Day 4 Reflection - Timothy Kom

Posted by Kom Weng Ern Timothy at 11:42 pm

2 words to describe today's experience


2 highlights of the day

   One highlight was the buddy project sharing session. During the session, I learned about radio telescopes.
I found out that radio telescopes pick up signals during solar storms. To assess the intensity of solar activity, one can create a receiver to determine the wavelength that is the same as that of the radio station transmitting the sun activity. With these receivers, people can know about the intensity of solar radiation by looking at the signals received. During the session, I also learnt about robots and how we have a misconception that robots are humanoids. The reasons behind these misconceptions might be viewing robot related movies such Big Hero 6 and Terminator, where the characters are humanoid robots. However, not all robots are humanoids and can be used to do things that humans cannot do, such as dangerous rescue missions. Thus, instead of thinking that robots were created to be like humans, we should know that robots can be crafted in any shape and form and for all functions. Robots do not need to be humanoids to make them robots.
     The second highlight was the visit to Bulguksa Grotto and Seokgulam Temple.
Seokgulam Temple is a stunning place, and I was able to learn more about the Buddhist religion. Mr Brian, the tour guide, told us that Buddhism accepts people of all beliefs. Although South Korea is mostly Christian, most of the Koreans used to be Buddhist. I feel that this was very vital in ensuring stability and peace in South Korea. I believe that for Singapore to remain religious diversity and inter-religious understanding, Singaporeans must learn to accept each other regardless of religion, especially the new generation of Singaporeans.

2 things you've learnt about Korea

  I have learnt that Busan is clean and environmentally friendly. Despite the fact that Busan's beaches are the most popular in Korea as a tourist destination, the beach that we visited earlier was much cleaner than beaches in Singapore. One reason might be because it is winter time and the are fewer visitors at the beach. However, I feel that keeping the beach clean is an impressive feat nonetheless and we should learn from them.
   Something else that I found out today is that in Busan, students have a longer winter holiday as compared to the summer vacation. I figured out about this when chatting with my buddy about the holidays. This fact took me by surprise as I  always thought that Korean students had a very long summer break as compared to a shorter winter break. This newfound knowledge helps me when planning itineraries for trips to Korea so that it will not clash with local school holidays.

2 things I have learnt about myself

   I now consider autumn my favourite season. The weather is not warm and not too cold, allowing for outdoor activity. The red and orange leaves of the trees give the forests a blood red colour.
   I also realised that I feel more comfortable and energetic when exercising in colder weather (15-25 degrees Celsius). I felt this way when I ran down the hill for a short distance after visiting Bulguksa Grotto. I think that this is because I do not sweat as much because it is less humid and the temperature helped me to feel more comfortable, compared to the punishing heat in Singapore.
2 things I didn't do as well in

   I spent a lot of time taking photos during the visit to Seokgulam Temple instead of focusing on learning about the structures and Buddhism. I think that I should keep myself focused when in learning journeys in the future. One way that I can stay focused is to put away my phone and try to take down notes using a hardcopy notebook. Putting electronic devices away allow me not to be distracted by my electronic device and to observe what is going on around me. Another way would be for me to put away everything, including my notebook and focus on what the tour guide is saying, and try to remember what he says. The reason behind why I want to put away everything is because writing on a hardcopy notebook when on the move can prove very challenging, especially if I cannot keep pace with what the tour guide is saying or I have to look out for traffic. Using a notebook results in me not being able to concentrate fully.
   I also felt that my gifts and my many 'thank you's  to my buddy were not enough to thank her for her hospitality and for taking time out of her schedule to host us. I will surely show her the SST  hospitality when she comes to visit us in January.

2 things I look forward to tomorrow

    I am looking forward to the visit to Busan National Museum because I want to find out about Busan's history and its role as a port city. I would like to learn more about legends and stories such as Admiral Yi and Busan's role in Sengoku Jidai.
    I am also looking forward to the visit to Busan Science Centre as I would like to observe the observatory and if I have the chance, to see the sky above. I would like to find out how different BSHS's observatory is different from Singapore Science Centre's observatory.

    One way in which I linked my experiences with what I have learnt during lessons in the School of Science and Technology was during the presentation on creating a radio telescope. I could apply my knowledge of how solar storms affected the Earth to the project showcase today. Many radio telescopes on Earth receive signals across the entire electromagnetic spectrum from the Sun. By creating a device that matches the frequency of the radio station/telescope receiving signals from the sun, the receiver will find out the level of solar radiation reaching Earth.  

     To extend on this, I was wondering if the results obtained from a single radio telescope could be trusted and if it was accurate. Thus, one way to help this project to grow would be the use several radio stations. These will serve as the sources of data and for several receivers at various frequencies to be placed across the world, creating a global network, making analysed data on solar storms readily available to the public.  

     This presentation has challenged my thinking by showing me that we can make use of the electromagnetic spectrum (specifically radio waves at different frequencies) to obtain data from various sources that I never thought were accessible. This data can also be readily analysed using our methods

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