Our Current Students
CCA and Hobbies
NUS Canoe Polo & Mountaineering Club – Pang Hui En, BES (Biology Specialisation)
As a BES student, outdoors have always been fascinating to Pang Hui En. An avid mountain climber, she has scaled several mountains, the highest being the Baden-Powell Peak in Nepal (5825m) in 2016.
My favourite quote “it’s not the mountains we conquer but ourselves”. It might seem daunting but I would say, give it a try. Doing TMC as an NUS student is definitely the most cost friendly option as NUS Mountaineering provides free equipment rental, technical lessons and physical training to prepare you for the expeditions. There’s never a better time as such. In NUS mountaineering, I’ve met a very welcoming community and made some great friends.
Muay Thai & NUS Mountaineering Club – Bjorn Jee, Mathematics Major
Bjorn’s passion in mathematics since secondary school has continued on to university journey as he delved into the field of applied mathematics. Besides Mathematics, Bjorn decided to take on the challenge of mountain climbing.
In December 2017, Bjorn, part of the team from NUS Mountaineering Club, successfully scaled the Tsergo Peaks (5,800 m) of Langtang Valley, Nepal – this feat was the culmination of a 20-day Technical Mountaineering Course organised by NUS Mountaineering. Prior to the Tsergo Peaks, the only other mountain climbing he did was scaling Mount Rinjani with his friends in 2016.
Mountaineering is a sport where its rewards outweighs all challenges that we had to endure. It makes us realize that we can overcome any obstacle, by taking a step at a time, and by doing so, we grow both physically and mentally, leaving the mountains a stronger person.
"Pain is temporary. It can last for a minute, an hour, or a day, or even a year. But eventually, it will subside and something else will take its place. If you quit however, it will last forever."
Ice climbing up a frozen waterfall near Kyanjin Gompa (Langtang National Park)
Project HAK Team
Four of our Science students – Kennedy Kok Zheng Liang, Lim Yi Da Ryan, Noorul Ain Gafoor and Tan Yihua, being part of YEP Project HAK Team, visited Pong Song Village (Lao PDR) in December 2017 with the core aim of teaching English to young children at Pong Song Secondary School, and supplying healthcare and hygiene products across other Laotian villages.
Separately, the team introduced our world-famous Singaporean food culture to their Laotian hosts by preparing laksa, curry chicken and kaya puffs during the Project.
Each of them shared their takeaways from the expedition:
One of the more striking epiphanies I had was the concept of joy, which I experienced it nearing the end of our trip, when we had to bade our farewells to the villagers. I realised that everyone has their own definition of joy, and it is unique to every individual. We spend so much time searching or seeking for other definitions of joy, for instance seeking the approval and recognition of others, that we lose sight of what truly makes us happy. And I saw that in the villagers, how they were so comfortable in chasing their own definition of joy, without feeling the need to seek any other forms. – Kennedy Kok, Applied Mathematics
Don’t hesitate to lend a helping hand to anyone, it could be a small act or simple gesture of kindness, but it will always go a long way in keeping the smile on their faces and that alone, will be enough to get you through the day. – Ryan Lim, Life Sciences
Doing community service, on the surface and over a short period of time, may seem like is not making much of a difference at all. A lot of the things we do return non-tangible results which some may find hard to feel fulfilment from. Regardless, the true sense of fulfilment comes from the feeling within when we see the smiles of the children and the villagers as we interact with them and as they react to the work we do for them. – Noorul Ain Gafoor, Chemistry
I feel that sincerity, not just from our intentions but from our actions too, lies at the heart of community service. There is no individual that is more or less in a position to be able to serve. Hence, I hope that my fellow peers would believe that they too, can be a blessing to others, no matter how big or small we think our contribution is. In the process of doing so, we will realise that we are not just providing services for a community, but also building a family within the community. We form relationships and bonds, and gain much more than what we have to offer. That is the true beauty of a community service! :) - Tan Yihua, Pharmacy
ScrubUP! 4.0 Youth Expedition Project (YEP) – Gloria Kok
Gloria Kok, a Pharmacy major, was the only Science student in the The ScrubUP! 4.0 Youth Expedition Project Team (consisting of 22 NUS students from the various Schools and Faculties). The team spent 2 weeks in December 2017 at the UNACAS Orphanage (Lech Wat Village, Cambodia) teaching English to young children and spreading year-end festive joys.
Separately, the team raised donations for food items including rice, and assisted in the construction of a house in Lech Wat Village itself.
She shared with us her motivations and learning journey:
As I have never gone on an Overseas Community Service Project (OCSP) before, I was interested to sign up for ScrubUP!4.0 as I had heard about the joy that volunteering overseas brings from my friends who had participated previously. Besides wanting to bring joy to the UNACAS children during the period spent with them, I simply wanted to learn from them the joy of slowing down my pace of life and being contented with whatever I have. University life had been a bustle, and with many opportunities presented to me to try new things, I was always rushing from one place to another. I knew that going on this OCSP trip to Cambodia would not only be a time where I can be part of something bigger than myself, but a time for refreshment as well.
What broke my heart was when one of the younger kids came up to me and handed me a wet wipe to wipe my tears before walking away to give away more wet wipes. I saw that despite not knowing that a wet wipe probably was not the best choice for wiping tears, the child had a sincere heart in wanting to help us. Even though he himself was crying, he placed our needs above his own, and to see such a young child behave so maturely really touched my heart and made me realise how precious they all are.
