ALP in Environment Education
Environment Education is our school’s distinctive niche programme, to help students connect their academic knowledge with real-world application.
Our flagship programme leverages the natural and urban design environments offered in Punggol eco-town, right at our doorsteps!
(Picture is reproduced with permission from NParks. For more info about the North Eastern Riverine Loop, you may refer to their DIY guide here).
Our Vision for Mankind
Harmony between Science & Nature
• Provide immersion in authentic & hands-on settings
• Increase awareness of higher education & career opportunities
Integration & Application:
• Connect knowledge across subject disciplines through scientific & geographical investigations.
• Communicate perspectives on global environmental issues
Tier 1 (Mass):
• All students and streams
• 15 hours per student per year
Tier 2 (Targeted):
• Interested students & Environment Club members
• Over 30 weeks a year
Journey of Self-discovery
Our students undergo a journey of self-discovery through these modules in their formative years.
Let's take a look at some of our Tier 1 programmes
The Waste Management module is conducted for Secondary 1 Express, Normal Academic and Normal Technical students over one semester during their Science lessons.
In this module, students learn about the importance of eco-sustainability and develop an awareness about waste management related issues in Singapore and around the world.
Our students also learn about the design and construction of a vermicomposting system as a method of food waste recycling in their vermicomposting module. In groups, they identify matured vermicompost in the form of worm casts and assess the results of the compost through a simple bioassay. Students also test for the presence of the NPK (nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium) elements which are essential for plant growth through colourimetric tests.
Students engaged in a hands on activity to understand how the porosity of clay, soil, gravel and sand affect the quality of landfills.
Students learning about red worms (Eisenia Fetida) and their role in vermicomposting.
The Clean Energy module is conducted for Secondary 2 Express, Normal Academic and Normal Technical students over one semester. This module is an effective collaboration amongst Science, Geography and Design & Technology Departments in Punggol Secondary School.
This module aims to raise energy efficiency awareness amongst our students. During lessons, they are engaged in hands on activities to explore the various types of clean energy and are given opportunities to discuss ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Students learning about biofuels and how it can be obtained from vegetable oil during their Science ALP lesson.
Students experimenting with solar panels and motors to produce a car that can run on solar power during their Design & Technology ALP lessons.
Post Examination Programmes to foster the Joy of Learning
2017 North East CDC - Applied Materials Science Explorer Camp
The Secondary One Normal Academic and Normal Technical students participated in the North East CDC - Applied Materials Science Explorer Camp. This programme is a collaboration between North East CDC and Applied Materials South East Asia Pte Ltd to inspire and spark off interest in children with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). It aims to promote innovative thinking through Science workshops and hands-on experiments that could further their learning in Science.
The Normal Academic students were engaged in the Solar Cooking module. The students learnt how energy from the sun can be harnessed and converted into heat energy to cook food. They used solar panels, aluminium sheets and cardboard boxes to build a Solar Cooker.
The Normal Technical students were engaged in the Toy Repair module. Students learnt that the importance of repair as one of the answers to combat the waste issues we have in this world. Students took apart a toy and put it back together again to illustrate how common toys work. They were also engaged in designing their very own simple battery-operated toy.
2017 and 2018 Learning Journey to Kok Fah Technology Farm
The Secondary One cohort visited the Kok Fah Technology Farm during the post exam period as part of their Applied Learning Programme module in Waste Management.
The students learnt about the workflow and climate control processes in Kok Fah Farm’s Showcase Greenhouse.
The guides at Kok Fah also shared with the students about how technology and science advancement can help to increase food productivity, efficiency and reduce time consumption by comparing past and present farming systems. The pros and cons of different farming systems how these systems help in increasing food security in a land-scarce Singapore were also discussed with students.
At the end of programme students were engaged in a hands-on session on how to grow microgreens.
2018 Scientists In Schools Programme
During the Student Development Week, the Secondary 2 students also had an exciting hands on experience of extracting DNA from fruits as part of their Applied Learning Programme (ALP). Many were amazed that they could actually extract DNA from bananas using materials they can find in their households such as dishwashing liquid. The students were privileged to learn this first hand from a team of scientists from A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research).
Dr Samuel Gan, Principal Investigator, Antibody & Product Development Lab (APD), who led the team, also enlightened the students with a talk on the development of Scientific Phone Apps and Career Prospects in the field of scientific research.
2018 The Art, Science & Math of Ice Cream Making
As part of the Applied Learning Programme, the Secondary One cohort made ice-cream during their post examination period. Through the experience, they learned about how ice-cream is made industrially. This programme creates a platform for cooperative and collaborative experiential learning for students to apply and connect concepts taught during Science, Mathematics and Food & Consumer Education lessons.
Student shaking the ice cream mixture with ice.
