Home > Departments > Science
|Front Row (Science Teachers from left)|
|Mr Leong Jun Jie, Miss Heng Hui Hui, Ms Charlene Lye Jia Lin, Miss Siti Nur A'sha Binte Osman, Ms Ng Soo Hoon, Mdm Shrila d/o Balachandran, Mrs Phua Yong Yong, Mr Has Gunawan Bin Harjuna, Mrs Cher-Lee Lay Peng, Ms Engel Teo Huei Huei|
|Back Row (Science Teachers from left)|
|Mr Desmond Kan Wai Keong, Miss Tan Sock Hui, Mdm Sarojini Periasamy, Mr Low Eng Chye, Miss Wong Sow Lin|
As a department, we seek to provide quality student-centric academic programmes, aligned with the Science Curriculum Framework that will enable students to meet future challenges. Through our key programmes such as the Amgen Biotech Experience, Annual Environment Week and participation in selected Talent Development programmes, we endeavour to cultivate a joy of learning in our students.
Amgen Biotech Experience (ABE)
In partnership with Science Centre and Amgen Inc, the ABE is part of the school’s push to promote STEM education, and improve the overall quality of STEM education in Whitley Secondary by making STEM education more authentic and meaningful. ABE offered our students opportunities to use research grade equipment to conduct real-world experiments, especially genetic engineering techniques such as micro-pipetting, use of gel electrophoresis and bacterial transformation. The programme has brought about increased awareness of diseases such as diabetes, its possible treatment and how genetic engineering plays a key role in providing affordable treatment for diabetic patients.
Annual Environment Week
The Science department spearheads the environmental education with the concerted effort of all the departments to espouse the school’s vision of a caring and learning community. Student-centric activities are planned every year in line with the theme designated by NEA, Ministry of Environment. The theme for this year’s Environment Week is Year of Climate Action. As such, an array of activities took place to raise awareness about climate change and to encourage students and staff to take individual and collective efforts to fight climate change.
We kick-started the week with a “Bring Your Own Container” campaign in a bid to reduce packaging waste. During CCE lessons, students made their individual pledge to fight climate change as well as develop a climate action plan to pledge their commitment as a class. An Instagram contest was organised to encourage students and staff to post and share photographs of themselves taking action to fight climate change.
At the morning assembly talk, our students and staff learnt from the outreach officer from the Singapore Environment Council about the importance of protecting our marine environment. Students also took turns to share articles on environment issues during the Tuesday and Thursday morning assemblies.
Besides activities within the school, field trips to Singapore Botanic Gardens and Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve to learn and collect data, were organised for our Secondary One and Secondary Four students respectively.
We rounded off the week with the sharing of the Minister’s Message for YED (Youth for Environment Day) 2018, as well as showing appreciation for our school cleaners with thank you messages from the students and staff.
As a school that takes pride as a learning community, our talent development programmes aim to coach and stretch our higher ability students through the participation of selected National and International Competitions.
Junior Physics Olympiad
of New South Wales (UNSW) ICAS Science Competition
Big Science Competition
- ACJC C.B Paul Science Quiz: 1 Merit & 2 Honourable Mentions
- National Environment Quiz
- National Science Challenge
- Green Wave Environmental
- Microbit Environment Challenge
Green Award: Sustained Lotus Achievement Award
Junior Physics Olympiad: 1 Bronze, 4 Honourable Mentions
Physics Camp: 2 Silver, 2 Bronze
Environment Quiz: Individual Category 10th placing
Science Challenge: Finalist Team
- NZ Elementz Science Competition: 1 Bronze
- ACJC CB Paul Science
Competition: 1 Bronze
- Green Wave Environmental
Care Competition: Participation
- National Science
CIN Ambassador (NParks)
Topic: The biodiversity in our school garden
Greenery is a common sight in many spaces and communities in Singapore as our country continues to evolve into a city in a garden. Our school, Whitley Secondary School, also has a number of gardens and ponds containing a variety of plants and animals. In this article, we are going to explore the different types of biodiversity in our school’s garden.
Firstly, we have our rooftop garden which was launched by the secondary two students in 2017 for their Active Citizenship For Social Change (ACSC) project. They were supposed to think of ways to help improve our school’s environment by turning an idea into reality. They were inspired by an idea from Class 1E1 of 2017 that initially proposed the idea of making a rooftop garden in an empty space right beside their classroom on the fourth level. The empty space was always blazing hot and the students did not want to waste that space, so they decided to make something out of it. With the school’s funding and guidance from their teachers, their idea became a reality. Within a year the rooftop garden was completed. Tables and benches were provided for the students to have a conducive study area. Several types of plants are grown in the garden and they each have a sign with information. The idea is to make the rooftop garden a place for relaxation as well as a place for learning.
Some plants in the garden include the apple mint (Mentha suaveolens), which has bright green leaves that are large and fuzzy. The apple mint plant grows very well at the rooftop garden as they thrive in sunny places. Apple mint can be used as culinary herbs for flavouring and garnishing. Other interesting facts are that their leaves have anti-cancer properties and the powdered leaves can be used to whiten the teeth. Peppermint (Mentha x piperita), is another plant we grow in the garden. It is a hybrid plant, a cross between the watermint (Mentha aquatica) and spearmint (Mentha spicata). The peppermint plant is an aromatic perennial plant, with light purple flowers and green leaves. It can grow in sunny areas and can tolerate some shade. Some of its uses include traditional remedy and garnishing for food.
Another plant we can find at the garden is the Turmeric (Curcuma Longa). This plant can reach up to one metre tall and it is yellow to orange in colour. It thrives on ample heat and moisture, so regular watering is required. The turmeric plant can be used as anticoagulants, antiplatelets, antidepressants and for arthritis management. Another place that I enjoy visiting in school is the koi pond near our school foyer. When I entered the school for the first time, the pond was the first thing that caught my eye. The pond is filled with a variety of fishes and plants. A type of fish that could be found in the pond is the catfish. The catfish has a large head and long thin feelers that look like a cat's whiskers around its mouth.
Koi fish is another permanent resident in the pond. Koi fish can grow up to three feet long if raised in ideal conditions. They can become sunburned if a pond is too shallow and has little shade. Koi fish also do not have teeth. Surprisingly, the females are larger than males. Koi fish are intelligent animals. This allows Koi fish owners to train their fish to eat from their hand and even ring a bell to get them to respond to a treat. Many people keep Koi fish because they symbolise persistence, determination, wealth, success, and also good fortune.
Besides the fishes, tortoises can also be found in our school pond. One way to recognise a tortoise is to look out for the stubby, elephant-like feet and the heavier, domed shells. I especially enjoy watching the tortoises swim leisurely in the water. Their nonchalant movement in the water makes me feel unusually calm and relaxed.
All this biodiversity in our school garden makes the school feel more tranquil and peaceful. I cannot imagine our school without them.