“We must save water using efficient ways… Otherwise the last drop of water on earth will be our tears,” said a student from Teck Whye Primary School (TWPS) at the ABC Waters @ Pang Sua Pond opening on 25th March. These are certainly wise words from someone so young.
When I first approached TWPS’s booth at the event, I never imagined myself to be in for such a pleasant surprise – but it’s definitely a story worth sharing. As an avid reader, I had been lured in by the display of picture books at the booth, and naturally wanted to find out more about the featured characters: Warra and Lara.
As expected, the students were enthusiastic to share the story of the two water droplets, and even gave me a personal copy of the book.
Intrigued by the project, I asked more questions, and discovered that “The Adventure of Warra & Lara” was a story by children for children. It’s truly precious to see these young children doing their part to protect our clean waters.
I learnt from their teacher that the books had been given to more than 100 students in Surabaya, Indonesia through the school’s Internationalisation Programme for Primary 5 students in 2015 – to share with them the importance of safe water and advocate for clean waterways. Each book cover was customised to reflect the individual student’s name in the title (e.g., The Adventure of Vivian) – and that’s really impressive!
TWPS students were also eager to share with me some ideas they have about water conservation. And while these may not be practical ideas at present moment, they are certainly refreshing in their own ways.
Hao Rui shared with me that the ideas behind the sketches below were conceived and proposed by the school’s very own P6 students.
He explained to me that the (imaginary) plane has the ability to absorb water vapour and water droplets from the air and convert them into clean water (stored in water tanks on-board). ‘Water fans’ at the back of the plane will act as suctions to draw the water in. The student obviously gave some thought to the idea’s possible execution and – carbon footprint aside – it’s pretty intriguing.
This headband – made of super absorbent material – ‘has’ the ability to purify water from sweat for instant use. The jersey and shorts on the right (in the image) are proposed to be made from a special type of fabric that will allow sweat to easily evaporate from the skin. I for one wouldn’t mind purchasing this if it’s made available in the future.
Is this what happens when creativity meets play? Not to be limited by the constraints of the physical world and embracing the spirit of enterprise and innovation? I can’t help but wonder…why are TWPS students so enthusiastic about water conservation?
The answer to that rest on the shoulder of the school’s Inquiry and Problem Solving Network (IPSN). The IPS Network is a leadership innovation conceived by the school’s Principal Mr Suraj Nair, to integrate and extend learning beyond the Math and Science curricula.
Led by Dr Casey Ang, the team of core IPSN teachers researched and experimented with different models of subject integration. The result is a Curricula that is spiral in nature; seamless subject integration that is immersed in a contextually rich problem based task, anchored on the environment and the idea of giving back to the community. They coined this approach “Curricula Infusion through Spiral Integration” – or simply C.S.I.
That certainly explains the level of energy and excitement demonstrated by the students of TWPS. As a whole, it was an amazing experience interacting with these young students.
Thank you for the eye-opening session, Teck Whye Primary School!
By Vivian Tan