Student adding toppings into their ice cream mixture Final product with added toppings
2018 STEM Trail at Gardens by the Bay
The Secondary Two cohort visited the Gardens by the Bay for a STEM Trail that allowed our students to apply their Mathematical and Scientific knowledge in a real-world setting during the post exam period as part of their Applied Learning Programme. They collaborated on activities that tapped on their skills in topics such as Mensuration, Proportion, Chemical Changes and Energy. In addition, they gained a greater appreciation for the beauty and diversity of the flora found in the Gardens and the technology at work behind the scenes that helps to maintain this iconic Singaporean landmark.
Working together to figure out the answers to the activity.
Obtaining measurements with care in the pursuit of accurate results.
2018 Sec 3 Sungei Buloh Wetland Biodiversity Walk and Intertidal Coastal Cleanup
As part of the Applied Learning Programme, the Secondary 3 Express students went for the Sungei Buloh Wetland Biodiversity Walk. The students walked through the Mangrove forest of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserves, where they were given an opportunity to get up close to the biodiversity of the animals and plants of the Mangrove ecosystem. They keenly observed and learnt about how these Mangrove trees are well adapted in the salty water conditions and their importance in the ecosystem. Students also got to see animals such as mudskippers, monitor lizards, tree climbing crabs, kingfishers, crocodiles and many more mangrove inhabitants.
After the biodiversity walk, students engaged in the Intertidal Coastal Cleanup in collaboration with ICCS – International Coastal Cleanup Singapore. Students actively and enthusiastically contributed to the cleaning up of pollution and rubbish along Singapore’s shores.
Students picking up litter during the coastal cleanup.
Students learning about the biodiversity of the animals and plants of the Mangrove ecosystem.
Professional Development for our Teachers
To ensure that our teachers are effectively equipped to teach these modules, familiarisation sessions are conducted regularly for the teachers by our STEM educators, Ms Iris Ng and Mr James Koh.
Teachers come together to go through all the ALP lesson plans, practise with the hands-on activities that our students will do for the year, and offer feedback and suggestions on how these lessons can be refined for our student profile.
Reaching Out Beyond the Classroom
The Environment Club members reached out to the student body during their recess and Year Head talks to educate students and teachers on food waste reduction and recycling.
Students educating canteen stall holders on the importance of food waste wastage, reduction and recycling.
Student collecting inedible food waste from Stall 7 auntie.
On 22 April 2017, a group of Secondary 1 students enthusiastically shared their experiences using the Bio-digester and educated the Punggol East residents at Rivervale Mall on how to reduce food waste.
The students also shared about vermicomposting and showcased the experiments the experiments they carried out in their Applied Learning Programme lessons on Waste Management.
2017 Vermicomposting Sharing Session for Er Chong Junior High School, Taiwan
Last year, on 24th May, Punggol Secondary School hosted the Principal, Mr Jong Jaw-Jinn, the Director of Counselling, Ms Ye Jing-Yi, Counselling Teacher, Ms Syu Wun Jing and 20 students from Er Chong Junior High. The students and teachers were keen to learn more about our school’s aesthetics and environment education programmes.
Ms Christine Hor and a few Secondary 1A students shared about our food waste reductions and recycling programmes. The students engaged our guests learnt about vermicomposting and were given an opportunity to feel the red wriggler worms. We also introduced our guests to the Bio-digester from Biomax Technologies Pte Ltd and shared with them how the inedible food waste from the school canteen is recycled and turned into fertilizers for our plants in the Butterfly garden. Our guests were enthusiastic learners and actively participated in activities we had arranged for them.
Nutrition and Food Science Teachers Seminar
The Nutrition and Food Science Unit from Curriculum Planning and Development Division invited Punggol Secondary School to set up an exhibition booth to showcase the school’s efforts on waste management, particularly on vermicomposting. The students also shared on the Community Food Waste Recycling Project that the school had participated in earlier in the year.
In collaboration with Science Centre, The Istana held an event 'Future City – Sustainable Living Goals' on Labour Day. The event, which was held at The Istana, was open to the public to showcase how the individual and the community can play a role in achieving sustainable development goals as well as how one can leverage STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) for a sustainable future. Punggol Secondary School was invited by Science Centre to participate in this event.
A group of Secondary 3 students showcased projects related to waste management and clean energy which they had carried out during their Applied Learning Programme (ALP) lessons when they were in Secondary 1 and 2. These projects were designed for students to adopt a hands-on approach to foster the joy of learning.
The students shared how red wriggler worms can be used to break down organic food waste into useful nutrients in the vermicomposting process.
They also shared how solar panels and motors can be used to construct a solar-powered car and how hydrogen can be used as an alternative energy resource and the working principles behind hydrogen fuel cell technology.
The students were also given an opportunity to present to the President, Mdm Halimah Yacob who tried some of the hands-on activities.
