Friday, October 31, 2008

AEM: Water Quality and Pollution for Bukit Panjang

My AEM on Water Quality and Pollution for Bukit Panjang cluster of secondary schools (West Spring Sec, Bt Panjang Govt High, Kranji Sec, CCK Sec, Tech Whye Sec) is scheduled to run in Jun 2009.

How I wish there is more manpower to run this AEM for more schools. I sincerely believe that the experiential and outdoors learning inherent in this AEM is beneficial to our youth. I also believe that such a learning approach will bring out the creativity in our participants when they find that unlike in a classroom or lab, many things do not happen in a controlled manner in Nature. Even the best plan may go into the chute when a sudden downpour crashes overhead as they work on their water sampling They will then be forced to figure out alternatives or perhaps sacrifices to accomplish their objectives.

* However, safety is always of paramount importance. It will in no way be compromised throughout the module.

Singapore Polytechnic's official webpage for my AEM:

Figure: AEM students at work in the lab

AEM: Water Quality and Pollution for FMSS

My AEM on Water Quality and Pollution for Fairfield Methodist Secondary School is scheduled to run in Mar-Apr 2009.

It has indeed been hectic as teaching materials have to be developed, manpower and logistics have to be arranged and venues (incl. outdoor ones) have to be booked. There is still quite a bit more to be done and confirmed.

Nevertheless, it has been a fun experience especially the development of teaching materials. This module for secondary schools is quite different from our normal polytechnic modules since there is much room for experiential learning viz outdoor activities and indoor games. The pedagogy is quite different from the normal lecture, tutorial, practical arrangement. I am quite keen to find out how successful this kind of pedagogy will be.

In our fast paced and "efficient" society, outdoors learning has been forsaken for "mass production" methods in teaching - lectures and tutorials. Unfortunately, this produces a generation of youth with little connection to our natural heritage. It will indeed be difficult if they are tasked to protect the environment and Nature when they have no idea how the environment and Nature look like. In fact, they may even feel that we humans are disconnected from Nature, and thus see no need for its protection and conservation.

Some of us may even be surprised that Nature still exists in Singapore. Yes, it is still surviving but development, apathy and blatant disregard have always been threats to its existence. I hope that a hundred years from now, there is still natural greenery left in this tropical country.

Singapore Polytechnic's official webpage for my AEM:

Figures: AEM students performing reflux in the lab

MOE short course: My forest is DYING and the role of water quality (4 Jun 09)

My above short course on the theoretical and practical aspects of water quality monitoring in Nature is scheduled to run on 4 Jun 2009 (Thu).

A writeup of the previous run may be found here.

As per normal, MOE teachers may enrol for the course in Traisi once the system administrator has keyed into the course details.

SSBMB Pre-University Essay Competition 2008