These Singapore students enhance their creativity, knowledge and skills when they take on project work and initiatives that go beyond the classroom and benefit the community. We take a look at some cool international school projects.
10 Impressive School Projects by Singapore Students
When Nexus International School (Singapore) decided to look at a new bus bay design, they turned to their learners who use the space. Nexus learners were challenged to design more play spaces for the growing school, by investigating how the bus bay could double as a play space that uses the safest surfaces while still maintaining its original function.
These Singapore students were divided into teams and created plans to execute their project work visions; they incorporated key concepts from their IB programme to inquire, develop, create and evaluate their ideas. As part of caring for the environment, they also came up with sustainable additions to the spaces.
This school project was an excellent opportunity to encourage learner agency, entrepreneurship, independence and innovation – all of which are Nexus’s core focuses for the school’s learners. Through this project, they also learnt valuable skill sets such as research, budgeting, presenting and collaborating, and they officially presented their plans to the Chairman of the Nexus board and the Senior Leadership Team.
The school says that real-life, authentic challenges like these keep Nexus learners involved and remind them that they have the ability to make a positive impact on the environment around them.
Leaders of Environmental Awareness and Protection (LEAP) is a student-initiated environmental organisation with clubs set up across various schools internationally. A branch of this LEAP Club was formed within Chatsworth International School, in the form of an environmental CCA led by a few high school students under the guidance of a teacher.
LEAP was run by Year 13 students Aditya, Samyukta, and Avery as part of their CAS project work for two years; they’ve graduated this June from Chatsworth. They worked closely with the MYP Service Group as well as the Primary school to develop and implement environmentally conscious solutions that raise awareness on and address a variety of Sustainable Development Goals sanctioned by the UN, in particular goal 7 (affordable and clean energy) and goal 11 (sustainable and clean cities).
Last school year, the club held a schoolwide clothing drive to promote sustainable waste management within the school community. They received an incredible amount of reusable clothes, which were donated to a local textile recycling company, Greensquare. Another collaborative initiative was No Trash Tuesdays, where both Singapore students and staff were encouraged to bring and use only reusable face masks, food containers and utensils every Tuesday; these items, when in the form of disposables, generate a significant amount of waste.
The Microsoft Asia Headquarters invited Australian International School to participate in its Minecraft competition in March 2020, as part of the launch of a new workspace at Frasers Tower. The task was to create a floor design for the space using Minecraft: Education Edition.
A group of Year 5 students from the school’s coding and design CCA jumped to the challenge and joined the competition. Over the past years, the CCA has been exploring and teaching the learning platform, and it was a great opportunity for the students to put their skills to practice and get some hands-on experience.
With the competition held during the Circuit Breaker period, it was initially difficult to organise, as the students were working together as a large group of 10. They were eventually split into two teams. The school is proud of the students for working hard through the last weeks of Semester 1 to complete the project. Of the schools that participated, AIS was the only school to see the project through to completion. The final presentation was held at the school’s Coral Dixon Theatre, where the students presented their floor plans to the Microsoft team. The design was selected to be 3D printed and displayed in the Microsoft office.
The Ikigai Project was a co-curricular project developed by Year 13 student Lucy Campbell and fellow Dulwich College (Singapore) students in October 2021. The project was set up to support Love, Nils, a children’s cancer charity, in response to the reduced number of enrichment activities available during pandemic restrictions.
The aim of The Ikigai Project was to design and deliver engaging STEAM workshops that provided children in the Love, Nils community the opportunity to learn, have fun in the process, and make new friends from the College’s community.
These Singapore students had full rein to plan and manage the project work, with guidance by teachers. Students from the College who were interested in science gathered to plan basic STEAM workshops for 15 participants aged five to eight years. The sessions centred around states of matter and fun experiments involving Oobleck, a substance that changes state depending on how it is interacted with. They were delivered in March 2022 and were enjoyed by the enthusiastic participants.
The students also created care packages with a sustainability theme that were necessary for the experiment, including toys and finger puppets that could be reused, along with handwritten letters. Watching the smiles of the children opening their care packages brought joy to all the project members involved.
The experience enabled Lucy and her team to put her ideas into action, develop leadership skills and feel confident when presenting to new faces. The group hopes they’ve inspired a future generation of scientists.
The Tanglin Trust School community gathered online last year to catch the school’s sixth TEDx event. Themed Back to the Drawing Board, it showcased nine speakers from all walks of life, including an artist, a paediatrician, a computer science specialist, an HR professional and four Tanglin student presenters. Each speaker shared how they adapted and learnt through challenging times, emphasising how one should never be afraid to go back to the drawing board to start over again.
Oskar, a Year 13 student at Tanglin and also the event’s marketing director, explained why they chose the theme. “I think it’s important to know how to deal with situations that force us to go back to the fundamentals and change how we do things. For example, COVID-19 is a great example where frontline workers were forced to change their work patterns, procedures and training within a short amount of time.” He added that the opportunity to work with such a large group of people for TEDx was helpful for developing soft skills relating to communication and teamwork.
