DHS-NTU Science and Immersion Programme 2012, Taiwan
A team of 20 Year 3 students led by Dr Yap Ann Teck and Ms Chia Shu Hui participated in the Taiwan Science Programme from 4 Nov – 12 Nov 12. As part of the annual cultural immersion programme, we have set up a partnership with the National Taiwan University (NTU), to collaborate on a Science Programme specially tailored for our top Year 3 Science students, who have demonstrated their exemplary talents and obtained outstanding performances in Sciences. This programme was handled by a special department, the Centre for the Advancement of Science Education (CASE), headed by Professor Chen Jwu-Ting. The main rationales of setting up a Taiwan Science Programme are to enable our students to appreciate the history, culture, education, economics and politics of Taiwan and allow them to learn more about the scientific research fields in the National Taiwan University and other partnering research institutes. By attending the one-week programme, we also hope to nurture values and positive attitudes towards scientific inquiry and research and to forge and establish long-lasting friendships between our local students and the students from Taiwan, so as to strengthen the bonds shared between us.
The programme started with a tour around the NTU campus and the students had a glimpse of many of historical places which are remnants of World War II, including the Fu Garden (傅園), the Fu Bell (傅鐘), the Palm Boulevard (椰林大道) and the Drunken Moon Pond (醉月湖) to better understand the history of the university and appreciate the university life within the campus. Through visits to places such as Gallery of NTU History, Agricultural Exhibition Hall, Pavilion of Dreams, Pavilion of Taipei and the Suho Paper Museum, the students were exposed to different facets of Sciences and would be able to better appreciate the knowledge gained.
It was a general consensus that our students enjoyed most during the hands-on sessions, both on the Paper making experiences and Life Science experiments. Many students were motivated to make their own papers at home using the ‘secret recipe’ given by the demonstrator. The use of advanced equipment in Gel Electrophoresis also enthused the students in the Life-Science experiments to extract and isolate DNA from kiwi. Our students also enjoyed the field trip on Day 4 where they get to venture into the Yangmingshan National Park. Most of our students feedback that they liked the ideas of being exposed to scientific knowledge beyond what they are learning in school whilst others complimented that it was an eye-opener for them to witness Sciences at the more advanced levels, especially to totally new fields such as Life Sciences and Nanotechnology. The most invaluable experience which the students have gained was to participate in the talk on ‘Gene, Heredity and Destiny – Learning from Glowing Worms’ by Prof. Wu Yi-Chun, which the students learn more about C. elegans and gene expression.
As a nutshell, the Taiwan Science Programme was well-received by our students and they have clearly indicated that they have benefited greatly from it. It would definitely be an unforgettable experience for these students, especially with the new knowledge gained from a foreign land and the everlasting friendships they have forged with the university students.
To find out more about CASE (Center for the Advancement of Science Education), simply click on the following URL: case.ntu.edu.tw/