CCA Previews ’18: Raffles Society of Biological Sciences

By Fong Khi Yung (18S03O), Chairman

What’s the similarity between a dog and a biologist? One wags a tail and the other tags a whale.

If you found that humerus, then why not consider joining BioSoc? Raffles Society of Biological Sciences (RSBS; more commonly and affectionately known as BioSoc) offers a wide range of exposure to the many facets of biology, such as anatomy, animal behaviour, and plant biology.

Your journey in this CCA will kick off with a CCA camp to welcome new J1s to the BioSoc family. Fret not: we’ll be avoiding lectures in this camp, focusing instead on biology-related games, visits to nature reserves, and many more amazing activities.

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On our field trip to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve during BioSoc Camp 2017!

Sessions are held every Thursday from 4.30-6.30 pm, usually at the Blue Room, and conducted by our very own members. At the start of the year, you’ll get to vote for the topics that you’d like us to cover over the course of the term – hence, sessions will be tailored to match the interests of every batch.

Besides the occasional lecture, we aim to fuse learning with enjoyment and club bonding. Look forward to Kahoot quizzes, team “game show” events, and other engaging methods of participation, to help you learn while having fun with your batchmates!

We also have frequent hands-on and practical sessions, such as frog dissections, caterpillar rearing, insect catching, and gardening. These, we are sure, are extremely useful practical skills.

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Need to go outdoors and let loose? BioSoc also organizes field trips to nature reserves (such as Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, MacRitchie Reservoir, Sungei Buloh and Chek Jawa), and even museums like the NUS Medical Anatomy Museum and Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum. Besides immersing yourself in the beauty of nature in the company of your friends, you will also learn to identify various species of plants and animals! (Imagine being able to identify some random bird that flew by, or give the scientific name of the RJ cat. Depending on how severely your friends judge you, that might actually be a pretty sick skill to have.) Not to mention the added benefit of destressing and relaxing after a long week of lectures and tutorials fueled by ground-up seeds of the Coffea plant.

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Field trip to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

As part of BioSoc’s outreach efforts, we participate in school events like the Luminescence Science Week, conducting live dissections at our exhibition booth. BioSoc has also collaborated with the other science clubs to organize “Eureka”, a biennial science competition which sees secondary school students from all over Singapore taking part.

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Students from HCI participating in Eureka 2017.

Feel the need to give back to the community? BioSoc, both individually and together with RI’s service CCAs, organises events for members to give back to the community, all while applying their biological knowledge.

Many of our club members also participate in the annual International Biomedical Quiz, where participants can learn more about biology through intensive training sessions by medical student alumni.

Our weekly session meetings on Thursday are usually different from most CCAs, leaving you free to pursue other interests for the rest of the week. Moreover, unlike many other CCAs, we don’t have any rules for entry into our club. This means that regardless of your subject combination or whether you’re in Raffles Academy or Biology Olympiad training (or none of them), you can be a happy member of our club! All we ask is for you to bring an open mindset and love of biology and nature to our sessions.

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