Climate change is a significant threat to Singapore. This makes sustainable development even more important for Singapore’s next 50 years, with the SG Green Plan 2030 guiding our next step forward. To empower our students for the future they will inherit, our school has the distinctive Green Makers @ Dazhong Applied Learning Programme (ALP) that equips them with STEM Skills & Knowledge, and develops their Values & Dispositions for the 21 Century.
In this ALP, the theme of Sustainability comes together with the approach of Maker-Centred learning, for a Dazhong student to become Aware of the challenges of Sustainability in Singapore, take Action to make green solutions to tackle these challenges, and Advocate for others to do likewise. “Making our future green – From home, in school, and for Singapore!” The outcomes and learning opportunities are encapsulated in the following ALP planning model:
The Green Makers @ Dazhong use the 4Ds Design Thinking protocol as our key thinking routine: Discover, Define, Develop, and Deliver. This outlines four core principles for problem-solvers to adopt so that they can work as effectively as possible as they deepen their critical and inventive thinking.
Discover – Investigate the problem by gathering information and conducting research. Define – Understand the problem and come up with a plan Develop – Derive a solution and come up with a prototype to solve the problem **Dare, Design, Deliver – Test out the prototype and improve it** further. Be creative and persevere to come up with the best solution!
Journey of Green Makers @ Dazhong. (i) Primary Four and Five Level-wide Programmes, (ii) Talent Development and Green Makers Student Development Programme, (iii) Annual School-wide Dare Challenge, (iv) Learning Environment & Partnerships with Community, and (v) Peaks of Excellence
i. Primary Four and Five Level-wide Programmes
Green Makers @ Dazhong will experience level-wide programmes as P4 and P5 students. The inter-disciplinary ALP programme engage students in sustainability projects, using Coding in Lego SPIKE Prime to build green solutions: Zero Waste @ P4, and Smart Homes @ P5. These projects empower students to build their own prototypes that can contribute meaningfully to various green initiatives in the home, school and community; and culminated in students videoing themselves Advocating for others to do likewise.
ii. Talent Development and Green Makers Student Development Programme
For students with greater interest and aptitude, our Talent Development (SOAR) programme provides further opportunities.
In both 2021 and 2022, our students won 2nd Prize at the Green Wave Environmental Care competition: for “Let’s do the “light” thing!” Project Team (Coding of Automated motion light) in 2022, and the “Environmon: Waste Management Card Game” in 2021.
In 2020, our students won 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place at the national IDE Maker 2020 competition, for “Smart Solutions for Sustainable Resource Management”, with prototypes such as:
Rainwater collector with sensor that detects when rainwater collected has reached optimum level, then causing a motor to close the rain-collection-door.
Waste-sorter that uses a light sensor to detect whether an object is made of recyclable material, then if it is, operates a rotating flap that allows the object to enter.
By joining the Green Makers Student Development Programme, students can become Eco Champions to lead school-wide efforts to become more sustainableon. Our Eco Champions also make an impact in the community, such as by Advocating at the Hong Kah North Eco Carnival 2022.
Our student Eco-Champs have also collaborated with NParks for their Science Communication for Community in Nature Ambassadors Programme, called “Nature through Drama 2021”. Students acted as ambassadors for nature by filming themselves acting in a drama (“Otter Chaos”) to conduct outreach to the general public, such that others can develop an appreciation for Singapore’s biodiversity, and contribute to the conservation of our natural heritage.
iii. Annual School-wide Dare Challenge
Our school conducts an annual Dare Challenge where students create green solutions and video themselves TED-style to share with their classmates, winning attractive prizes for themselves in the process! Our students have made many innovative creations, such as a claw machine of recycled cardboard, a candle-powered boat, and a self-watering plant pot – check out the highlights in the video below.
iv. Learning Environment & Partnerships with Community
Our school has a vibrant green learning environment with two Eco Ponds, a Sky Garden, and a Butterfly Garden. To enhance our Dazhong Sky Garden as a place where students can appreciate biodiversity in Singapore, we partner with the PSG, NParks Ambassadors, and keen citizen-gardeners from the Bukit Batok community to work with our school’s Scouts to plant and weed, with the efforts culminating in monthly harvests of fruits and vegetables. The fathers are not left out with Dads for Life doing a Saturday clean-up around the neighbourhood. Our Eco-Champs have also collaborated with our MP Dr Amy Khor to produce a video with NEA, promoting the anti-dengue message to residents of Hong Kah North CC while explaining how the Wolbachia project contributes to the fight.
