SMSS’ Science Escapade!

Guest Post by Dr Lee Song Choon, who helped facilitate St Margaret Secondary School’s recent science escapade to Science Centre Singapore on 6 Jan 2012.

Plumes of liquid nitrogen diffusing into a cheery SMSS crowd

St Margaret’s Secondary School (SMSS) descended upon Science Centre for an activity-filled Science Day earlier this month. It is the first time the Science Centre has collaborated with a school to hold their Science Day at the Centre.

This year, St Margaret’s decided to hold their Science Day off school campus as they wanted something fun yet educational and Science Centre seemed like a perfect fit for their purpose. All 315 students and 19 teachers were ushered into the Marquee for the first part of their programme – a ‘Supercool’ Science Show performed by our very own talented science educators, Patrick and James. The students were enthralled with the show that demonstrated the various properties of Liquid Nitrogen – a liquid that boils at -196 degree Celsius! At the end of the show, a gigantic cloud was seen in the Marquee when boiling water and liquid nitrogen was mixed!

Embarking on the next part of their journey, the students took on famous CSI investigator roles at four CSI-themed stations, where they learnt how science solves crimes.

At the 1st station – “Is that Blood?”, students applied the Kastle-Meyer test to identify which of three samples provided contained actual blood! At the next station, they discovered how different blood spatters and bloodstained patterns were formed. Next up was the observation station where they got to be detectives and tested their observation skills by forming a facial composition of several suspects after watching a video. At the final station, they were taught how to identify different types of hair based on their properties. Most of them were thirsty for more as they were so engrossed in the activities that they had to be ‘dragged’ from their stations as we are out of time!

After lunch, the students went on a gallery trail hunt in the Scientist for a Day and Uniquely You Exhibitions. They had an hour to navigate through the many exhibits and hunt for answers to complete the trail. Speed and accuracy were key and groups with the highest score from each class won special souvenirs from Science Centre.

At the end of the programme, the students were all knackered but had an enjoyable time! They had also come away from the Science Day with a newfound confidence and interest in science!

Students engrossed in their gallery trail hunt at the Scientist for a Day exhibition
Students having fun engaging with a Uniquely You exhibit
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
  
Dr Lee Song Choon is is a scientist by training, and his research work has covered stem cells, cancer genetics and genomics research. He has recently joined the Science Centre to lead the Life Sciences department with the aim of educating the next generation of scientists!

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