8 No 3
aqua-tion for life roles of
water in life
meets the lands
fishes of the Park
dispersal by h2o
seeds dispersed by water
some interesting notes on the pacific golden plover
10th international coastal cleanup 2001 and 5th mangrove cleanup
sungei buloh nature park
an ode to a turtle
On 25th August 2001, Sungei Buloh Nature Park came under the scrutiny of 33 young ecologists from 8 schools. They were secondary two pupils guided by 17 teachers from the Chinese High, Catholic High, Anderson, Henderson, Huayi, New Town, Victoria and Yu Hua Secondary Schools. This ecological study was organised by the Educational Technology Division (ETD) of the Ministry of Education and supported by the schools, vendors of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) software and Geographical Positioning System (GPS), as well as our staff trom the Education and Conservation Units.
We helped to design the activity worksheets and select suitable sites for the outdoor studies. We also offered our conference room and education workroom for the preparatory work and follow-up analysis. As the activity climaxed, the office walkway was transformed into an instant exhibition gallery for the research findings. We marveled at two excellent pictures taken of a rare green frog and its eggs, which we judged to be worthy of the 'rare sighting' awards given by ETD.
Guided by the teachers, ETD officials and the vendors, the pupils enthusiastically pursued the inquiry-based activity. They collected and recorded data using the high-tech GPS Geoexplorer, GIS, dataloggers, digital video and digital still cameras. As they explored the different habitats, many were fascinated by the rich array of plants and animals seen. When the data from different sites were merged and analysed, they further deepened their understanding of the inter-relationship of these organisms and their adaptation to the mangrove environment.
Young though they were, the pupils speedily picked up the IT know-how, and earnestly attempted the interpretation of the complex data gathered. In their feedback for the project, they offered dozens of favourable comments and bright ideas besides asking for better lunches and bigger workspace. What pleased the organisers most was that they enjoyed and found the use of IT tools and this authentic learning experience beneficial. They also found research work FUN and INTERESTING.
Sungei Buloh Nature Park had succeeded in leaving such wonderful and indelible memories in their young minds that many pupils expressed their hopes to revisit and study more about it. Its unique flora and fauna beckoned their return, and I have no doubt this will elicit response from our budding ecologists.
© Sungei Buloh Nature Park