Opening Address by Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, Second Minister for Education at the Sony Creative Science Award (SCSA) 2021 Presentation Ceremony

Published Date: 11 November 2021 02:30 PM

News Speeches

A very good morning,

Chief Executive, Science Centre Board, Associate Professor Lim Tit Meng,

Managing Director, Sony Electronics Asia Pacific and Sony Electronics Singapore, Mr Naoki Sekiguchi,

Distinguished guests,

Teachers, parents, and students,

1. It brings me great joy to be part of today's celebration. Indeed looking at the video earlier, how the bright faces of young children so enthusiastic about Science and creating their own toys, bring so much joy and speaks volume of what we have done for our children and facilitating a learning that is very much suitable for their age group that they can actually enjoy learning through play and making toys of their own.

2. The Sony Creative Science Award, or SCSA, really has come a long way since its inception in 1998. Over the past 23 iterations, there have been close to 75,000 toy submissions. I am very sure those who were in the early batches would have grown up with very fond memories of the toys that they have created.

3. This year, we are heartened to receive a good mix of toy submissions from 81 schools in Singapore. We do hope that more schools come on board. We have returning participants who joined us for many years and those who took part for the first time too. Congratulations to all students, teachers, parents and committee members for this truly impressive achievement!

Hands-On Learning Experience

4. As we all know, a child's imagination is limitless. In fact, Albert Einstein once said, "The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination".

5. Toys help children develop cognitive skills and creativity during their formative years and this ultimately helps to shape their dreams and aspirations.

6. SCSA allows our young talents to use their imagination and creativity to make their desired toys and turn ideas into reality. At the same time, they hone their practical skills and enhance their problem-solving abilities. We should continue to provide our students with such opportunities to explore their creative side and express their ideas through hands-on activities. Far more effective, I would imagine, than just playing computer games. Though I know computer games does provide some element of learning and could be useful for our students too.

Learning Beyond the Classroom

7. We have witnessed how the future has ever-changing demands and how our schools develop our students to be future-ready so that they can navigate through any challenges and uncertainties of the future.

8. In addition, learning that occurs beyond the classroom exposes our students to real-world applications of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, or STEM as we all know it, giving them a better appreciation and understanding of the theories and scientific concepts learnt within the classroom.

9. To support the students in this, our schools constantly seek to incorporate hands-on learning experiences and curate resources to complement their classroom knowledge.

10. So for example, East Spring Primary School introduced the concept of Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, or SCAMPER, as a technique for brainstorming of ideas. A simple activity of modifying a spoon using SCAMPER allowed students to apply it for their SCSA toy-making journey this time around. The school provided the necessary platforms such as the CCA and Games Day for its students to explore ideas and modify them through peers' feedback. Journaling was also introduced for students to reflect their toy-making process and for teachers to capture their thinking process to better guide them.

11. SCSA gives our students an avenue to showcase their aptitude and talents. This can boost their confidence to pursue their interests and find the joy in learning.

12. For example, one of this year's toy creations, "Launching into Delight!", allows players to shoot the ball from the launcher into the board to score points. The students created this toy to show how magnets can be incorporated into a game in a fun way. This is amazing. We only know magnets as magnets and now they are telling us that magnets can be fun. So, in creating the toy, they applied concepts of Magnetism, Momentum and Energy. They were amazed by how manipulating the placement of the magnets could vary the forces acting in the launcher. I am equally amazed just by reading the description of the toy.

13. It is indeed encouraging to witness how students integrate the different concepts to help their ideas and imagination come to life through toy-making.

Role of Teachers and Parents

14. We should acknowledge the tremendous support from and effort of the teachers as well as parents. They play a pivotal role in our students' educational journey. With your support and guidance, I have no doubt that our students will continue to develop their creativity which will help them in turning their ideas into reality and make meaningful contributions to the community and the world as they grow up.

15. On that note, I would also like to congratulate all the teachers receiving the Blue Ribbon and Diamond Awards today. You have been exemplary in moulding the next generation of creative and critical thinkers in Singapore.

16. One of the Diamond Award winners, Mdm Karen Thiang from Cedar Primary School ensures that students continue to have the opportunity to partake in this competition and trains teachers to have a better understanding of the toy creation processes as well as explore creative ideas that they can apply the scientific concepts.

Conclusion

17. So in conclusion, I would like to commend the organisers from Science Centre Singapore and Sony Electronics Asia Pacific for their dedication and commitment in providing a platform for our students to learn through creation and experimentation for the last two decades.

18. Congratulations once again to all the winners and participants. You are all winners in your own right. Keep the spirit of ingenuity going and to continue to innovate and create.

19. Thank you.

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