CyberFair Project ID: 4919

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Detoxifying Industrial Waste Water
Category: 7. Environmental Awareness

School: New Town Secondary School
    Singapore, Singapore, Singapore

6 students, ages 14-16 years worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 13, 2007. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2007

Classes and Teachers: Ms William, Ms Yong, Infocomm Club members

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Singapore is a small island with limited natural resources. She is surrounded by seas and it is important that the seas around us are pollution free as it would have a huge impact on our lives. Therefore, it is important that waste management takes top priority in order to protect the fragile ecosystem of the little island.

We carried out a project last year to find out the effects of microbes on reducing the toxicity of chemical waste. Chemical solvents are used in the synthesis of drugs. The waste chemical water is bio-degraded by passing through the trickling filters which house the microbes. The microbes convert the waste chemical solvents to carbon dioxide, water and energy. We would like to show that the research we carried out is beneficial to the environment.

2. Summary of Our Project

Our CyberFair Project is about detoxifying industrial waste water. In Singapore, there are lots of industries and some of the by-products produced by the industry may be harmful to both living things and the ecosystem. Through our website, we hope that our viewers can have better concept of how microbes are useful to the environment.

One way industries can detoxify industrial waste water is to treat them with microbes. These microbes are very beneficial to us as it ingests the harmful substances .There are thousands of trickling filter tower where microbes reside. Schering-Plough is one of the pharmaceutical companies that cares about the environment. They put in very much effort to build the tricking filters tower. They spend quite a large amount money to make the water perfectly safe when it discharged directly into the water bodies e.g. sea and river. As a result, water pollution does not occur.

Our work is actually to investigate what types of microbe are helpful to the environment. Schering-Plough gave us some sample to investigate. After we use several methods like gram staining, bacteria culture and web mounting, we identified microbes such as Protozoa, Rotifer and Fungi.

We promoted the use of microbes in wastewater treatment to the people through the competition and during Clean and Green Week 2006.

We learnt that water pollution is very dangerous as some animals can face extinction. Water pollution may also cause harm to human beings. When fish is poisoned by water pollution and we consume it, we may get diseases or die as the toxic accumulated in the fish is transferred to our body.

Our future work is to investigate the population of microbes in the four different towers of the biological wastewater treatment plant at Schering-Plough, Identify the genus of the various microbes and Investigate microbes that specifically bio-degrade different organic compounds.

There are also photos that we took during clean and green week. By looking at the pictures from the exhibition, viewers will know how we promoted awareness about the environment to other people.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

Our computer: Both in school and at home, we use Windows XP computers that run on Microsoft windows. Our internet access: In school, all the computers are connected via Local Area Network (LAN), which is on a dedicated line. At home, we use broadband internet connection.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

There were many difficulties that we encountered during the process of completing this CyberFair project but we tried to overcome all of the obstacles to complete this project.

Firstly, some members did not attend meeting as the busy lives outside the competition. We still need to do homework and revise for school work other than doing this. Some of the members are having two or more CCA so we can only conduct a few meeting.

Next, there were technical problems. School computer is very slow because we launch the same programme in the same time. There is also limited space in the computer. It would have been easier to do the project if we could tackle such problem.

We have an e-learning platform called IVLE (Integrated Virtual Learning Environment) to enable us to work at home. But some people could not upload the file as they did not have internet connection. In the end, we had problems completing the work on time and meeting the deadline. We tried to overcome this by using our recess time to do this project. Finally, we could finish this project on time.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

The participation of the CyberFair project means a lot to us as it boost our skill and knowledge of environment that we do not learn in the classroom. This is beneficial to us as we can learn new things like using different programmes. The project also allowed us to know more about life science, how scientists detect the bacteria through methods like gram staining and web mounting. We also increased the awareness of the public on how dangerous water pollution is.

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

Through activities and research for our CyberFair Project, we managed to learn some new skills and boost our knowledge. For example, research in the life science area and IT skills.