We are happy to share that we were featured on President, Mdm Halimah Yacob’s Facebook page and Instagram.
TEDxNTU is licensed under the main brand TED, as part of their efforts to reach a wider community and bring a TED-like experience in local communities. TEDxNTU is an annual event that brings together the community leading thinkers and doers to share ideas that matter in any discipline — technology, entertainment, design, science, humanities, business, development. Their events are opened to public and they typically have about 40-50% of the audience from non NTU students/faculty members.
One of our core value in this year's TEDxNTU theme is to combat food waste and reduce food.
As such, Punggol Secondary School was invited to be a partner of the prestigious TEDxNTU, to set up an exhibit to share with NTU students and the public on what our school has been doing to help combat food waste.
This year’s TEDxNTU event is the largest in Singapore, with an audience size of 1700 was held at Nanyang Auditorium in Nanyang Technological University on 26th August, Sunday.
A group of Secondary 1 students showcased projects related to waste management which they had carried out during their Applied Learning Programme (ALP) lessons. These projects were designed for students to adopt a hands-on approach to foster the joy of learning.
2018 Interview for STEM feature story for Straits Times Schools' IN magazine
Punggol Secondary School was recommended by MOE to be interviewed for a STEM feature story for the Straits Times Schools' IN magazine early this year.
A group of Sec 2 students from the Express, Normal Academic and Normal Technical streams and the teacher in charge of ALP, Ms Janani Balakrishnan were interviewed to share more about the school's Applied Learning Programme in Environment Education.
The students diligently prepared stations in the science lab for the journalist to engage in a few hands on ALP activities and they explained the concepts and activities enthusiastically to her.
The students were featured in the Straits Times Schools' IN magazine published on Monday, 23rd July 2018.
Students who were interviewed
Students sharing about an investigation they carried out in their clean energy module and the processes involved in vermicomposting to the journalist.
Our students engaging the young and old on some of our ALP projects.
Eager public exploring the vermicomposting bin.
Vermicomposting Workshop for the Parent Support Group (PSG)
The ALP team of teachers also believe that parents play a key role in providing a supportive environment for our children to learn hence we feel it is crucial to actively engage our PSG members in raising awareness on environmental issues.
Our ALP Science teachers, Mr Stephen Low and Ms Janani as well as Ms Iris Ng our STEM educator, conducted a vermicomposting workshop for our very enthusiastic PSG members.
2017 Shell Bright Ideas Challenge
Teachers ICs: Mr Jonathan Ng & Mr Freddy Wong, guided by STEM educator, Ms Iris Ng
Achievement - Merit Award & Young Engineer Gold Award
Putting on their thinking caps, the students identified a possibility of water shortage and an increasing competition for land usage. These factors could create pressure on households to minimise their water wastage. The team researched on the water wastage across various household appliance and created a prototype that could collect used water from household appliance like washing machines and air conditioners. The water will be filtered and collected at a common collection point. If needed, the water will be channelled back to the appliances.
The team was shortlisted as one of the fifteen finalists to present their idea to a panel of judges as well as the public. The students were also given the opportunity to present and converse with the Education Minister, Mr Ng Chee Meng.
We are proud to announce that they received the Merit Award for their prototype and all five students also achieved the Young Engineer Gold Award.
8 students from Secondary 2 started their journey at the end of May where they came together in their teams to decide on the projects they would like to embark. From their exposure to vermicomposting and biocompost during their Applied Learning Programme in Secondary One, the two teams decided to research on the red wrigglers’ (Eisenia foetida) diet on the potency of worm cast as fertilisers and the effect of the application method of organic compost on plant growth.
Two months of hard work culminated in some interesting findings such as apple peels giving the most effective compost and spraying nutrient solution likely gave the best growing plant. The students presented these ideas via a 10 minute presentation at Anderson Secondary School. Participating in this competition has exposed the students to the scientific methodology and they picked up new skills like critical thinking, report writing, data analysis and oral presentation. They have also learned to persevere through difficulties and the teams came out stronger than before.
This year, we sent another two teams to participate in this competition. The teams worked tirelessly over the past four months and through the June holidays and emerged victorious as they managed to clinch a Gold and a Certificate of Commendation for their projects. We were also pleasantly surprised when we were presented with the top Viewers’ Choice award for the Gold award project.
The theme for this year’s competition was “Changing the World, One Idea at a Time”. After cycles of brainstorming, the teams decided to investigate on the use of starch-based bioplastics and pervious concrete. The project involves three phases: experimentation, report writing and presentation. Although the teams faced some difficulties during the experimentation process, they did not give up and exhibited resilience as they continued to find solutions. Through the entire process, the students also learned scientific methods and skills to write a science report as well as presentation skills. At the same time, they learned to communicate and worked well with one another as a group. Congratulations to both groups once again!
For more ALP related achievements, please visit our Environment Club page.