CyberFair Project ID: 4888

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Man Made Objects and The Environment
Category: 5. Local Attractions (Natural and Man-Made)

School: Yio Chu Kang Secondary School
    Singapore, Singapore, Singapore

50 students, ages 15 and 16 years old worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 12, 2007. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2007

Classes and Teachers: Mdm Vijayan Pria and Classes 322 Normal Technical & 422 Normal Technical

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Singapore is a little island with a community of different races with English being our first language. The bulk of the population, 70% live in flats provided by the Housing & Development Board. HDB aims to ensure everyone has a roof over their heads and prices of flats are kept low and affordable. Yio Chu Kang Secondary is situated smack in the middle of Ang Mo Kio, one of the many housing hubs in Singapore. Like all housing hubs in Singapore, Ang Mo Kio is self contained with fabulous food stalls, markets both wet and dry, shopping malls, a library, swimming complexes and running tracks through lush green parks. The colour scheme of Yio Chu Kang Secondary blends beautifully with the surrounding flats, creating an ambience of sunrise, sunshine and happy faces. Students of Yio Chu Kang either walk to school, are ferried by their parents in cars, take a bus, a train or better still ride a bike to school. It is very hard to be cut off from the people around you in Singapore, especially at Yio Chu Kang Secondary where we value people and our environment.

2. Summary of Our Project

As we are always in constant contact with people and the environment, we decided to consider man made objects that could assist people make their lives easier. We also took the environment into consideration. Not a day goes by where we are not in tune with another human being and our environment. As such we thought, why not consider man made objects that could add meaning to the lives of people as well as protect our environment from further damage.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:less than 20

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:1

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dial-up modem

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:4-6

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

Our diskettes were faulty many a times and we had to retype our research. Some of us had to even redo our PowerPoint as they were deleted by other students from othr classes who used the computers. There were times upon completion we could not save our text and PowerPoint presentations due to faulty computers. All these proved to be a real challenge but we persevered.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

Our main problem was booking the computer labs at school as most students from class 322 & 422 do not own a home pc. But it was quite impossible to book the computer lab on a consistent basis as the computer labs are mainly for enrichment classes such as computer animation and for academic subjects such as Principles of Accounts and Elements of Office. Therefore, we had to rely on the computer labs whenever it was available and also do our research at the local school library and public library. Some of us did meet after school to work on our research but ended up forgetting about our project. So once again, we had to rely on the school computer labs to complete our research. The school computers are also very slow and browsing is time consuming. Other contributing factors were time factor and attendance of students. Some students did not come to school regularly and as such we were delayed in doing our research and their contribution to the project was minimal. We also realized we had more fun designing and drawing our man made object then jotting down our thoughts. It was easier to talk about it in class then to pen it down on paper as we realized there were technical terms that we needed to use to make ourselves clear. We lacked cameras and also found it a challenge to approach other school mates and members from the public especially food vendors and store holders to seek their opinions on why it was important to come up with inventions and recycling options to benefit both man and our environment. But we still did it!

5. Our Project Sound Bite

This is our first attempt to participate in something on such a grand scale. ‘The Straits Times’, our local newspaper, the internet, school and public libraries provided the bulk of the information to our research.

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

The Cyberfair project which we were doing was part of our English lessons. We used our research as materials for English lessons through comprehension passage, reading, cloze passages and even had mini debates in class to discuss the feasibility of our ideas. Brainstorming in class was initially messy but lots of ideas were discussed and the teacher used our discussion as a means to test us on our oral skills and presentation. We were learning more than just doing grammar exercises. We also learnt geography and science through our discussions. We were reading more through websites, books and scouting for relevant articles in the local newspapers all of which improved our English and general knowledge. Skits were acted out amidst loud laughter. But most of all we enjoyed watching our friends act. The skits we were engaged in saw us engaged in role play, for example we had to pretend being a plastic bag with a student interviewing the plastic bag, asking it if it knew the kind of damages it was causing to the environment. Students embarked on their own project to produce their skit. Our letter writing skills were also put to test through emails and writing to organizations such as the Ministry of Environment seeking assistance in our project and this became part of our English writing skill test. Our artistic skills were also put to test. Our desire for a cleaner and environmental friendly environment saw our aesthetic appreciation for our surroundings enhanced. Some of us hope we can really be inventors one day and help mankind achieve a better place to live in. Our participation in the Community Involvement Programme through cleaning the beach of litter and distribution of flyers advising the community about how to use plastic bags wisely and dispose them correctly widened our understanding of conservation measures.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