The content and nature of our website helped us learn much more about water pollution. Through this project, we saw how dangerous water pollution is.We do not want our garden city to be filled with waste water from the by-product from the industries. The knowledge and research skills we gained is also used in the Project Work (PW) in school. By doing this project, we learn more than we are expected.For example, we learn about water pollution in general in Secondary 2 (Geography) but in this CyberFair project, we learnt to gather more information and represent this informal on water pollution

Being the members of Infocomm Club in our school, this project also give us an opportunities to enhance our IT skills. We use Macromedia Dreamweaver to make the website, Macromedia Firework and Adobe Photoshop CS 2 to edit the picture/photo of the web. This will help us in upcoming Project Work for other subjects.

We learned much about the importance of team work and how it helps us to work together to strive for success and work more efficiently. We learned to appreciate other people’s talents and help each other to complete the work. We learnt each others’ strengths and weaknesses.

Through this project, we also gathered more scientific knowledge. We learnt more about practical gram staining, dilution streaking and web mounting. We also learned more about the gram positive and gram negative bacteria.

Internet has made our work easier and more efficient as we were able to submit our work online. Through internet, we could do research .It was very useful as we did not havee to go to library to search for books which is a traditional method.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

We used about 8 Pentium IV computers during the course of our project. We use both digital cameras and camera phones to take pictures of the places that we went and pictures that we feel that is necessary to take. This is to ensure that our website will not only be filled with words. We also use telephones to communicate among each other and to share information related to the project.

The software that we had use are 1) Macromedia Dreamweaver to create the templates, and the website itself 2) Macromedia Fireworks to edit pictures, text and the buttons for the website3) Internet Explorer to search for information on the web 4) Microsoft Word to type out the draft of the write up as well as to type out word documents 5) Adobe Photoshop CS 2 to edit the pictures for the website.

We also used our school's e-learning to better discuss amongst the group members. Files can also be uploaded and easily shared among members. This facilitated the checking of the amount of content done. Our leader could easily go onto the e-learning platform to check up on each of the member's progress.

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

We acted as an ambassador of our school during the Clean and Green Week in November 2006. We had set up a booth and made a showcase of our project at the carnival. In this way, we came to interact with the public. We also had set up a model of the wastewater treatment plant and various charts on information and pictures of microbes and the methods of identification of microbes. The two-day carnival was open to all, which gave us a good opportunity to tell the public about our project. I think we could not have gotten a better opportunity to introduce wastewater treatment using microbes and its benefit to the environment to the general people. We were able to give them a detailed description of the use of microbes in wastewater treatment and how these microbes can be identified. We were able to clarify the questions raised by the audiences, who ranged from primary school kids to senior citizens.

We also took part in a competition organized by the National Environmental Agency of Singapore. About fifteen schools took part in the competition which concerned the environment. During the project, we had put up a skit which showed how water is polluted, the negative effects of water pollution and how microbes can be used to reduce water pollution.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

We definitely feel our project makes a difference. We investigated what types of microbes were found from the sample provided by Schering Plough. During the project, we were tought about life science. We learnt the experiment techniques like gram staining and web mounting which are not covered in the classroom. This is very useful to us and we can also teach our schoolmates about these skills.

This project also teaches us about the environment besides the scientific part. We learnt about the danger of water pollution, importance of discharge of water in a proper manner, negative effects of improper discharge of wastewater etc. So, we need to inform people about the danger of water pollution through exhibitions like the Clean and Green Week 2006.

This website of ours will also be used for the Clean and Green Week 2007 later this year.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

The people whom have helped the most in this project and whom we would like to thank the most are, first and foremost, our teachers, Ms Yong Li Ping and Ms Grace William.They provided us with much valuable guidance and advice and not forgetting our IT instructor Mr. Simon Raj.

We also would like to thank the staff of Schering-Plough for taking the time to take us around the pharmaceutical plant and explaining the way on how they treat their waste water in their water treatment plant.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 4919)

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