Day 3 Reflection - Cai Zhihan

Posted by Cai Zhihan 蔡之瀚 at 7:23 am

How did I connect my learning in SST with what I have learnt in BSS?

  • During biotechnology practical sessions in SST, we have done agarose gel electrophoresis on DNA strands and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis on polypeptides. During biology class at BSS, we did agarose gel electrophoresis on DNA again. The revision on the topic in BSS provided us with another chance to try out something already familiar. Bringing our prior knowledge from SST to apply again, we could do it more swiftly and even helped our peers who are unfamiliar with the assigned task. Although we revisited the experiment without preparing as many of the materials on our own due to time constrains, we still executed what is required of us with more confidence and more professionally. Chemistry class today also touched on biotechnology knowledge. We did ultraviolet-visible light spectrophotometry on drinks claiming high vitamin content, instead of protein concentration which we used to do. This allowed us to align past knowledges with the execution of new activities and excel with better clarity.

How did the program in BSS extend my learning?
  • Geography elective in SST touches on fieldwork, where we attempted to work with a sling psychrometer, a wind vane and an anemometer. Today’s earth science lesson introduced us to a new instrument, the clinometer. The BSS students taught me the functions of the instrument and everything which I have to know about it, despite facing constant difficulties and hindering their own practical task’s productivity. The exposure to a new instrument and mastery within a lesson will allow me to be a step ahead from me peers when we eventually use it in SST. I will then help them with what I know, since many of my peers and BSS students expressed their difficulty in the usage and understanding of the device.

What challenged my thoughts about learning after my experiences at BSS?
  • - I did not expect the overcoming of our language barrier as an easy process, yet with the help of the hospitable students at BSS, I managed to understand every single lesson taught to me at BSS, which included the taking of extensive notes and sketches of certain schematics. My learning experience was really enhanced by the efforts of my student buddies. During the earth science lesson, we were given a brief description to the usage of the clinometer, by the teacher in their native Korean language, after which we embarked towards the fields. The demonstration and teaching regarding the rather confusing workings of the instrument were solely done by a BSS senior student with more competence in using the device. I really learnt a lot from my peers, despite being deployed without any prior knowledge, with a device rather alien to me. It challenged my believe that we learn the best from paying full attention in class. Not denying that attention is important, I realised that with a syllabus focused on applied learning in both our school, SST and our sister school, BSS, learning from peers is also really important. I have also experience firsthand, that assisting  friends in need of academic help allows myself better understanding of the topic and subject involved. This reinforces a new concept , that a teacher is just a mentor, and student initiatives and their hospitality are really what helps one another learn well in an environment and learning system focused on hands-on experiences and fast-paced learning of challenging new concepts.

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