Speech by Mr Masagos Zulkifli BMM, Minister of State, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Home Affairs at the ‘Project Health Genius’ Prize Presentation Ceremony on Tuesday, 9 November 2010, at the Health Promotion Board at 3.45 pm
Mr Lam Pin Woon,
Chief Executive Officer,
Health Promotion Board
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Boys and girls,
I am very happy to be here today at the Project Health Genius 2010 Prize Presentation Ceremony. Let me first congratulate all the winners and participants for successfully completing the project work. I look forward to viewing your outstanding work at the Sharing Fiesta.
Project Health Genius, Version 2010
Project Health Genius has grown and evolved since its inception in 2006, to better support the Health Education syllabus, Project Work and other initiatives by the Ministry of Education (MOE). This year’s Project Health Genius is slightly different in format from that in previous years, I understand. Instead of multiple health-themed projects, this year’s competition has one main theme – Food and Nutrition. Focusing on a single theme is to drive home the main message, which is to eat more whole-grains and choose healthier food. I note that the new format also introduces the use of information technology (IT) to encourage students to exercise creativity by incorporating IT into their projects.
I am glad that the fundamentals of Project Health Genius remain unchanged. The objective of the programme is still to nurture self-directed learners who are keen to explore and discover the knack for maintaining healthy lifestyles. Under this programme, students learn in a unique environment of a health exhibition centre, called the ‘Health Zone’, through hands-on interactions with the exhibits and active participation in workshops.
So far, close to 10,000 Primary 3 to 5 students have taken part in this programme. I am sure the knowledge and skills they gained from their project experience have made a positive influence on their lifestyle habits. I believe that they will carry these good health habits with them into adulthood.
Integrating IT in Project Health Genius
IT is a valuable teaching tool in enriching and transforming our students’ learning environments. I am glad to note that this year’s Project Health Genius has integrated IT into the project work to create more engaging learning opportunities for our student participants so as to deepen their understanding of pertinent health issues.
Today, more than 80 students are recognised and rewarded for their ingenious works in producing IT-based nutrition-themed projects. I am happy to learn that our students have displayed their nutrition knowledge and IT skills creatively in their projects through the use of videos, animated slideshows and educational IT games.
For example, the cooking show directed by five Primary 4 students from Naval Base Primary School is a fine example of how school programmes can tap into multimedia tools to enrich learning. The students explored the use of digital cameras and web-based editing software, and jointly produced a well-shot and neatly-edited video to share with their peers their healthy recipe of Oatmeal Cupcake and the benefits of including whole-grains in the diet.
Another interesting project is the sushi recipe designed by the Brown Rice Sushi team from Ai Tong School. Through a succinct and aesthetically-pleasing animated slideshow and video production, the team not only demonstrated the recipe well, they also crafted an interactive nutri-quiz to interest their peers and reinforce the messages on healthy eating.
In tandem with the IT implementation in schools, HealthZone has, over the years, built and installed numerous multimedia-based exhibits that introduce greater interactivity and an enhanced learning experience to students of all levels. I believe that these interactive exhibits at HealthZone will continue to provide our students with a broader and richer educational experience on health.
I would like to commend HealthZone for its continuing efforts in organising Project Health Genius and other initiatives to promote among our students self-directed learning about education and health. I also urge schools to continue to work with HPB to extend purposeful programmes to your students, preparing them to be healthy and competent individuals, ready for the 21st century.
On this note, I wish everyone an enjoyable and exciting time at today’s event.