Punggol Green Primary’s niche area of Environmental Education is aimed at generating greater awareness amongst the student population of the environmental issues confronting the world today and developing environmental champions. The school’s IGNITE@PGPS aims to act as a springboard for students to apply concepts learnt in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to make sense of the environmental issues confronting us today and to solve these issues through innovative and inventive thinking.
Leveraging on Science and Social Studies lesson, P3 students understand the problem of land scarcity that Singapore is facing. The programme seeks to empower students by helping them realise the difference that they can make by investigating how to grow vegetables organically in a “vertical farm” (Aquaponics) – planters mounted on a wall to simulate vertical farming in a land-scarce Singapore. They will also leverage on their knowledge of materials in order to engineer innovative alternative methods of farming. The students care for their own plants and harvest them. These vegetables are then donated to the Punggol Community Fridge.
The P4 students are provided structured platforms that promote creativity through collective thinking, guided by the Design Thinking approach. Design Thinking is a design methodology that provides a solution-based approach to solving problems. It is useful in tackling complex problems, by first understanding the human needs involved, by defining the problem in human-centric ways, by coming up with many ideas through brainstorming sessions, and by adopting a hands-on approach in prototyping and testing these ideas. Through this approach, our students followed the above steps from understanding the problem to coming up with possible solutions, creating prototypes of their solutions and finally presenting the final product. They are also given the opportunity to see the relevance of the concepts and skills that they have learnt and creatively apply them to real world issues such as energy scarcity. Through the process, students develop greater resilience from experiences of productive failure.
Particularly passionate students will have greater opportunities to become advocates of environmental causes and to inspire their peers / community to act. With the primary objective of attaining sustainability at heart, these environmental champions will be given opportunities for collaboration with external partners and experts in the fields of environmental sustainability.
IGNITE @ PGPS Room (Makerspace)
The IGNITE @PGPS room serves as a collaborative workspace for making, learning, exploring and sharing that focuses on evoking curiosity in learning, developing inventive thinking and encouraging a dare-to-try spirit.
In addition to the materials that will be provided for students to tinker with, the IGNITE @PGPS room will have materials salvaged from recycled objects (gathered through school wide efforts) that will challenge our “green” engineers to innovate and create with the environment in mind. The access to tools and equipment will also facilitate the continued relevance and evolution of the IGNITE @PGPS programme as it evolves in tandem with the changes in the environmental landscape since students will be equipped with the knowledge, skills and competencies to use these tools in new and inventive ways.