Scientists Summit@one north 2015 on 23 January 2015. Themed “Step Out For Science”, the project involved primary and secondary school students wearing pocket devices or sensors, called “SENSg” that measures their everyday environment.
NSE is jointly organised by the National Research Foundation, Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore (NRF) and the Ministry of Education (MOE), in partnership with the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), the Science Centre Singapore (SCS) and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).
To find out more about TKGS’ participation in NSE, click here for the link.
The following are the accounts of some participants in the NSE pilot run.
By: Shah Aaarushi (3E6)
The experiment was a fun experience. I never imagined that I would get the opportunity to be part of such a prestigious national experiment. The 3 days that we had to play around with the data logger were very interesting. The part that I liked the most was checking our own data at the end of the 3 days. I never knew something so small could actually collect various data.
The conference that I was selected for answered all my doubts and questions about the data logger experiment. I learnt many things and discovered that I could also be a part of the scientific research team that was behind this experiment in the near future.
The experiment certainly exceeded my expectations. It was much better than I thought it would be. I would surely like to participate in such activities in future! This experiment allowed me to think deeply about the elements used in making gadgets like the data logger and it compelled me to relate to the subjects that I study. It definitely gave me an insight to why I am studying what I am studying.
By: Gheslynn Gerard & Noorul Azlina (3E5)
This experiment carried out was mind-boggling. When we first heard about it, we jumped at the opportunity, curious to know what this data logger around our neck would be collecting over the span of 2 days.
Despite the stares we got on public transport, we felt that it was truly worth it especially after attending the sharing done by Professor Erik. The sharing was another exciting component of wearing this device. The presentation was mainly about the data collected by the device and how it functioned to collect this data. The data collected gave us insights about the kind of activity that we were carrying out daily and the type of environment we were living in, such as sound, temperature and movement.
Furthermore, the presentation gave us the reason and the purpose of why we are learning certain subjects in school such as Biology, Physics and Geography. This definitely changed our perspectives of jobs involving Science and Mathematics and we feel that women should be involved in more of these jobs.