Being the scientist of your life

Jediel Yew is a Secondary 4 student who underwent an internship at Science Centre Singapore (SCS) in 2016. He has written this blog post during his internship at SCS.

Hold up.

Aren’t scientists the nerdy chaps in lab coats and safety goggles? Well, stereotypically, yes. But there’s more than meets the eye.

Underneath their unkempt hair, the coffee-stained shirt, and the big, round glasses, is a wild spirit, an insatiable thirst, an obsession for discovery.

Yet these remarkable traits are not exclusive to these peculiar personas.

Take charge of your learning

BBC presenter Professor Brian Cox once said: “We have to take responsibility of our own understanding.”

Why is that important?

Well, being responsible for your learning gives you the opportunity to discover for yourself, what life truly is – and better understand your community, people and the world around you.

This couple make a great example.

The Millennium Adventure tells the story of legendary investor and billionaire, Jim Rogers, who alongside his fiancée, Paige Parker, travelled through 116 countries, including many where most have rarely ventured, such as Angola, Congo and East Timor.

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Jim Rogers and his beautiful family

On what many would consider the ultimate road trip, their goal was to experience as much adventure as they could, to learn more about the world outside their boundaries.

They drove through war zones, deserts, jungles, epidemics, and blizzards.

Surviving by the skin of their teeth, they camped with nomads and camels and ate all sorts of things! From silkworms and, iguanas to termites and porcupines… you name it, they ate it.

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They even got detained by soldiers!

One of their defining moments was when they were held at gunpoint in Angola. Staring down the barrel of a gun, they began to think of possibilities (even as they stared death in the eye!).

Jim whipped out a polaroid camera that Paige used as a friend-maker, taking photos of Jim with the young soldiers who were ecstatic at seeing pictures of themselves (something they had apparently never experienced before).

Defining moments allow you to learn more about yourself and build your character, to become a better you. It is these moments that shape us to be who we are and what we do. If we do not seize the opportunity to get out of our comfort zones to teach ourselves, then who will?

No amount of education in Singapore will be able to ignite passion, or frontier a new discovery simply because such baseline education only serves as a foundation for your learning. What you choose to build on it and how you do it all has to start with you.

When Jim Rogers chose to embark on his journey, he gained a new perspective. He saw the real world from the ground up, the most transparent point of view anyone can get.

In his book, Adventure Capitalist, he writes: “While I have never patronized a prostitute, I know that one can learn more about a country from speaking to the madam of a brothel or a black marketeer than from meeting a foreign minister.”

The beauty of experiential learning is such that one can immerse in the unknown, and in due time come out a new person.

To that end, my call to you is to carpe diem, to explore the opportunities presented to you and to take responsibility over what you want to learn.

We may not all turn out as scientists – by profession or even ‘look’ (if there is such a thing now). But we can certainly cultivate their traits, by simply exploring the unknown, pushing our boundaries and discovering anew what makes us human, what we’re capable of and what life is like out there!

Wouldn’t that be exciting?

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Want to find out more about the Millennium Adventure? Embark on a journey with Jim Rogers through interactive displays and life-sized, elaborate dioramas that aim to present a sneak peek of the intricacies that come with being a traveller.
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Outstanding local “green engineering” innovations will be on display near the exhibition featuring novel land and air vehicles including live demonstrations for select inventions from 30 July to 17 August. See you there!

More information on the exhibition can be found at our Science Centre Singapore website, or click this link to see more! 

Want to learn more about Jim Rogers and Paige Parker? Check out these blog posts featuring a recent interview with them!

https://blog.science.edu.sg/2016/07/14/millennial-adventure-part-1/

https://blog.science.edu.sg/2016/07/18/millennial-adventure-part-2/

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