December 18, 2014
Gillian, Year 12, Gubei Campus
For years, YCIS Gubei has been celebrating the wonders and beauty of science in an annual science extravaganza -- our Science Fair. This event accommodates children of all ages, in addition to students and teachers alike, allowing them to marvel at the beauty of flames, colour changes, luminescent fluids, explosions, and a wealth of other manifestations of science.
This year, in the biology section, visitors got the opportunity to try their hands at dissecting pig’s hearts, cow’s eyeballs, pig’s lungs, and more. They looked through microscopes to observe the cellular structures of various organisms; they witnessed the extraction of pea DNA and scrutinised the fine, delicate strings of genetic material that emerged. In physics, visitors generated electricity using a hand-cranked generator; tasted marshmallows toasted under super-heated steam; froze Oreos, popsicles, roses, and more in liquid nitrogen; and participated in setting paper lanterns afloat into the night’s sky. In chemistry, visitors experienced the magnificence of a simulated volcano eruption, the varying colours of a Bunsen burner flame, the creation of a luminol glow in the midst of a dark liquid tornado, the churning out of elephant toothpaste in a rapid hydrogen peroxide reaction, the making of slime, and the creation of stunning visual effects with dry ice, water, detergent, and more. The environment club section involved hands-on paper-making, wind-energy-generating, and bean-planting activities.
Student volunteers had the opportunity to work together to deliver a memorable and insightful experience to their audience. In so doing, they themselves were also enriched.
My own team focused on releasing the paper lanterns over the soccer field. It was a great pleasure explaining the scientific principles behind the flotation of the structures, knowing that we were helping to satisfy our audience’s fascination, and seeing the applause that came after each successful take-off, and the smiles on everyone’s faces. My favourite part, however, was the experience of collaborating with my classmates in working toward a common goal -- the successful flight of our beautiful lanterns - which, when achieved, was immensely rewarding.
Not only was this an excellent opportunity for students to “get their hands dirty”- in the name of science, it was also a great event which allowed all participants, helping or exploring, to learn, enjoy, and experience science together.