June 21, 2017, by Wan Yong Ho
Science Fair in SK St. Paul, Seremban
The Primary School Science Fair was held in SK St. Paul in Seremban on 13th May 2017. Apart from the host, primary students from a few other primary schools in Seremban also participated in the event. Upon arrival at the school, we were welcomed by a flash of forked lightning and a great clap of thunder (a good sign indeed!). The architecture of the building was fascinating, reflecting European architecture. In respect to St Paul, his statue was raised at the entrance of the building and decked with flower garlands. It’s a very old building with lots of charm and it holds a lot of history and memories of the past (118 years!).
We started to set up the booth while the students were assembled for common prayer and talks from the teachers. More students, teachers and parents started to fill the venue. Some volunteers from other universities also joined the event and the overall exhibitions in the hall were so attractive and well designed with the aim to expose the school children to the modern scientific domain. Our mission of the day was to foster the interest to science in these school children through two simple activities: a Do-It-Yourself Banana DNA extraction and Royal Microscopy Society’s Microscope activities.
Kayatri was in charge of the Banana DNA extraction activity “We started the program with an introductory session, explaining the definition, function and importance of DNA in living organisms. The students got all excited when we put the bananas in front of them thinking it’s going to be an eating contest and some cringed at the sight of the bananas. After explaining the objective of the experiment, we preceded with the hands-on activity. The students were obviously enthusiastic and rendered the work carefully. At the end of the each session, we made the students to take a simple written quiz to summarize the learning session and of course, the quiz was well attempted. I honestly admire their energy, curiosity and enthusiasm to learn new things”.
Diem on the other hand was stationed in the Microscope activities. “We assisted Dr. Then Sue Mian in demonstrating the concept of magnification and microscope to the students. The students were divided into small groups and conducted the activities in stations to earn their points. Throughout the session, the students were amazed by the presence of magnifying tools which they encounter in their daily lives. Not only that they learn the concept of magnification, the students also learned about principle of magnifying power during the session. Nevertheless, the part that the children enjoyed most was to observe details of things that they use every day under the microscope. The students were very eager to learn and most were entranced by the microscope and the concept of magnification. They left the room with filled questionnaires and wide smiles, never forgetting to say “Thank you, teacher!” The activity ended successfully and objectives were met. ”
In the afternoon, the event came to an end. The fair is no doubt a good source of learning about modern sciences. It was truly enjoyable to have a chance to share our knowledge and skills in science with these young children. It was a meaningful and fulfilling day as we planted new knowledge and inspired young students with science.
Article by: Kayatri Govindaraju and Nguyen Duong Ngoc Diem (BMS post-graduates)