Annual STEM Week (2 to 5 Oct 2018)
By Joy Tan
The annual STEM Week was successfully conducted for the third time from 2 to 5 October 2018. Jointly organised by the Science, Mathematics and ICT departments, the aim this year was to engage the entire school population in a ‘hands-on’ creative problem-solving challenge and increase students’ curiosity and motivation for STEM learning through activities beyond the classroom. All students were involved in the housed-based STEM Challenge to plan and build a Rube Goldberg Machine. Students also participated in a school-wide STEM quiz which included questions that required students to exhibit their knowledge of laboratory equipment and to solve critical-thinking and data-based questions.
Reflections from the student organisers
With my involvement as an organiser, the STEM quiz was a new experience for me this year. Being in science club provided the opportunity for me to volunteer to help out in the event. The students had limited time to prepare for the event but it was a great opportunity to demonstrate teamwork and build our interpersonal skills. It was interesting to learn how to use and manage the buzzers in my role. Simple as the job seemed, it tested ability to make decisions, problem-solve and respond fast to unexpected hiccups due to unresponsive buzzers during the event. I also enjoyed watching the event happening from the perspective of an organiser. Overall, I was also able to effectively work with the emcees and my partner Ryan Fung to create an exciting and relatively smooth event.
By Lee Yun Jing Ryan (S2S)
It was a good experience to help out as one of the presenters for the STEM quiz. Ryan Lee and I spent gruelling hours preparing the emcee’s script, working on it even on weekends. The organising team for the quiz needed to arrange for meeting to refine the questions and scripts. It was not easy at all to find common meeting times due to our busy timetable. It was necessary to be detailed to check that the animation on each slide works to ensure the smooth running of the quiz on the actual day. Rehearsals were necessary and critical. Although we prepared as well as we could prior the event, we knew there will be last minute issues to handle on the day itself. We knew that the teachers would be there to advise us but we were also given much autonomy to solve the problems. There was indeed an unexpected technical problem with the buzzers on the actual day. Excited participants handled the buzzers too roughly resulting in the batteries coming loose. Despite these complications, the event still turned out well. It was a wonderful experience to be part of the organising team of this schoolwide event. I hope I can contribute more next time.
By Fung Chun Yin Ryan (S2R)
A key event of the STEM week is the STEM challenge where the house has to plan and build a Rube Goldberg machine. The planning started on morning of 12 September and the machine was finally ready for judging on 4 and 5 Oct. This project requires creativity, imagination, and most importantly collaboration between grades. As a head of house nominee, it gave me the opportunity to bond with and get to know several fellow house members from the younger grades. Through this activity, I also learnt the importance of communication, and the need for planning and organisation especially when embarking such a long-term huge project. Overall, I was extremely satisfied with Raffles’ Rube Goldberg machine. Although it was not able to execute smoothly in a single run during the judging day, we were able to incorporate several innovative contraptions which I would not have even imagined being able to build at the start. Through it, I also gained a deeper understanding of the practical uses of physics.
By Brian Wong DP1B