Who We are
Who We are
Our Thinkquest team consists of
reading, playing computer games, swimming
Aspires to become a teacher.
playing with computer softares and reading books.
Aspires to become a language teacher.
playing softball and drawing cartoons.
Aspires to become a softballer.
playing the piano, surfing the Internet, drawing and eating.
Aspires to become a teacher.
We are currently studying in Raffles Institution, a secondary school in Singapore. Every year, students in our school are tasked with a research project work and we are free to research on topics of our own interests. Hence this year we have decided to adopt ThinkQuest and carry out research on the topic of the haze situation that happens in South-East Asian countries every year during the September to October period.
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To start up our research journey, we first brainstormed
for the topic that we want to research about, and the objectives. We are
to develop an educational website that aims to provide a holistic view
of the annual haze situation and suggest ways to protect our health and
environment, prevent the haze and prepare for the future. With clear objectives
in our mind, we sorted tasks for everyone.
Before we conducted interviews and surveys, we needed to have a deep understanding
of the haze situation, including the history, causes, impacts of the haze
and other minor details.? We gathered our data from different sources:
print (from the library) and non-print sources (from the web). We took
every effort and care to ensure that the data we produced was not plagiarized.?
The websites that gave us insight into the haze situations include
National Environment Agency
Singapore Institute of International Affairs
We came into contact with Ms Tay Lee San, Senior
Scientific Officer, Pollution Control Department, and The National Environment
Agency when we wanted to obtain the PSI Readings of 2006 in Singapore.
She was friendly and approachable, and did not hesitate to help us clear
our doubts, whenever the need arose.
When we had some queries and could not find the information from sources,
we resorted to using Yahoo! Answers, which proved to be quite useful.
We planned out the questions for the survey. We ensured that these questions
could fill any gaps of knowledge from our data generation. Following that,
we generated and posted our survey through an online resource called AsknLearn.
We publicized our survey through a few websites and forums. For example,
Yahoo! Answers. Of course, we had to determine our target group and our
aims of the survey first.
As for the interview, we needed to seek professional views so as to further
substantiate our data presented. Thus, we sourced for suitable institutions
and organizations and arranged to have face-to-face interviews/telephone
interviews. The questions which we planned to ask were mostly opinions
which we wanted to hear from the experts who were located in Singapore.
In total, we conducted 3 interviews.
Interview 1 - 24 January 2007
Mr Desmond Lee Kok Onn
International Relations Department
Policy & Planning Division
The National Environment Agency
appointment soon after. We needed his opinions since he was from the government
and we wanted to find out more or less what the Singapore government has
been doing about
the haze. From our interview with him, we learnt about the term Transboundary
also found out about the different organizations (e.g. ASEAN Specialized
Centre) formed to counter the haze problem.
Interview 2 - 30 March 2007
Dr Chang Chew-Hung
Humanities and Social Studies Education Academic Group
National Institute of Education
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
We found Dr Chang through the Nanyang Technological University website
requested to have an interview with one of the professors. So, Dr Chang
was chosen to help
us with our interview.
During our 10 minute telephone interview with Dr Chang, we found out that
impacts of haze were reduction in visibility and air quality. We found
out that alternative
methods to clear land would depend on the different agricultural sectors.
methods would range from a small scale subsistence level to a large scale
plantation. We also gained insight as to the fact that the prediction
of the haze getting worse
this year might be inaccurate since there were other factors involved.
Interview 3 - 30 March 2007
Dr Chris Huang Chia Yu
DIP of Dermatology (UK) , Singapore
Through our face-to-face interview with him, we learned more about the
impacts of haze on
the human body and health. He also cleared our doubts on some of the data
gathered. Through this interview, we had gained a much better insight
into the impacts of the
haze and what could be done to protect ourselves from haze such as installing
air filters in our houses.
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In the course of this project, all of us took away much from it. We learnt the importance of teamwork and time management. Values such as responsibility, sense of urgency, punctuality and patience were gained along the way.
At the beginning, we were all very excited and enthusiastic over this project and could not wait to get started. Owing to examinations, we could only begin work in October 2006. By then, some problems arose. One of them was that we were unable to work cohesively when we realized that we were all rather headstrong and could not really acknowledge one person¡¯s leadership role. All of us tried to lead others. This became quite a big problem causing us being reluctant to share our files and information with each other. On hindsight, it seems so laughable that we almost fell out over this. The unhappiness soon dissipated and we were back as a team once again after some rather personal emails and talks.
Another obstacle we encountered was the starting of the school term. During December, not much work was done and with all of us being committed to our activities like camps and extra-curriculum activities. We found that our schedule was too packed to even mention ThinkQuest and ¡°meetings¡± were reduced to status reports during break and lunch. This almost became our downfall as we realized that we just could not take time off to have a good meeting and consolidation of information. Due to this, information was insufficient and the deadline started drawing closer and closer. This gave rise to us staying back for long periods of time in school to finish up our stuff. Also, with the stress and pressure of academic projects and examinations, we were really on a tight schedule.
The third problem we encountered was our academics. Due to the time-consuming nature of this project, we were sandwiched between our grades and the project. Some of our grades suffered and homework ended up being done between lessons or before school. This was where time management came in and where we actually begin to understand its importance.
Overall, the process and experience we gained in this
project were unforgettable and really meaningful. Working as a team let
us further understand each other and we share laughter and fun along the
way. The project also enabled us to interact more with our teacher mentor
and this really bridged the teacher-student gap. Although we worked hard
and we were under tremendous stress, we had absolutely no regret in choosing
this project. Our site contains the blood, sweat and tears of our research
and efforts and we are extremely proud of it. This is not just a project
to us; this became an integral part of our lives, an unforgettable archive
The project also taught us to look at a problem from
a different perspective. When we started researching on the cause of the
haze, we tended to blame the Indonesian farmers for setting the forest
fires and causing the haze and inconveniences to the countries affected
by the haze. However, as we progressed, we began to empathize with these
farmers and their poor living conditions. We were even planning on going
down to Indonesia to interact with the farmers to understand their needs
and offer them help. We realised that alternative methods to clear the
land for crop-planting is crucial to solve the haze problem. We wish that
this website does not only provide information on the haze problem, but
also inspire others to do something for these Indonesian farmers and begin
to change their attitude towards them.
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