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International Science Youth Forum 2019

On 21 to 25 January 2019, a delegation of three students and one teacher represented Zhonghua at the 11th International Science Youth Forum (ISYF) 2019 hosted by Hwa Chong Institution. During this eventful week, the student-representatives participated in dialogue sessions and Master Classes conducted by Nobel Laureates and eminent scientists. Our students bonded with students from various countries through team challenges and also presented their project on Laser Firing Training Ground after the Nobel Grand Ceremony. The student-representatives also got to learn about other cultures as they were treated to an array of delightful cuisines specially flown in by their international counterparts. Below are the reflections from our student-participants.

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The 11th ISYF was unexpectedly memorable. Initially, I thought that it would be a forum with endless lectures. I was completely wrong. Through ISYF, I met and learnt alongside students from as far as Mexico. We interacted with the foreign student-participants and got to learn more about their cultures and local practices.

We had to apply our knowledge of Science through the Team Project Challenge where each group was required to build a Rube Goldberg Machine based on a given theme. My group was assigned the theme of 'Chemical Reactions'. Throughout the 11 hours of preparation time, we encountered numerous failures. Our first few attempts to construct the machine did not work out at all. However, we did not give up and continued to brainstorm solutions to join the different parts of the machine together, as well as to solve the problems that arose during the construction. It was very fulfilling to finally achieve success.

Another activity I enjoyed was The Amazing Race. In the Amazing Race, we were tasked to complete challenges all over Singapore. We had to use whatever knowledge we had, be it the general knowledge that we had of Singapore or Science concepts that we could apply along the way. Towards the end of the day, we were granted free admission to the domes at Gardens by the Bay. We had an unforgettable experience touring with our foreign friends. I also enjoyed the sharing by Nobel Laureate, Michael Levitt. He shared with us his life experiences and journey as a scientist. I personally felt very inspired after hearing him.

All in all, I had a great experience at the 11th ISYF. I would like to express my gratitude to my teachers who had given me this opportunity to attend such a prestigious event!
Nigel Ang (4E4, 2019)

The 11th ISYF was a truly memorable and insightful event. One of most memorable events was the dialogue session with the Nobel Laureates. I had the opportunity to attend the session with Professor Ada Yonath, a crystallographer known for her pioneering work on the structure of ribosome. It was inspiring as I got to engage in a discussion with someone so esteemed.

As I am deeply interested in the Sciences, this forum served as a platform for me to meet many like-minded people who shared similar interests and passions. I bonded with my group mates and made many good friends over the short 5 days. I hope to be able to keep in touch with these friends as we may have opportunities to collaborate in the near future.

Through ISYF, I have a clearer idea about what I want to pursue in the future and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to attend this event.
Tan Enya (4E4, 2019)

Firstly, I am really thankful to be able to have a once in a lifetime opportunity to participate in the 11th International Science Youth Forum. Throughout this one week, I definitely forged many new and lasting friendships with people who share similar interests in Science despite our different backgrounds. I also learnt a lot about different cultures from the foreign delegates who came from faraway countries like Russia and Poland during Cultural Hour. Most importantly, I was able to apply my knowledge of Science to design a Rube Goldberg machine with my teammates. Through this team-based challenge, I learnt new and innovative ways to use the Pythagorean’s cup in our challenge.

One of the lectures that struck me the most was conducted by Dr. Kedar Hippalgaonkar. I now understand more what it takes to become a scientist. I gained deeper understanding of concepts such as the interactions between electrons, phonons and photons in nanoscale materials. Additionally, I had the opportunity to visit the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, where I learnt various things related to my area of interest. My participation in ISYF was extremely fulfilling and enriching. I am extremely grateful for being able to participate in ISYF.
Lim Liang Ying (4E4, 2019)