In summary I feel it boils down to the values one possesses when embarking on a CIP trip or project. What our educational institutions in Singapore can do would be to continually emphasise the heart behind community service that each person should have. If our students can be more intentional in showing care and concern, those they are servicing to will feel it all the more, making the CIP much more meaningful!
This is me, Vi and Lang! Lang is a really precious child. Being one of the older ones among the small kids, he shows a lot of care for them and takes care of them. He is quite a quiet and shy boy, and did not talk much with us at the start. However, my friendship with him began in a very amusing way. Before my first English lesson with the Level 0 children (those with very low English proficiency), he saw that I had a few rubber balls that I intended to use in class to get the children to participate in answering question. He came up to me and in simple English he said with his palms opened, “Teacher, ball. Ball.” So I said “Later” as class was about to start. When class ended and it was time to leave UNACAS to go back to our sleeping area, I still did not give him the ball. So he came up to me and grabbed my hand really tightly, saying “Teacher, ball” once again, following me all the way out to the gate. From then on every night onwards, this would become our routine where I would just laugh and say “tomorrow, tomorrow”, quietly knowing that at the end of 10 days I would leave the balls behind for them. And so our friendship grew and on some days he would even offer to ride me on the bicycle to and fro from UNACAS and our sleeping compound! Hence, this picture is me on the last day riding him on the bicycle in return for the past few days of friendship.
Robots @ NUS Competition – Ng Jing Yi, Chemistry
The inaugural Robots@NUS Competition 2017 saw 36 NUS students across 12 teams developing innovative robotic aids for the elderly and the disabled, with the results announced on 8 January 2018. An exhibition featuring the 12 projects was held at NUS University Town. To foster cross-disciplinary collaboration, project teams had to consist of students from at least two different faculties.
Participating students attended a three-day workshop between 12 and 14 December 2017. The competitors — hailing from diverse disciplines such as Arts, Computing, Engineering, Law, Medicine and Science — were taught basic programming, construction using the LEGO sets provided, as well as how to use the 3D printer and laser cutter. Among them is our Science student – Ng Jing Yi, a Chemistry major.
In her interest to help the elderly, she persevered together with her team despite having limited knowledge in robotics and programming. They eventually managed to build a robot to help accelerate the evaporation rate of moisture from wet surfaces to reduce the possibility of elderly members slipping and falling.
Failure is inevitable during the journey to success. Although there may be times where nothing seemed to go smoothly, perseverance and team spirit are important aspects which have helped us overcome these hurdles.
I agree that robotics/ programming is difficult at the beginning. However, I believe that skills grow with experience – like how my team and I agreed unanimously after the competition that Lego-designing became more intuitive and we are one step closer to acquiring the “Lego mind” after several assembles and reassembles of those blocks.
I think we all had the “willing-to-try” mentality that spurred us to partake in this competition. My advice is to explore, gain more experiences, and find out what you are genuinely interested in during your undergraduate years – it’s the best time you can experiment and broaden your perspectives.
The Team! Jing Yi, Claudia and Juan Yong (from left)
Faculty of Science Student Initiatives
Singapore Frontier Challenge (SFC) by NUS Physics Society
The inaugural SFC 2017 was spearheaded by the NUS Physics Society, with the organising committee comprising students from diverse backgrounds and majors. The inaugural competition aimed to involve tertiary students from diverse disciplines by encouraging them to develop innovative solutions to pressing environmental issues faced by Singapore.
The competition (lasting from June to September 2017) drew participants from NUS, the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD).
Participants also attended energy-related talks and workshops, such as 3D printing, using Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software to design mechanical parts, as well as understanding Arduino, an open-source electronics platform which creates prototypes.
The SP Group granted $23,000 in sponsorships to support the competition. Months of hard work went in to planning the three-month competition to ensure that the event ran smoothly.
One of the key takeaways from the competition for all participants was the opportunity to mingle with SP Group staff and to benefit from their industry expertise. Mr WONG Kim Yin, CEO of SP Group, also personally discussed the potential of the ideas and advised each team on the possibility of a collaboration with SP Group to further develop their projects.
LAI MingRui, Year 3 Physics student and SFC 2017 Project Director, said, “We hope that through the competition, more students will take an interest in issues faced by Singapore in the present, and in the years to come.”
Singapore Frontier Challenge 2017 Organising Committee (From left to right) Neo Jie Xin, Tricia Wong, Lai Ming Rui (SFC 2017 Project Director), Gabriel Kam, Shin Zher Sin and, Ryan Quek
Pack-A-Meal by Science Students’ Club
As part of the NUS Faculty of Science’s unwavering commitment to community service all these years, Science Volunteer Corps (SVC), a sub-committee under the NUS Science Students’ Club, collaborated with Kraft-Heinz Singapore and Rise Against Hunger to organise Singapore’s first Pack-A-Meal event on 11 December 2017 – separate editions of this event have been conducted across the world, including Europe, North America and Asia. The event entailed current undergraduates, alumni and staff members of the Faculty of Science assisting Kraft-Heinz Singapore staff in the packing of 80,000 meal packets for distribution to the underprivileged.
“The 80,000 meals will be shipped to Cambodia for the orphanage homes who are suffering from malnutrition caused by insufficient food supply.” [Mr. Tiki Keh, President, Rise Against Hunger (Malaysia)]
“It was nice to see all the smiles on the volunteers’ faces as they happily packed the meals for a good cause while enjoying the background music and the company of their friends.” (Jaymond Tan Jia Wen, Vice-President (Internal Affairs), Science Students’ Club)
Mr. Tiki Keh has also observed that volunteers displayed enthusiastic energy throughout the event, and highlighted their commitment to end world hunger.