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Saturday, May 20, 2006

SPM, High School - Youth Science Camp 2006

The annual Youth Science Camp (YSC) is a 5 day camp to promote science to youths. This camp is known as the unofficial National Science Camp, as the Ministry of Education is still sorting out some issues. The date and venue of this year's program is as below :

16 - 20 June 2006
Ibnu Sina Institute for Fundamental Science Studies
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
81310 UTM Skudai, Johor, Malaysia

The Youth Science Camp will provide an environment in which participants are exposed and challenged academically through exciting lectures, visit to hi-tech laboratories and hands-on experience. The participants have the opportunity to challenge themselves physically and mentality in an extensive outdoor recreational activities and motivational programmes as well as to share their knowledge and experiences. They will have the opportunity to interact and communicate with a diverse society of guests, academics, researchers and other participants as well as establish interaction with others.

The emphasis of this programme is on the importance of social values through thoughtful scientific leadership and career.

Activities of the program are :

Academic Programs :
Physics, Mathematics, Bioscience & Chemistry Modules & Forums.
Educational Tour to Marine, Robotic, Nano & Solid State Chem. Lab.
Outdoor Recreational Programs :
Morning Exercise, Kayaking, Horse Riding, Abseiling, Orienteering & etc.
Motivation Programs :
Color & Personality, Career Forum & Strees Management.
Special Events :
Talk & workshop with invited speakers

The goals of the program are :

The Youth Science Camp seeks to honour, reward and encourage excellence in science and to create an environment where young scientists of diverse backgrounds and interests may reap maximum benefits from interaction with one another and with scientist and researcher from University Technology Malaysia.

I was fortunate enough to be attend the YSC 2005. Each year, they will select about 45 to 50 students to attend this event. The students chosen are normally students who have demonstrated an interest in science and have achieved good grades.

The camp will be held at the Ibnu Sina Institute (IIS) for Fundermental Science Studies. The IIS was established in 1997 to stand at the forefront of the university's aspiration of being a research university by the year 2010. (How true this is I cannot vouch though)

I must point out that the IIS has a lot of high tech facilities though. Some of the facilities are the only ones in Malaysia :

Research Laboratories

- Ibnu Rusd Computational

- Nanostructure and nanophysics laboratory
- Einstein Gravitational Wave

- Photonic laboratory
- Nanochemistry Laboratory
- Molecular Chemistry Laboratory
- Inorganic Synthesis Laboratory
- Chemical Analysis Laboratory

Research Equipments

- 400 MHz Solid State MAS NMR

- 300 MHz HR NMR Spectrometer
- HR X-ray Diffractometer
- Scanning Probe Microscope
- Electron Spin Resonance Spectrometer
- Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass

- Capillary Electrophoresis System
- Diffused Reflectance UV Spectrophotometer
- Supercritical Fluid Extraction System
- Catalyst Characterization System
- Glove Box Workstation
- Cerius 2 and Materials Studio Modelling System and Softwares

This centre is headed by Professor Dr. Halimaton Hamdan, a Ph.D holder from Cambridge.

Needless to say, participants will be directly exposed to these equipments. It will really be an eye opener, as most of the secondary school students have never gotten the chance to see them.

During the camp, we will be lectured on some topics which are out of the secondary school syllabus. We will then be required to apply them directly in some of the modules and activities which we will participate in. The modules are very intellectually challenging and fun. This will provide you the opportunity to demonstrate your abilities, as special prizes are up for grabs too.

An example of this is the Mathematics module. One of the modules was to calculate the time required for a car to travel around a race track. We were given a model car (which could only travel forward and turn) and a stopwatch. The complication surfaced when we tried to assume the time the car would take for turns. In the end, my method of using angular momentum (not taught in secondary school) was chosen as the best method.

The outdoor activities are also fun. We had the chance to kayak, absail and ride horses. The morning jogs were a bit taxing on some participants though, as we had to wake up about 6.30 and jog 3 km. :P

The food and accomodation of this programme is taken care of by the way. We will be given about 5 meals a day, and stay at the student hostels.

All in all, this program is definitely good for aspiring scientists/ science aficionandos. The first hand experience of handling these equipments as well as seeing and participating in research works will definitely ignite the love for science. Lastly, the certification received will also help you stand out.

More information can be viewed at the YSC website. The application form can be downloaded here (pdf) and here (doc).

Do hurry as the registration dateline is 26 May 2006.

By Lim Yangli

Lim Yangli is currently temporarily enrolled in college to attend economics classes when he feels like it. He will be going to UWC Costa Rica this fall on a full scholarship. In the meantime till then he will be travelling and bumming around a lot. He is a former student of Wesley Methodist School (sadly) and MJSC Jasin (now known as Tun Ghaffar Baba MJSC). Contact him at limyangli at gmail dot com.


Blogger chocolate27baby said...

I was wondering if this program might still be held this year and if so, do you happen to have a website where i can gain further information as the link that you embeded in your post wasnt viable.
Thanks a lot.

3:35 PM


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