“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science,” said Albert Einstein, the father of modern physics. In other words, Science is not just a subject students learn at school. It is an extension of their everyday world. With this in mind, Science at R.E.A.L Schools continues to be taught in ways that fuel curiosity and promote critical thinking and hands-on, active learning.
A recent example took place on 24 May 2017 when R.E.A.L Schools National, Johor Bahru Campus organized a visit to Petrosains Discovery Centre in Kuala Lumpur. A group of 80 students, comprising 31 from Upper Primary and 49 from Secondary, participated in this trip along with seven teachers. Upon arriving at the centre, the group commenced the tour with the iconic ‘Dark Ride’. Shaped like a drop of oil, the ride showcases Malaysia’s natural resources and technological achievements; whilst featuring the country’s rainforests, mountains and underwater sceneries.
This was followed by visiting the ‘Oil Platform’ which is modelled after an actual offshore oil rig. To make the experience more lifelike, many of the tools exhibited were real and everything was built to scale including a living quarters for the crew. The tour then continued with ‘SPEED’, designed for ardent Formula 1 fans. The ‘Mind Ball’ proved to be a fun and popular exhibit where visitors could push a small rubber ball towards their opponents using nothing but telekinesis.
Next up was a visit to the Molecule Nano World which begins at the top of a spiral stairway and features giant chemical bond models that aim to show how fun and interesting Chemistry can be. The Digi CyberSAFE meanwhile, is a digital citizenship exhibition that educates schoolchildren and families on safe and responsible internet usage.
Perhaps the highlight of this tour was ‘Space’, Petrosains’ newest gallery where visitors discover how astronauts live and work in outer space through high-definition videos and even experience programming a Mars rover that roams the Martian landscape in search of signs of life.
The Secondary students however, were most taken up by the Science Workshop which was conducted by an experienced demonstrator. They learnt to create catapults by using only chopsticks, spoons and rubber bands. The result of this hands-on experiment was a lesson on energy transfer.
As for the Primary kids, a visit to Aquaria KLCC proved quite the thrill as they witnessed over 5,000 aquatic creatures swimming about in over 60,000 square feet of sprawling space. Part of the oceanarium’s objective is to spread the conservation message in order to help preserve all marine life.
All in all, this Johor Bahru Campus school trip is representative of R.E.A.L’s transformative learning experience that goes a long way in nurturing confident, committed and competent lifelong learners. It is hoped that seeing science and nature from a whole new perspective and within a fun setting would spark greater desire within them to continue seeking knowledge and to love learning.