The TEDx Tanglin Trust School event was entirely student-led and executed.
Celebrating the arts
Dover Court International School held a Youth Festival in June 2022, initiated and organised by Head Student Nakshatra. The festival celebrates all things art, and its theme of hope promotes the idea that art can bring people together during challenging times and give us hope.
Nakshatra worked with the Primary School Leadership Team and the music department to ensure that even the youngest students were included in this school project in Singapore. Students were invited to submit their auditions by video and Nakshatra arranged for a panel consisting of music and dance teachers, student leaders and the school’s leadership team to shortlist performers. As a celebration of the arts, the purpose was not to find a winner but to share the joy of creativity by showcasing a wide range of talent, with the school’s inclusive ethos at heart.
The festival saw young musicians, magicians, artists and dancers performing, accompanied by an inspiring art exhibition. Families were also invited to donate money to the school’s ongoing charity initiatives to share the message of hope to a wider community.
What was once an empty rooftop is now a vibrant community garden at Canadian International School (CIS). Built by students for students, this new learning space allows them to apply concepts and knowledge in a real world environment, which is integral to learning at CIS. They also develop critical and creative problem solving skills, while collaborating to keep the garden thriving in this school project in Singapore.
Behind the garden’s design is a team of Grade 8 students, who after learning about climate change during an interdisciplinary unit, wanted to make a difference in their community. Guided by teachers and experts from Corridor Farmers, they put their new landscaping knowledge to practice in this school project in Singapore. Other students volunteered their breaks to help build the garden, alongside parents and staff. The school’s student-led club The Green Machine even upcycled plastic bottles into planters and used propagation techniques to expand the garden.
This is one of CIS’s many hands-on activities for project work, where Singapore students engage in global issues and take action for positive change.
Last school year, Josie Hwang, Oli Fitzgerald and Grace Phisanuwongrak, Seniors at International Community School (ICS), established the “knights.code()” programming club, referencing the school’s mascot, the knight.
Their goal for the club is to foster a love of programming among Middle and High School students. In today’s technologically driven world, they believe that coding is a very important skill, just like reading and writing, and that everyone should learn how to code. In establishing knights.code() and offering it this year as part of the school’s extracurricular activities roster, the trio hope to instil in students the ability to think in different ways and hone their logical thinking and problem solving skills.
Aside from the club, these three students have been actively involved in other tech project works. Josie also won the EARCOS Global Citizenship Award earlier this year for being “concerned and caring for others, encouraging a sense of community and strongly committed to engagement and action to make the world a better place.” She also joined Grace in a programming competition in 2021 hosted by Technovation, a global tech education non-profit that inspires girls to be leaders and problem solvers in their lives and their community, where they developed an app that enables users to easily find various volunteering opportunities in Singapore. Meanwhile, Oli has also been involved in various internal programming projects for the school.
Raw Beauty is a student-led environmental initiative at UWC South East Asia, and one of a number of campus-based service learning groups founded at UWCSEA East. Modelled as a circular economy business, student participants in Raw Beauty use locally grown raw materials to create non-toxic, low-waste products such as soaps and other toiletries that are distributed in low-impact packaging. These products are sold by UWCSEA students in other school-based service groups to raise funds on behalf of their NGO partners to support development projects in countries around the region.
Raw Beauty’s primary goal is to spread awareness about low-impact manufacturing practices and sustainable options for the reuse of packaging. It was conceived as a way for students to see how their direct action can impact on issues that students are passionate about.
A student explains: “In the past, I’ve been in service groups where it was sometimes hard to see the impact of our actions on the community we were aligned with. By joining Raw Beauty, I hope to contribute directly.”
Raw Beauty enables students to be actively involved in a sustainable process, directly empowering them to be individual agents for change. The same purposeful action is reflected in other environmental initiatives across the campus, including the Rainforest Restoration Project and Solar for UWCSEA.
Stamford American International School’s “R U OK?” mental wellbeing campaign returned for the whole school in September, with everyone dressed in yellow and eager to share their learnings and awareness with others.
The core planning team involved Peer Support, one of the school’s key student leadership groups. They produced activities and learning that engaged Stamford American students and also taught students about mental health awareness.
Activities included inspiration walls, creating podcasts, class movies, conversation corners and role plays. The lunchtime interactive wall allowed students to share different ways of asking if another person is feeling okay, as well as finding avenues to seek support from key personnel within the school. These activities allowed for choice and were driven by the students themselves.
The campaign reflected the school’s culture and willingness to contribute, promote and engage with important messages related to social and emotional learning. It aims to ensure everyone knows that by asking a simple question such as “R U OK?”, that there is someone there to listen and to care. More importantly, the campaign familiarises the language, questioning and modelling for Stamford American students as young as the early years to check in on their friends. The campaign also provided essential resources for both parents and their children to continue these conversations at home.
This article on Singapore students projects first appeared in the November 2022 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!
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