To learn about Food Sustainability, our school also has our own earthworms that process food waste from the canteen, enabling students to learn about Food Sustainability in Singapore. We also grow our own fruits and vegetables using a hi-tech indoor aeroponics system.
In 2022, the GreenTech Club CCA collaborated with Nature Society Singapore as part of the Every Singaporean a Naturalist programme, where students are equipped with the knowledge and skills to identify and monitor the urban biodiversity around the school (e.g. flowers and fruits in the garden, bird species and their calls), and keying in observation data into iNaturalist to understand how climate change impacts wildlife in Singapore.
Dazhong was among the top 10 teams in the 2022 National Thinkers Challenge, where students worked to solve real-world problems using design thinking, a process that emphasises constant innovation and improvement, and AI [for.edu.sg/dazhongntc]. As one of the top 10, the Dazhong team received $500 seed money to work on the next phase of their prototype AI solution.
NJC Inspire Competition 2022 - Best Project Team (Waste Management), Best Project Team (Energy Conservation), Public Choice Award (https://youtu.be/pf5E8unH5wg)
Green Makers @ Dazhong ALP was presented at Singapore International Science Teachers Conference 2022
2nd prize for a sustainability related entry for Singapore Our Home 75 competition 2022
ALBA/ESA Recycling Heroes - Certificate of Originality 2022
Every Singaporean A Naturalist Biodiversity Race 2022 - Most Unique Observation Award
Dazhong’s green efforts recognized with NEA EcoFriend Award (Education) 2022
Green Wave Environmental Care Competition 2022 - 2nd Place
Dazhong Primary School is a Gold Award Green School @ South West since 2016, which believes in impressing on our students the importance of showing care and concern for the Environment. We believe in doing this through engaging and hands-on activities, where students are aware of the Environment both in- and out-side of school through activities and learning journeys, and have the opportunity to take action to make the Environment a better place.
Dazhong as a Green School @ South West
● Focuses on training and empowering students to take leadership and ownership in caring for the environment.
● Students lead and organise environmental-themed activities in schools and within communities for a cleaner & greener environment
Activities which engage our students for cleaner and greener environment
● Assembly skit and morning talks to discuss current environmental issues in Singapore such as waste reduction.
● Environmental tours to expose students to different environmental projects currently ongoing in Singapore; two examples include:
(1) Guided tour at the NEWater Visitor Centre where the students are introduced to the process behind production of NEWater, and the basics of natural filtration through the rain garden workshop.
(2) Environmental tour at Siloso Beach Resort where students are exposed to preserving biodiversity, use of natural closed-loop cycles, vertical farming, and recycling food waste through an earthworm nursery.
● Buddy Cleaning project and Litter picking
Primary 3 students learn about shared ownership and the responsibility keeping the school Environment clean, starting by cleaning the common spaces in school. This also helps students to develop a sense of empathy and respect for the cleaners by writing appreciation cards for them after experiencing what they go through every day.
Scouts take this further, by bringing it beyond the school walls into the community, as of their Values in Action project.
● “Dengue mobster” house visits
Selected students conduct house visits in the neighbourhood to educate residents about the prevention of Dengue by introducing 5 steps to get rid of stagnant water. During this house visits, students also distribute Mozzie wipeout booklets provided by NEA to each household which includes further information to fight against dengue (in 3 different languages).
● Waste to Games
Starting this year (2019), Scouts and Brownies raised awareness of waste and recycling, by using recycled materials to create game stations for their CCA carnival. This encourages students to reuse their waste and turn them into something creative and purposeful.
● Junior Environment Ambassador training camp
National Environmental Agency (NEA) trains 10 student-leaders every year to lead and manage environmental activities in Dazhong.
● Design for Change Workshops
As part of the United Nation’s initiative to achieve the global goals for sustainable development, student leaders in Dazhong participate in the Design for Change series of workshops. Student leaders are brought through the design thinking process to develop the mindset of a design-thinker, and practice various skills required to solve problems in real-world contexts through empathy building and creative idea generation.
● Plastic bottle recycling
During recess, student leaders guide other students to deposit the plastic bottles at the designated recycling bin in the canteen. A recycling company then picks up the recycled plastic bottles on a weekly basis.
● Earth Day Games
During Earth Day, student leaders play the role of station masters to share knowledge of energy- and water-conservation, and climate change by involving other students in themed-games on the topics.