The school computers were our greatest friends, helping us surf the internet, followed by books at the local public library. Friends with whom we discussed too were a source of information along with the local news paper.

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

We first contacted the Ministry of Environment through email and Ms Yang Hong who is the Senior Environmental Health Executive from the Resource Conservative Department of the National Environment Agency. Ms Yang was very quick to respond and contact our teacher about our project. She provided us the link to questions we raised about waste statistics and recycling rate. We also contacted a hospital about our recycling project and threw in a suggestion on how to avoid wastage of plastic bags for wet umbrellas through a recycling bin. Our suggestion was indeed taken seriously by the National Environment Agency. We also visited the East Coast beach with both our teachers where we organized a clean up operation of the beach through clearing plastic bags and bottles. Flyers were also issued to stallholders in our school, hawker centre and shopping mall at Ang Mo Kio about being environment friendly through discouraging the use of plastic bags and instead using paper bags or better still bringing your own bags.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

Students did the beach clean up with a greater sense of dedication.

We received word of praise through email from Ms Yang Hong who is the Senior Environmental Health Executive from the Resource Conservative Department of the National Environment Agency of our zeal for a better environment.

Students from other classes also praised us in our effort.

Friends from other classes were keen to join in the discussion too and help in the project. Some of the lower secondary students were also keen to participate in our project and hope they can carry the pursuit of a friendly environment next year through the beach cleanup.

The community was also supportive and receptive to our desire for a cleaner and litter free society.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

Miss Far made this project possible through her valuable assistance in helping create our website. We created the artworks, research materials, did our PowerPoint presentations engaged in Community Involvement Projects while Miss Far provided the technical support we needed. We also had support from our school and our CIP Co-ordinator Miss Grace Goh who readily agreed to us chartering a bus despite the cost it involved in ferrying us to the beach. Our co-form teacher Mr. Simon Foo was more then willing to accompany us in our zeal to clean up the beach. The National Environment Agency was most supportive and gave us their full pledged support in our endeavour to raise public awareness of the harmful damage of plastic bags and the need to be consciously engaged to safeguard our precious environment. The numerous emails we exchanged were useful in helping us gather our research materials. The Singapore Tourist Promotion’s Board beautiful images of Singapore enhanced our desire to create a webpage promoting Singapore’s Garden City image. Most of all, our school promotes global learning and an environment friendly world which is why our school song has the words “Health of body and health of mind, Care and love for all mankind”.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

We never realized we were causing so much damage to the environment through our man made objects like plastic bags, styrofoam, exhaust from our cars, aeroplanes until we embarked on this project.

We were also shocked to learn that marine life mistook plastic bags for jellyfish and died of indigestion. We also learnt more about beaching whales and dolphins and how man could also be a culprit to their death although no proven evidence has been shown. We learnt that it is up to us to ensure our survival. We also learnt about the damage of global warming and saw the need to cut down on fuel burning, lessen electricity consumption, prevent deforestation and promote a litter free and green society for all living things.

We also learnt that Singapore takes conservation measures seriously and is part of the Kyoto Protocol as such considers the importance of protecting our environment. The doing away of paper parking coupons is a perfect example to show our country’s proactive desire to lessen deforestation and reduce paper exploitation.

Therefore all these made realize that we need to do our bit to save our planet. Some of us hope that one day we could be inventors and create inventions that would be hundred percent environment friendly and promote a healthier lifestyle for all living things.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 4888)

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