DHS-NTU Science and Immersion Programme 2013, Taiwan
A group of 20 Year 3 students, led by Mrs Grace Ong and Mr Adrian Ong, participated in the DHS-National Taiwan University (NTU) Science and Cultural Immersion Programme from 10 to 17 Nov 2013. Since 2009, the Centre for the Advancement of Science Education (CASE), headed by Professor Chen Jwu-Ting, specially designed the Science programme which aimed to enable students to appreciate Taiwan and allow them to learn more about the scientific research fields in the National Taiwan University. The programme also aimed to nurture values and positive attitudes towards scientific inquiry and research.
The programme kicked off with a tour around the NTU campus and the students had a glimpse of the vivid history of the university as far back as the Japanese colonial times. Through visits to places such as the Pavilion of Dreams, the Central Weather Bureau and the Taipei Astronomical Museum, the students were deeply exposed to different fields of Sciences. In addition, students were able to experience the diverse culture and unique identity of Taiwan. Visit to places such as The Institute of History and Philology of Academia Sinica gave students a chance to see Taiwan’s rich history dating back to the 1800s and the country’s aboriginal past, providing in-depth explanations of the 14 main indigenous tribes. It was an enriching experience. The visits to the night markets were also an eye-opener for participants, providing rich sensory experience to taste the great variety of famous Taiwanese dishes and an insight into the way of life of the Taiwanese.
There was consensus amongst all students that the memorable Life Science experiments were indeed an eye-opener. This year’s programme specially consisted of a taxidermy workshop for students to gain first-hand experience of dissecting a white mouse. This experience brought lessons to live as it made learning more meaningful for students to be able to see dissections first hand, rather than simply reading from textbooks.
The students also enjoyed their venture into Yangmingshan National Park to observe the intriguing natural landscape which included sulfur deposits and local geologic activity. They were exposed to ideas beyond the school syllabus, especially in fields such as Nanotechnology. All in all, this was an exclusive and unique learning journey that would certainly be beneficial for every single batch of students year after year.
“The demonstration by the NTU lecturer was amazing. He dissected the rat and showed us the different organ parts. The digestive system was no longer a picture from the text and neither was the respiratory system. It was real organ parts, right before our eyes. Though it seemed a little disgusting at first, I never knew how the different organ systems were actually arranged and this has really opened my eyes into the world of Biology.”
13Y3D Clarissa Cheong
“This visit to Yangmingshan National Park was a great experience for me. I have gained insights on how temperate weather conditions can affect the biodiversity in several ways. It was something that I saw outside of what I read in the textbook. At the same time, it also allowed me to have a momentary reprieve from the busy city life that we all lead on a day-to-day basis.”
13Y3F Tay Hui Zhi
“Throughout the movie: 看见台湾 Beyond Beauty- Taiwan from Above, it set me thinking about how selfish we humans are, and how we are selfishly snatching all of the earth’s resources even though the earth has provided so much for us. A sentence reaching the end of the movie really struck me, where the narrator mentioned “地球就象一位母亲，我们就像她的孩子。不管我们要求什么，她都会无私地给我们，从不埋怨。我们这些孩子一直野蛮地要求，直到吸干她最后一滴乳汁，她才发 出微微地呜咽声。”This sentence had a really huge impact on me and caused me to reflect. Imagine yourself as a mother, and if your children did this to you, how will you feel? It is really very saddening how we treat the earth, after it has selflessly given us everything that we need. I told myself that after this movie, I will do part in reducing global warming.”
13Y3K Justlyn Yeo Jing Hui
“The trip to the Central Weather Bureau exposed me to something different from Singapore as our country does not face any natural disasters unlike Taiwan. This trip allowed me to gain a better understanding of the importance of having a strong and effective disaster response system in order to save the lives of many in times of such disasters”
13Y3J Lee En Wei Ernest
“The Museum of Anthropology at the Academia Sinica (中央研究所) exhibited the culture of Austronesian speaking Taiwan indigenous people. We learnt about the lives of these 14 ethnic groups of people who live life filled with traditions and simplicity. It was a really interesting experience to see the different artefacts handmade by these groups who live lives by means of hunting-gathering and also understanding how their society is structured. For instance, Men often have to prove their worth by means such as head hunting and tattooing their faces. However, these people, who are the roots of Taiwan, are under great danger as they are slowly losing their culture to urbanisation. Hence, it is important that we learn about these people and their way of life. Our knowledge will help to preserve the awareness of their culture”