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West Zone COE for Science & Research
NUS High School became a Centre of Excellence for Science & Research in the West Zone in 2012. There is a strong culture of scientific inquiry and research in NUS High which we hope to support in other schools. Our objectives are as follows:
- To champion quality learning in Science & Research through developing teacher capacity & facilitating collaborative inquiry to create innovative pedagogy that will engage and deepen students' learning.
- To provide platforms for Science teachers to collaborate to become competent professionals.
- To raise the professional standards in the learning and teaching of Science.
- To facilitate collaborations among relevant partners.
The WZCOE for Science & Research hopes to achieve these objectives through the formation of Networked Learning Communities (NLCs) within and beyond NUS High School.
Upcoming Activities in 2020
1. Primary Science Teacher Workshop (Biology)
Primary School Science teachers will learn how to demonstrate Biology concepts clearly and accurately through designing hands-on classroom experiments for students. Participation in the workshop is through nomination only.
2. Primary Science Teacher Workshop (Physics)
Primary School Science teachers will learn how to demonstrate Physics concepts clearly and accurately through designing hands-on classroom mini-experiments for students. Participation in the workshop is through nomination only.
3. Creating DIY Demonstrations (Lab officers)
This workshop will teach lab officers how to create DIY set-ups using common materials as demonstration tools that can be used by teachers as an interesting start to their lessons. Students will be able to visualise and feel the effects of the phenomena illustrated by the DIY set-ups. Step-by-step instructions will be provided. Participants will also bring back the DIY set-ups that they have built during the workshop.
Name: Chong Ai Lin
Designation: Head, Outreach
Office no.: 6516 5818
For the past 4 years, the WZCOE for Science & Research has organized several activities for the professional development of teachers and lab officers, as well as to engage students in the learning of science, including the following:
1. Authentic Assessment Sharing Sessions
Teachers learnt about the characteristics of authentic assessments and co-created authentic tasks that could be carried out in their own schools. We invited Dr. Kelvin Tan and Dr. Gavin Fulmer from the National Institute of Education (NIE) as guest speakers in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
2. Use of Real-life Contexts in the Teaching and Learning of Biology
The NUSHS team of biology teachers shared how real-life contexts were highlighted during the teaching and learning of biology e.g. the creation of assignments based on learning journeys to Kusu Island and Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM), or the creation of learning products that served a specific purpose e.g. a pamphlet for the senior residents of Clementi to educate them on the big 3s (hypertension, diabetes and high blood cholesterol).
3. Affective Education (AE) infusion in Chemistry lessons
The NUSHS team of chemistry teachers shared how they had infused AE components into their lessons using the lives of scientists such as Fritz Haber, Johannes Diderik van der Waals, and Amedeo Avogadro. Participants also co-created lesson plans together with the NUSHS teachers.
4. Nobel Experience Workshops (for Teachers)
Teachers learnt how to build and use the cloud chamber as a learning activity within their lessons in the teaching of radiation. A Networked Learning Community (NLC) approach was used where teachers co-created lessons with our Senior Teacher, Mr. Clifton Soh. After the workshop, teachers delivered the co-created lessons to their students and reflected on the effectiveness of the lessons.
5. Nobel Experience Workshops (for Lab Officers)
Lab officers learnt to create a “cloud chamber” set-up in 2013 and a “force in a current carrying coil in a magnetic field” set-up in 2014 and 2015. They also brought the apparatus that they had built back to their own schools. The workshop was conducted by our Senior Laboratory Technologist, Mr. Joseph Tan.
6. Nobel Experience Workshops (Biology)
The workshops aim to allow students to experience the thinking behind Nobel laureates’ prize-winning discoveries. Students are given the opportunity to carry out experiments that led to, or are related to, Nobel prize-winning discoveries. We have conducted workshops since 2014 entitled “Blood Groups”, “One Gene One Enzyme”, and “RNAi”.
7. Nobel Experience Workshops (Chemistry)
The workshops aim to allow students to experience the thinking behind Nobel laureates’ prize-winning discoveries. Students are given the opportunity to carry out experiments that led to, or are related to, Nobel prize-winning discoveries. We have conducted workshops since 2015 entitled “Adsorption Isotherm”, “Chromatography” and “Synthesis of Azo Dyes”.
8. Nobel Experience Workshops (Physics)
The workshops aim to allow students to experience the thinking behind Nobel laureates’ prize-winning discoveries. Students are given the opportunity to carry out experiments that led to, or are related to, Nobel prize-winning discoveries. We have conducted workshops since 2013 entitled “Cloud Chamber”, “Photoelectric Effect”, “and “Opticks”.
9. Nobel Science Camp
The Nobel Science Camp is a four-day programme at NUSHS where students got the opportunity to conduct both disciplinary and inter-disciplinary Nobel prize-winning experiments in biology, chemistry, and physics; as well as participate in special lectures and field trips to see the convergence of the sciences in action in both industry and academia. The Nobel Science Camp has been running for the past two years, with the themes “Duality” in 2014 and “Convergence” in 2015. For both years, the motto of the Nobel Science Camp was “Omnia probate”, or “test everything” – an attitude we hope participants will embrace during the Camp.