The Human Element

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By Siew Jey Ren (13S03R)

This week, we bring you exclusive previews of the upcoming edition of Eagle Eye, which will be distributed to all staff and students at the end of the month. Jointly produced by RI’s Corporate Communications Department and Raffles Press (Yr 5–6), Eagle Eye is the school’s official magazine.

Getting steamy? Put your lab goggles on.

Globalisation makes the world a smaller place, and, at RI, so does science. Centred on the theme of ‘Science for humanity’, the Raffles International Science Camp (RISC) held between 4 and 9 June 2012 brought together more than 100 15- to 18- year-old students hailing from Japan to the Philippines in the spirit of friendship and competition. In the open and friendly environment of our school, these visitors experienced a rich cultural tapestry in their shared pursuit of scientific knowledge. This was the second international edition of the camp, first held in 2007 for young science enthusiasts from all over Singapore and subsequently in 2010 for local and international students.

Mr Wong Tze Yang, a Year 5–6 Chemistry teacher, says that the camp differed from those of previous years due to the the emphasis on both cognitive and affective elements in the programme.

There was an equal balance of talks and workshops, field trips and outings, with more mass events than traditional workshop sessions. For instance, students engaged in activities such as Dine in the Dark, where they ate a meal in darkness in order to foster their empathy for the blind; the Amazing Science Race, which focused on team-building and problem-solving; and Baker Street Irregulars, a mass game of solving mock crimes using forensic science. To expose participants to each other’s heritage, a Cultural Buffet was held, where different schools put up authentic cultural performances. The live-in format of the camp at RI Boarding School also presented an opportunity for participants to interact with each other over three ‘free and easy’ evenings, creating a ‘hidden curriculum’ in addition to the formal programme.

Besides expanding their knowledge of science, the camp left both participants and organisers with unforgettable memories. The next  time you think that science is just for bespectacled geeks walking around memorising the Periodic Table, think again!

What did camp participants and facilitators have to say? Find out in our coverage of the Raffles Institution Science Camp in Eagle Eye.

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