Applied Learning Programme: Environmental Science & Sustainability
Climate change is a significant threat to Singapore. This makes sustainable development even more important for Singapore’s next 50 years, with the SG Green Plan 2030 guiding our next step forward. To empower our students for the future they will inherit, our school has the distinctive Green Makers @ Dazhong Applied Learning Programme (ALP) that equips them with STEM Skills & Knowledge, and develops their Values & Dispositions for the 21 Century.
In this ALP, the theme of Sustainability comes together with the approach of Maker-Centred learning, for a Dazhong student to become Aware of the challenges of Sustainability in Singapore, take Action to make green solutions to tackle these challenges, and Advocate for others to do likewise. “Making our future green – From home, in school, and for Singapore!” The outcomes and learning opportunities are encapsulated in the following ALP planning model:
i. Primary Four and Five Level-wide Programmes
Green Makers @ Dazhong will experience level-wide programmes as P4 and P5 students. Our P4 level-wide programme focuses students on the Energy Reset pillar of the SG Green Plan, where they would be provided with solar-panel kits to take action to create an Energy Smart home by putting together their Science knowledge of Heat and Light, and their Mathematics skills in Area & Perimeter of Composite Figures and Line Graphs. Our P5 students are made Aware of Climate Change, then were tasked to take Action to design a product that contributes to developing “Our Cool and Green Classrooms” using recycled materials. Students tap into their curiosity to display self-directed learning to problem-solve with novel ideas, while developing social-emotional competencies to collaborate in groups, as well as resilience to tackle difficult technical obstacles. This culminates in students filming a video where they Advocate for Climate Change based on their products.
For students with greater interest and aptitude, our Talent Development (SOAR) programme provides further opportunities. In 2020, our students won 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place at the national IDE Maker 2020 competition, for “Smart Solutions for Sustainable Resource Management”, with prototypes such as:
- Rainwater collector with sensor that detects when rainwater collected has reached optimum level, then causing a motor to close the rain-collection-door.
- Waste-sorter that uses a light sensor to detect whether an object is made of recyclable material, then if it is, operates a rotating flap that allows the object to enter.
Our student Eco-Champs have also collaborated
with NParks for their Science Communication for Community in Nature Ambassadors
Programme, called “Nature through Drama 2021”. Students acted as ambassadors
for nature by filming themselves acting in a drama (“Otter Chaos”) to conduct
outreach to the general public, such that others can develop an appreciation
for Singapore’s biodiversity, and contribute to the conservation of our natural
iii. Annual School-wide Dare Challenge
Our school conducts an annual Dare Challenge where students create green solutions and video themselves TED-style to share with their classmates, winning attractive prizes for themselves in the process! Our students have made many innovative creations, such as a claw machine of recycled cardboard, a candle-powered boat, and a self-watering plant pot – check out the highlights in the video below.
iv. Learning Environment & Partnerships with Community
Our school has a vibrant green learning environment with two Eco Ponds, a Sky Garden, and a Butterfly Garden. To enhance our Dazhong Sky Garden as a place where students can appreciate biodiversity in Singapore, we partner with the PSG, NParks Ambassadors, and keen citizen-gardeners from the Bukit Batok community to work with our school’s Scouts to plant and weed, with the efforts culminating in monthly harvests of fruits and vegetables. The fathers are not left out with Dads for Life doing a Saturday clean-up around the neighbourhood. Our Eco-Champs have also collaborated with our MP Dr Amy Khor to produce a video with NEA, promoting the anti-dengue message to residents of Hong Kah North CC while explaining how the Wolbachia project contributes to the fight.
Community at our garden
To learn about Food Sustainability,
our school also has our own earthworms that process food waste from the
canteen, enabling students to learn about Food Sustainability in Singapore. We
also grow our own fruits and vegetables using a hi-tech indoor aeroponics
We are also currently working with
an expert on Singapore’s waste sustainability efforts, Dr Dong Xuecheng from A*STAR’s
Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology, to link up with the industry,
for example arranging to bring our students to learning journeys to A*STAR.