An Experience to Remember
In June 2012, we had the great opportunity to take part in the NUS (National University of Singapore) Science Summer Camp organised by the National University of Singapore. It was a privilege to participate in the programme with NUS being amongst the top 4 universities in Asia and currently, ranked 23rd in the world. We were very excited as we would be meeting selected students from the best schools across Asia and have a chance to interact and exchange ideas with them. The camp was held from June 11 to June 15. During this period, we stayed at the NUS student hostels at PGRP (Prince George's Park Residence) at Singapore and got to experience the amazing vibrant life that a student of NUS lives everyday.
Students from all over Asia.
The Science Camp consisted of inspiring lectures by highly qualified university professors, challenging us with laboratory tasks in which all the participants took part. The most exciting was DNA fingerprinting through a forensic investigation in the Crime Lab. As a science student, it was like a dream come true for us as we only get to see these in Sci-Fi movies or Investigative drama shows. There were many workshops going on such as Nanotechnology, Electron Microscope, Animal Classification workshop, the making of Jellies and many more. One such workshop which I found very interesting was the demonstration of Bio-diesel in the Bio fuel workshop where we learnt how used cooking oil is converted into clean eco-friendly bio-diesel. This is a great initiative by Alpha Bio fuels in Singapore as it prevents used cooking oil from re-entering the human food supply (which it normally does and is very unhealthy). On the other hand, it is used as a fuel for cars and helps prolong engine life from enhanced lubricity of Bio-diesel. In between these workshops we had classes taken by some experienced and highly qualified professors. All the lectures were very interesting and interactive and amidst the high standards of their teaching, I got to learn one important thing, as one professor said, "Why do we learn Science? For Fun!" No other field can be so rewarding, interesting and at the same time fun as Science can be. The whole message starting from the lecturers, researchers and even the University students was 'Science is fun!'
Rashedul Hasan and Shahriar Chowdhury at the NUS Science Summer Camp.
The camp helped us a lot, clearing some concepts we had as we were taught with practical applications. We also went to the Raffle Biodiversity Museum where we classified animals in their correct group by touching actual mummified samples.
The five days we spent in Singapore were one of the most memorable days of our lives where we had tons of experience, fun and made friends with people from different parts of the world. Where Science was given 'Life', the NUS Science Summer Camp was truly one not to be missed.
(The authors are students of Maple Leaf International School (MLIS).)