By Cameron Goh (19S03D), Chairperson, and Gu Jiahao (19S03D), Vice-Chairperson
Did you know that there is a walkway in our school dedicated to Gregor Mendel, the founder of modern genetics? It’s a place most of you walk through everyday – the walkway into school from the Marymount gate! Along this Mendelian stretch, you can observe Mendel’s discoveries in action. Near the end of the path, for example, you can see tall trees and short shrubs with white flowers. These plants actually belong to the same species, generations of selection causing an extraordinary height disparity.
Did that pique your interest? If so, consider joining the Raffles Society of Biological Sciences! Affectionately known as BioSoc, we cater to the various Life Sciences interests of Rafflesians, be it animal anatomy, plant diversity, microbiology, or the ever-popular medicine.
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. As a close-knit CCA of around 25 members per batch, you’ll get to meet many new friends from diverse backgrounds.
Our CCA is student-run, so sessions are tailored to the interests of each batch. At the start of the year, you’ll get to vote on topics you want to learn more about. Throughout the course of the year, exco members will present those topics in fun and digestible sessions, so that you can absorb it into your hippocampus instead of egesting it like much of the H2 syllabus. Many sessions will include games such as Jeopardy for a healthy dose of friendly competition. You may also pick up fun tidbits of information, like the scientific name of the Wednesday Frog (Lepidobatrachus laevis). (Note: we take no responsibility if you get judged by your friends for weird flexes)
Apart from the occasional lectures, we conduct many hands-on activities to learn more about life around us. Highlights of the year include dissections – where you can take a look at the internal anatomy of various organs – and even entire organisms such as frogs – insect catching, and a walk around school to see the biodiversity around our campus. You’ll also get to leave your mark behind on the school – the colourful plants you can see just after walking through the Marymount gate were planted by the J2 batch last year!
If you feel like getting out of school and exploring new places, BioSoc also conducts regular field trips. Destinations include museums such as the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, MacRitchie Reservoir, and even the beautiful Chek Jawa Wetlands. You’ll get to enjoy the beauty of nature in the company of friends, de-stress and relax after a long week of lectures and tutorials, and even learn to identify some of the flora and fauna of Singapore.
For those with a competitive streak, many of our BioSoc members also participate in the annual International Biomedical Quiz, where participants can pick up knowledge on topics such as immunology, geriatric medicine and ophthalmology from medical school alumni.
Our sessions are conducted on Thursdays, from 4.30-6.30pm, leaving you free to pursue other interests. Moreover, BioSoc has no entry requirements – you need not take H2 biology, and physics or arts students are welcome! All you need to bring to our sessions is an open mindset and an enthusiasm for Biology.