SSEF 2017

By BoRong and Yi He

This year, the Singapore Science and Engineering Fair (SSEF), an annual event showcasing math, science and engineering research projects took place at start of March (8th and 9th of March). About 320 projects were shortlisted and the students were invited to present at the Big Box Megabox Convention Hall. The projects covered a wide range of interesting topics, from microbiology to mathematics  – there was much to see and learn.

On the second day, when the exhibits opened to the public, numerous teachers, students and family members came to view the exhibits and to support the finalists. It was also a pleasant surprise to see our former principal Dr Hang amongst the crowd as he came to support the students from Jurong Junior College.

The participants were full of enthusiasm about the event. Akash (M17505) felt that SSEF was a grand event which provided him with the opportunity get to see a lot of “equally interesting projects”. Another SSEF participant, Thirrisha (M17605) said, “The judges are really nice, they try to give constructive advice as they view our posters.”

When the judges’ balloons made an appearance, the excitement in the hall was tangible. A crowd amassed around the two floating stars, with one big school flag constantly being waved about in the middle of the crowd.

There was an interesting observation pointed out by an anonymous student, however – no matter whatever the results were for the day, there will inevitably be disappointment. Those without awards were upset as they believed their efforts had gone to waste. People with merit and bronze had their high hopes dashed, while people with silver felt like they were so close to gold, and the people with gold were disheartened over not getting chosen for ISEF.

Nevertheless, the prize-giving ceremony proceeded; and this year, our students did the school proud, having clinched a total of 7 merit, 8 bronze, 7 silver, 7 gold and 5 special awards. For our school, gold medalist Belle Sow Miaoer’s project, entitled “Emergent Properties from WS2 Empowered by Laser Sculpting and Au Nanoparticles Landscaping” was also selected for the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), a great feat. When interviewed, Belle admitted with a bright smile: “I wasn’t expecting anything because it was an extension project, but of course I’m really happy [to be selected].” One of the other gold medalists, Xi Zhi (M17605), whose project was entitled “Twin-Primer Assembly: An efficient and accurate non-enzymatic DNA assembly method”, also encourages everyone to believe more in themselves.

To quote Ms Lee, our principal, SSEF is “a very good platform for young people to showcase their interests and passions” and “all the students have done their work and the content is quite deep, it is hard to understand if you just look at the surface”. It was a learning experience for all involved, from the participants themselves to the visitors.

Finally, congratulations to all SSEF awardees and finalists!

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