AY1718 S2 South Korea STEM WoW Trip Reflection
by Foo Kyan Matthias (S2R) & Lau King Hei Ryan (S2M)
Filled with the dynamics of modern technologies and a rich cultural heritage, South Korea has obtained high economical and social status in today’s world. When we first set foot onto the beautiful country of South Korea, we were immediately intrigued by the rapid advancements that have been made during a short span of time, transforming a war-torn nation into a modern metropolis that has established itself amongst the ranks of other powerful countries.
During our stay in South Korea, we visited many iconic landmarks and learning exhibits, with many linking back to the science and technological aspects in STEM. An activity that we did on the first day was to visit Dream Park near Incheon City. It is not your typical amusement park but actually the best-managed landfill in the world, due to its filling techniques and eco-friendly methods. The visit taught us a lot about ecology and the environmentally-friendly methods of handling landfills, with many lectures along the way about decay, pollution and the environment. That night, we also got to experience sleeping in a traditional Korean Hanok, making it a fun experience of living as a traditional Korean.
Other places that we visited were the Hyundai Motorstudio Goyang, Gangnam Medical Centre, Korean Aerospace Research Institute, Gwangnaru Safety Experience Museum and Gwacheon National Science Museum. Each attraction gave us a better scientific background on each of their core topics. The visit to Hyundai taught us a lot about the standard manufacturing process of cars; Gangnam Medical Centre gave us insight on the topic of plastic surgery and health monitoring technologies; Korean Aerospace Research Institute taught us a lot about air and space travel and how South Korea plays a vital role in the development of aircraft and spacecraft; the Gwangnaru Safety Experience Museum allowed us to experience terrifying natural disasters and how we should act if they should actually happen; the Gwacheon National Science Museum strengthened our understanding in the sciences, with various insights to the technological advancements that would most likely impact the future. In our opinion, the most memorable attraction that we visited was Samsung D’light, where we got a glimpse of the technology for the future.
Through interactive displays and actual hands-on experiences, we saw how Samsung’s technology is constantly advancing and how these implementations and improvements can actually impact our lives on a large scale. We also visited a local Korean farm, where we learnt a lot about the Korean heritage and got the chance to make traditional rice cake and fly our individually designed kites along a six-hundred years old Korean fort.
In order to establish a better understanding of education in Korea, we also explored two well-known universities in South Korea, namely, Dongguk University and Ewha Womans University. During the campus tour, we were amazed by the state-of-the-art architectural designs and well-built facilities.
Last but not least, we got an overnight stay and learning experience at the Invention Education Centre, where we programmed and controlled an RC car. To accomplish the task at hand, we constantly had to think about “speed, control and strength” as we built and designed our robot. It was extremely exciting and enjoyable, seeing our creations perform on the playing field for the first time, though some of us were pretty heartbroken when our robots didn’t get to fight on the battlefield due to being “too dangerous and a hazard” when placed against the other RC vehicles. Despite our losses, we still had a fun and cool experience with robotics and technology.
In summary, the itinerary was well-thought through with various activities and learning points that were crucial to our development and understanding on STEM, in both South Korea and our everyday lives.