1. Description of Our Community
Singapore is a small island country located at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula in South-East Asia. Singapore has about 4,483,900 people (as of December 2006) spread over a land area of about 699.4 square kilometres (44th smallest country in the world), making it the densest-populated country in the world after Monaco at 6,208 persons per square kilometre.
Singapore is a multiracial and multicultural country, made up of four main ethnic groups, namely the Chinese, the Malays, the Indians and the Eurasians. Everyone is able to coexist in peace and harmony, and we have stood together as one people to face challenges such as the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis and the 2003 SARS crisis.
Due to Singapore's small land area and large population, Singapore's skyline is dominated by many high-rise buildings to effectively make use of its scarce land. More than 90% of the population lives in high-rise housing estates constructed by the Housing Development Board (HDB).
Approximately 75% of Singapore's population take one or more forms of public transport everyday. Almost 50% or 2,000,000 people take the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) to work or school. To most Singaporeans, the MRT is a safe, convenient and accessible form of public transport that is part of their daily lives.
2. Summary of Our Project
The main aim of our project is to educate visitors about the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system, which is one of the modes of public transport available in Singapore. We would be providing detailed information on the past, present and future of the MRT and how it is unique to Singapore. We would also be revealing the more interesting facts of the MRT so as to let visitors have a deeper impression of it.
The MRT is not only a form of transport but it is also an advertising tool. Advertisements are pasted on the windows of trains and there are also LCD screens on MRT station platforms that broadcast advertisements.
Furthermore, the MRT provides a stage for talented artists to showcase their works. The MRT stations on the North East Line have been beautifully decorated by artworks that guide the commuters through their journey in the stations. The artworks also serve as a form of relaxation for the busy commuters.
We also interview locals about their views of the current MRT system and what they hope can be improved in the future.
3. Our Computer and Internet Access
A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%
B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6
C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection
D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
The process that we went through to complete the project was fraught with problems and obstacles that we had to make a huge effort to overcome.
We had to cope with many problems, due to our extremely tight schedules as students and the large amount of homework that we have. Some of us, as Secondary 4 students, also have to take an ‘O’ Level exam at the end of the year. Thus it was very stressful for us as we had to juggle between schoolwork and the requirements of the competition. Also, we had to face a sudden change in our project topic midway through our project, due to the difficulties we faced in understanding the previous topic. We also had trouble contacting the organization which was related to our previous topic and this led to a lack of time to do research for our present topic.
Our group, which includes people of different ages, had a problem communicating with each other at first as we did not know each other well. Even so, as the competition progressed, we got to know each other better, and the speed at which we were able to progress was greatly increased.
Due to other school commitments such as other competitions, our team members had trouble completing the work before the deadline. We had to work on several competitions simultaneously with the deadlines close to each other. Adding this on to the pile of schoolwork we had to complete, we faced even more difficulty in completing the work. In order to meet the deadline, we had to sacrifice our sleep as well as time for recreation.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
We have learnt many things that could not be learnt in our normal classroom setting and it has been great as we now know more about the public transport system that we take everyday. Now, we are able to recognize the different trains and be able to understand how the trains function. We also realized that teamwork and perseverance are two very important factors throughout the process of completing this project. Without teamwork we would not have been able to consolidate all our work, and without perseverance we would not have been able to continue through our work and would have given up halfway.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
Through our activities and research for the CyberFair competition, we have gained knowledge and improved on our skills.
Completing the project on the Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system has allowed our team to have an in-depth knowledge about how the system is operated, and we know and understand more about the technical structure of the trains and the stations. This project has also allowed us to see how the transport system in Singapore has improved over the years, corresponding with our Geography and History syllabus on Singapore's various modes of public transport.
Also, we have improved in various technical skills after completing the project. Our skills in taking photographs, designing webpages, and editing pictures have improved. All these Information Technology (IT) skills are essential for us as members of our school’s Infocomm Club, as we make use of it in our various projects and competitions.
The CyberFair competition has also given us the opportunity to work in a group, enhancing our ability to work together and enabling us to understand the importance of working as a team. We were gradually able understand each other better as the project progressed, and we found that we could make use of each person's strengths to help us progress faster. This has helped us gain experience in adapting to different surroundings with different people around us, which is important in our school lives as well as in the future when we work in society.