Jing Yi reflects..........

SST-NTU Flagship Programme

Pre-camp reflections
What interests you about this project?
I find this project interesting as we are able to use natural resources that can be found around us to convert into energy for everyday usage.

What do you want to learn by doing this project?
I want to learn how we can make use of our resources to provide energy to sustain things that are needed for everyday life.

What questions do you have about this project?
I want to know whether there is any other natural and renewable source of energy that we have not tapped on yet, and whether there are more ways in which we could further extract energy from known renewable sources.

What do you personally want to have achieved by the end of this project?
I want to be able to think of creative ideas to solve problems.

Day 1 personal reflections

Key learning points from each plenary session:

1. Earthquake research on the coral reefs of Sumatra
By studying the various layers of sediments as well as the tsunami deposits in the area affected by tsunamis caused by mega-thrust eartquakes, geologists can determine the intervals of the earthquake/tsunamis. For example, in Prof Kerry Sieh’s research, he and his team studied the various layers of sediments and tsunami deposit in a bat cave that was along the coastline of Sumatra, and was frequently affected by tsunamis. Prof Kerry Sieh was able to date and determine the various intervals of tsunamis using the layers of bat droppings that were found, using carbon dating, as the bat droppings have a high content of carbon. Also, Prof Kerry Sieh and his team studied the coral reefs on the nearby islands to determine the uplift of the island caused by the mega-thrust earthquakes. This is as the islands are slowly sinking when they are locked together as the plates are moving against each other. Thus when the pressure is released, the island is uplifted back to its original height. By measuring the height of the dead coral reef that is above the sea level, Prof Kerry Sieh and his team were able to determine the height of the uplift. Also, by using radioactive dating, they could determine the age of the coral reefs. Through this research, Prof Kerry Sieh and his team can predict the frequency of the mega-thrust quakes and tsunamis, providing sufficient information that the local people need in order to evacuate them on time and save them.

2. IT for Animation 
2D animation goes through a detailed 9-staged production pipeline, and thus it is more expensive to produce than a 3D animation film. This is because to produce 2D animation requires skilled artists, is labour intensive and has heavy budget pressure. It is labour intensive as it requires alot of manpower in order to hand-draw the key and in-between frames for the animation. 
Math is also important in producing 2D and 3D animation films.
Geometry           - points, lines, surfacs and solids
Special effects    - Limits; functions → Calculus
Laws of physics - dynamics of fire, water or other elements
                           - lighting
                                → ambient lighting (basic light to see)
                                → diffuse lighting (creates shadows)
                                → specular lighting (adds shine/reflection)

3. Innovative breakthroughs in Nano-Science and Nano-Technology
Some of the innovative breakthroughs in nano-science and nano-technology are the carbon nano-tubes, the quantum dots and the nano-particles. The carbon nano-tubes are of great strengths but have minimum weight, thus making it a good and strong material. Also, the quantum dots are able to store much information in devices that are very small in size, making it easy for people who do alot of work on their computer to be able to store much information as well. Lastly, the nano-particles that are found in modern and upcoming new medicine are able to direct the medication to a specific part of the body that requires it so that most of it are not wasted when being transported around the body. These are the innovative breakthroughs that will affect our lives, and in some ways making it better.

Day 3 personal reflections

1. Discuss how the project has deepened your understanding and broadened your awareness of the selected discipline.

This project has helped me to realise that rain water is a huge renewable source of energy that we have not full tapped on yet. Rainwater stores a large amount of potential energy, and thus by our project we proved that the stored energy could be converted into other forms of energy that are useful in our lives, eg. kinetic energy in a car. Through this, we can apply it in our lives by finding a way to convert the potential energy in rainwater to other forms of energy in which would benefit us, such as building a unique machine to do so. Of course, that is definitely an area of further study, and this is rather important as humans have to look for renewable sources of energy so that we can sustain life.

2. Discuss what you understand now about this discipline that you were unaware of at the beginning.
I only knew the principle of energy conservation, which is that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only converted from one form to another. However, I did not know that energy would be affected by so many things in the environment, more than what I originally knew.

3. Describe how you can connect what you have learned from doing this project to what you are learning at school.
I can connect what I have learnt from this project, which is related to conservation of energy, to what I am learning in science. If the lesson is about energy, then I already know much of the subject, because it was explained to us by the professor and student helpers. 

4. Describe how you can apply what you have learnt from this project.
I have learnt that engineering enables us to be more creative in our solutions to various problems, and that there can be more than one solution each time there is a problem. Thus, I can apply this in school when I am working on the various projects that are given to us, and think of creative yet efficient ideas to solve them.

5. At the end of the project, some new questions I have include...
What can we do more to ensure that there is a minimum amount of energy lost?
What can we build to make a more efficient energy converter?

6. My aspirations
I would like to try more of these kind of projects which require us to have creativity, as well as be able to build something unique, if I had the chance.

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