Day 4 Reflection - Nicholas

Posted by Nicholas Soon Rui Jie at 11:11 pm

  1. 2 words to describe today’s experiences
    Today was interesting because we got to go for the Gyeongjoo Tour and went to the Bulguksa Temple and other interesting places. These places were really interesting because they had a lot of history behind them and even one of them were UNESCO Heritage Sites. Some of the architecture in the UNESCO site at the Bulguksa Temple were also over a thousand years old, which was something really cool, as they could last really long. For example, the Bulguksa Temple was built in 751 by then prime minister Gim Dae-seong, and completed in 774. It was previously burnt down before but was completely restored after the invasion by Japanese invaders in 1593. The restoration was done between 1969-1973 through thorough research and excavations of the ancient temple site.
    Today was also rather educational as various presentations were done in the morning for different subjects and topics. An example was the presentation on biorock. It was something related to chemistry, where the process of electrolysis was used to encourage the growth of corals, and variables such as materials used in the project were changed. The cathode was changed to different materials such as brass, aluminium, etc., and the rate of growth of these corals were measured over a certain time. However, due to the lack of resources, only common materials were used, but in an actual biorock, titanium is used as it would not corrode and was resistant to many outdoor elements. This extended my knowledge in that I learnt the different requirements required for corals to regrow at a faster rate, and titanium was the best material for corals to grow on fastest. Next year, when we cover the topic on electrolysis, this may come in handy, and I will try my best to incorporate this sort of ‘new’ learning in more applicable circumstances in both lessons and lab experiments.
  2. 2 highlights of the day
    We went to the UNESCO site and went for many cultural sites in Gyeongjoo. From this tour, I found out that most of the cultural sites, such as temples and shrines were on mountaintops and were quite far away from civilisation (being that we had to walk and climb past mountains and some valleys to reach them). From this, I learnt that the Koreans wanted to be sort of ‘far away’ from distractions and to worship their God wholeheartedly.
    The other highlight was the buddy project sharing. Since it was the first time we got to see our friend’s projects, both from Busan Science High School and Singapore, I learnt a bit more information on what we had in common and what we were interested in. Some projects presented by the Koreans included the Robotics Olympiad and the magnet spinning electromagnet. It was really cool looking at the presentations, as although these were some really simple things, they had very cool variables and the results were interesting. For example, they built interesting robots for the robotics olympiad such as a ‘gutterbot’. It was a creative robot meant to check for sewage problems and fix them through the necessary means by remote controlling in places inaccessible by humans. Another project was the magnet spinning electromagnet. They used the Reeds switch and based on what I understood from it, they wanted to find out how the electromagnet could be powered to make the reed switch close and for the circuit to open.
  3. 2 things you’ve learnt about Korea
    I learnt that Korea had a wide variety of beliefs and religions, such as buddhism, christianity and shamanism. About 30% believe in each of these religions, with the other 10% having other beliefs and religions.This is something rather cool, because many of them do not having a common belief, such as in Singapore, although the majority are actually Buddhists in Singapore. Nevertheless, they maintain religious harmony like in Singapore, which is a good thing that we should continue to maintain.
    I also learnt that the Korean education system does not focus fully on all academics, but want students to investigate on real-life problems and questions they have and encounter, so they will be able to grow their understanding and have the passion for the relevant subjects. This is such as in ISS in SST, where we used our creativity to come up with a research topic and solve/investigate on the problem. Projects are an important part of our student life as we would grow our curiosity, critical thinking and creativity, 3 of our 10Cs, and in the end grow to be enthusiastic citizens who aim to solve existing problems in our society.
  4. 2 things you’ve learnt about yourself
    I learnt that I should not be so stingy with my money. Although we should save our money, it is important for ourselves to enjoy the trip and it was really satisfying to be able to enjoy ourselves after rushing to and fro the school, hotel and other places during the past 3 days. Therefore, I should enjoy myself and not be so calculative and not enjoy myself during the trip while I can.
    I also learnt that I do talk quite a lot. However, I should try to make most of the things that I speak more purposeful, as usually I do not think twice before speaking, and as such, I should try to speak up, while also thinking for a proper amount of time before talking. Like this, I would not end up being not listened to so much, and I would have more ‘value’ wherever I go.
  5. 2 things you didn’t do so well
    I did not really think a lot about what I speak, so some things that I say may be quite useless as mentioned above. Therefore, I should try to make my words more purposeful or at least have a reason to it, so I would not be so ‘useless’ and have more of an impact in other projects and I can contribute more.
    I felt that I should have treated my buddy better, as she was really nice to me and taught me very well, especially during the normal lessons period. During the math period, she was able to teach me and helped me to understand the new topic of 3D graph plotting, and as such, I am very grateful towards her. As such, I felt that I should have tried to interact more with her and make this trip a more fruitful one.
6. 2 things you look forward to tomorrow
I look forward to going for the Science Center Trip. As it is the place with the most general information, there will be a lot of information worth taking note of for the project, and it should probably aid us in the research part really well. This would allow us to do the project better and come up with a more feasible modification/solution to our research topic.
Also, I look forward to going back to Singapore tomorrow. It was a very demanding and hectic 5 days, so coming back to Singapore means I will have time to rest before another school camp comes about, and I have to prepare for CCA competitions. Nevertheless, I still look forward to going back although it was a very short time here, and I want to take a well-deserved rest before going for other school activities.

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