Monday, March 23, 2009

Sec 3 Science Learning Journey

Mdm Kelly Tan, a PSG member, volunteered to help the Science Learning Journey school event by assisting the teacher to supervise the sec 3 students. She took a half-day-off to take part in the Sec3 Learning Journey on 10/03. She has two daughters in TK (Sec1 & 3). Through her participation, she has also learnt more about flora and fauna from the Hort Park visit. The following article and pictures are her contribution to describe her experience in the event. I thank Kelly for her blog posting and share the joy of participation as a PSG.

Learning Journey: Hort Park
As part of the Sec 3 Science Learning Journey, educational trips were organized to the following places such as the Tuas Incinerator Plant, the Perfume Factory and the HortPark, among others.

On 10 March 2009, I tagged along as a Parent Volunteer with 31 Sec 3 students to HortPark, together with Mrs Tey. At HortPark, we were split into 2 groups. The Guide for my Group, Mr Vickers, spent the next one hour enlightening us with his wide knowledge of the plants grown there. Another Guide took on the other group together with Mrs Tey.
HortPark, the gardening hub, is a one-stop gardening hub that brings together gardening-related recreational, educational research and retail activities under one big canopy in a park setting. It is a knowledge hub for plants and gardening and provides the platform for the industry to share best practices and showcase garden designs, products and services. This 23-hectare regional park in south-western Singapore is also a park connector, connecting Telok Blangah Hill Park to Kent Ridge Park.
HortPark, official opening in April 2008, is Southeast Asia's first one-stop gardening and lifestyle hub. It is developed at a cost of $13 million. Students were seriously at work as shown in the picture.
There are the Gold section where the plants grown there consist mainly of golden or yellow leaves, which give the impression that the place is golden in the background.

There is also the Silver section where the undersides of the leaves are silvery. We are shown the “Prayer Plants” where the big leaves of such plants will fold up in the evening, to resemble the hands in prayers. There is also a plant with leaves that gives out fishy smell on the fingers when rubbed.

Mr Vickers then showed us a plant which gives out a pungent and fishy smell on our fingers when we rubbed our fingers on the leaves.

We also came across the “Recycled Section” where the plants are grown in recycled items such as bottles, containers, boots, bathtub and even toilet bowls. It shows that all one needs is to be imaginative and the one’s garden will turn out interesting and eye-catching.

Then there is the “Herbs and Spices” section where you can find medicinal plants and spices like those one uses to cook curry and laksa with.

Imported flowers and plants which can survive only in temperate countries were housed in the $7 million prototype glasshouses. The high cost was apparently due to the special drainage underneath the glasshouses and the special glass panels which absorbs the external heat. These glasshouses even incorporate special window binders which will roll down automatically accordingly to the temperature in the glasshouse so as to shade the plants and flowers from the heat.

Lastly, we were shown the various and creative ways of beautify one’s home with the indoor plants, which shows that one can live in greenery even in high-rise living.

The excursion was certainly eye-opening and enlightening, especially if the tour is guided by an experienced staff from HortPark. The children were eager learners and all went well. They were safely back in school at the end of the day.

It is definitely worth going if one has not been there!
Posted by Kelly Tan, PSG