(I) Plenary Sessions [Day 1]
(A) My key learning points from each session...
1. Importance of Water - Dirty and Clean
I learnt that 1.1 billion people have no access to drinking water. Even our neighbouring countries do not have this privilege. Therefore I should not take the clean and drinkable water in Singapore for granted. We should only use what we need and not use water excessively. On top of the 1.1 billion people, 2.4 billion people do not have adequate sanitation facilities. 3.4 billion people die in a year because of waterborne diseases. 2 billion people are at risk of waterborne diseases. These are large numbers and I never thought that us living in the 21st Century would have such a big problem. This is just one reminder why we should not take drinkable water for granted. 50 years ago, Singapore's water was filled with diseases such as cholera, typhoid fever, brainerd diarrhoea and dysentery. Therefore, we must thank the government for cleaning up the river to make it the beautiful river it is today and also for the NEWater technology. Pollution causes infectious diseases, chronic health risk and environmental degradation. Therefore clean water is very important and US $9 billion is spent for water and environment infrastructure.
2. Revolution of Microelectronics Technology
I learnt that by converging electronic and biology at a nanoscale, technology can/has changed many lives.
Simply by these 9 O’s:
-Energy = mc²
Some example would be boombox → walkman → discman → mp3 and endoscope → camera pill. Konrad Zuse invented Z-1, which a 1st freely programmable computer in 1936.
3. Biomedical Engineering & Technology
I learnt that nanotechnology affects people’s lives and are widely beneficial. They are able to find cancer cells when they only a few cells in size. Fight aircrafts have a strong nano coating so it would not melt when exposed to high temperatures. Metal nanoparticles were produced by gas evaporation in the 1960s. Lastly, nanotechnology is used to design the new Singapore Armed Forces' uniform.
4. IT for Animation by Prof Seah Hock Soon
I learnt that animation is an optical illusion of motion and the images may be drawn. Lion King is the 1st traditional animated films produced with the aid of computer technology. Toy Story was the world’s first 3D animated movie which was released on 22nd November 1995. Animation requires Mathematics concepts such as geometry, linear algebra, calculus. On top of that, the law of Physics is required. Creating a animation film is very time-consuming and labour intensive. Therefore making a 2D animation film is more costly as compared to a 3D film, which makes use of computers. However, even today, many people enjoy watching 2D animation which are the anime which comes from Japan.
5. Disappearing glaciers, rising sea levels, and why gravity is even more important than you think
I learnt that a geodesist measures the shape and size of the earth, its gravity field and how these things change over time. The global average sea-level rise measured is about 1.88mm/yr. However this is misleading because the rising of sea levels will not be the same everywhere. This is because when the glacier melts, the sea level near the glacier will reduce. This is caused by the land popping up. However those sea levels further away from the glacier would increase. It is important for us living far away from the glaciers because the sea-level will be highest furthers from the glacier. As technology develops, a satellite, GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) is used to measure the Earth's movement.
(B) Deepest impression...
The plenary session that leaves the deepest impression on me is the 5th plenary session, ‘Disappearing glaciers, rising sea levels, and why gravity is even more important than you think’.
What I like about it is that the professor talks about what her job actually is before hand so we actually have a rough idea what her job is all about. This plenary session talks about how melting glaciers would affect Singapore, even though they are so far away. This gives me a wider knowledge about the world. I learnt that if we do not save the Earth, we would all suffer. She also changed some of my assumptions when people are talking to me about rising sea levels. For example, I now know that when the glacier melts, not all of the sea level rises.
(II) My Personal Reflection [Day 3 - complete this section]
1. I choose this project because I find it interesting that even the angle of the ramp affects the speed. There is more to learn than just dropping the ball. On top of that, I find it fun that we get to sort of play during this experiment.
2. My role in the group is to take down the timing for each angle. On top of that, I would advise my group members who are carrying out the experiment which angle to try out next.
3. Challenges I encounter when working on this project in the last 2 days would be trying to find the angle which the ball would roll the fastest. The second challenge would be trying to understand why the ball would roll slower.
I overcame these challenges after the professor explained to us that there was not right or wrong angle. He also explain to us the second challenge that I faced.
4. Through this project, I discovered that just because a surface is oiled, it does not mean that it would reduce friction and allow the ball to roll down at a faster speed.
5. As an individual, how I have benefited from this programme by gained new knowledge in Physics.
6. I hope that I am able to apply the knowledge I have gained through this experiment in the future. For example,I learnt that oil does not necessarily reduce friction. I can find out other ways to reduce friction. On top of that, I hope that the school would allow us to go for more camps like this and also give opportunities to the juniors.