Friday, November 26, 2010

NYP in Action for the Community Party for Senior Citizens 2010

By second-year Diploma in Molecular Biology Student Tan Kiat Yi.

They came, sang and danced and played games - more than 480 senior citizens from nine constituencies had a fun-filled day at special party at Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP). The party held on Saturday 23 October was jointly organized with the Lions Befrienders Service Association as part of “NYP in Action for the Community” initiative. The initiative aims to raise awareness of community involvement among NYP’s staff and students, as well as inculcate in them a spirit of care and giving to the community at large.

NYP’s School of Chemical & Life Sciences took the lead this year with the help of 63 staff and 216 students from across NYP.

The party started at 9 am when busloads of senior citizens arrived from all over Singapore. They received a grand welcome as students lined the canteen clapping and cheering as they proceeded to their seats. They each received a goodie bag containing a bottle of water, biscuits, packs of tissue and a foldable fan.

Highlights of the day included the following games:

  • “Guess the Song” where participants had to guess the title of songs based on a song snippet.
  • “Jigsaw Puzzle”, where seniors had to work together in groups to solve challenging jigsaw puzzle.
  • “Musical Beach Ball” a modified version of musical chairs, where instead of chairs, a beach ball was passed around.

The real fun, however, began when some seniors went up on stage to sing all-time favorite hits such as “The moon represents my heart” by Teresa Teng. Many of them were deeply immersed in the music, going up on stage for solos and duets. Some of them even went on stage to dance the Macarena! They were also treated to songs sung by Dr Joel Lee, Director of the School of Chemical and Life Sciences (SCL (LS)), Dr Lee’s effort garnered much applause.

It was a fun-filled day with activities and entertainment for all participants, and they left with smiles on their faces.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Awakening Experience in Cambodia

Nabilah Noordin, a first year, Diploma in Molecular Biotechnology student together with 14 others went on a 17-day Youth Expedition Project to Cambodia recently.

The 17-day expedition include upgrading works and teaching basic English at the Andong Village Primary School, in Phnom Penh and the Boys Brigade Learning Centre in Siam Reap.

Here are snapshots of their journey.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Youth Olympic Games: An Awesome Opening Ceremony

By Stacey Gan Pin Hui, Diploma in Media Studies & Management

Stacey, who was covering the YOG opening ceremony as a young journalist, shares her experience.
(From left)Marcus, Rebecca and Stacey

If there was one thing that could have literally dampened the high spirits of those seated at the Marina Bay floating platform on 14 August, it would have been rain. Fortunately, the threat of rain proved to be empty, though rain clouds did hover menacingly over the venue of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG) opening ceremony. My classmates, Marcus and Rebecca, and I were among the 27,000 attendees who did not have to use the plastic ponchos provided in our goodie bags after all. The ceremony began as scheduled, much to our relief.

The massive scale of the event only began to dawn on us as we sat in the media section, located at the highest level of the seating gallery against a backdrop of the flags of all 204 participating countries. We watched in awe as journalists, photographers and cameramen from all over the world streamed past us. We admired their equipment, feeling like we had yet to earn our stripes in order to sit with them. It was really an international gathering! Thais sat beside Canadians while Germans chatted excitedly to each other as the Brazilians near them rummaged through their goodie bags. A cacophony of voices with accents from all five continents surrounded us, and left us feeling like we had travelled overseas.

Clocking in at an estimated two and a half hours, Singapore’s version of the Olympic opening ceremony kicked off with a performance by Malay, Chinese, Indian and Eurasian participants. This introduced Singapore’s multi-cultural society to an estimated 2 billion viewers around the world to. For me, that segment was reminiscent of National Day Parade performances, where messages of racial harmony are de rigueur. But when I considered that the world was seeing, for the first time, what Singaporeans have always enjoyed every year, I began to appreciate it in a whole new light.

The next segment, titled ‘Origins’, took the audience through a brief recap of Singapore’s journey from past to present. As a Singaporean, I was thrilled to see our nation’s story being told on such a platform, with the world watching. Singapore does have a lot of achievements to be proud of, built on the hard work and determination of our ancestors, and I was glad that as host city of the YOG, we had been given a chance to let the world know how far we have come.

The rest of the ceremony was laden with symbolism, with segments about what motivates the young Olympians to strive for excellence, and how they overcome insecurities and fears to do their best in the face of competition. There was even a segment titled ‘S.O.S.’ that called for the world to work together to address global problems such as war and natural disasters. Each segment was kept short and sweet, hardly exceeding 10 minutes each. It made the ceremony feel like a fast-paced movie with spectacular special effects such as laser shows and generous fireworks displays at the end of each segment.

The next highlight was the parade of flags of all participating countries. Marcus, Rebecca and I waited impatiently for Singapore’s flag to enter. As we waited, the audience members took turns to cheer themselves hoarse when their nation’s flag was paraded. The excitement and sense of anticipation around us was incredible. A large group of Belgians were seated in front of us, and all of them stood up in a great show of support for their country, yelling, clapping and waving miniature Olympic flags when the Belgian flag made its appearance. As host nation of the YOG, Singapore’s flag was the last to enter, and I do not think I am being biased by saying that it received the longest and loudest cheers. It was my first time cheering for my country along with such an enormous audience, and it warmed my heart to see that it was not just the Singaporeans who stood up for Singapore’s flag. In fact, the majority of the people around us stood up to applaud. How fantastic it was to watch the foreign journalists that my classmates and I had admired earlier cheering for Singapore!

If I had to name my favourite part of the ceremony, it would have to be the culmination of the YOG torch relay. The flame was brought to the Marina Bay floating platform on a giant phoenix vessel built to carry the torchbearer across Marina Bay. The phoenix was beautifully lit up and everyone watched in awe as it cruised across the Singapore River towards the floating platform, looking like a fabled creature from an ancient legend. The grandiosity of it all was not lost on the audience, and we heard plenty of stunned gasps and exclamations of delight at the sight of the phoenix.

The torch relay continued, with several torchbearers passing the flame, as they made their way to the floating platform. The last torch-bearer, 16-year-old sailor Darren Choy, ran across the reflective pool behind the main stage to light the YOG cauldron, which was housed in a lighthouse structure. When the Flame touched the base of the structure, it travelled impressively up the lighthouse in a column of fire, spiralling upwards and quickly reaching the top where it was greeted by tremendous applause from a dazzled audience. I clapped enthusiastically too, overwhelmed by the sensational finale.

Having attended the YOG opening ceremony as part of the media team from Nanyang Polytechnic, I am honoured to have had the chance to witness this historic event. The experience has given me a taste of what it is like to view events like this through the eyes of someone who works in the media industry, and has allowed me to rub shoulders with accredited journalists all over the world. I look forward to more of such opportunities in future, and hope that I will never let myself become jaded or take these opportunities for granted!

Friday, August 13, 2010

NYP Celebrates the Journey of the Youth Olympic Flame

On 7 August 2010, NYP was the first of the six sites to host the community celebrations as part of the Journey of the Youth Olympic Flame (JYOF).

More than 5,000 students, staff and residents were at the NYP atrium to celebrate this occasion. The Guest-of-Honour was Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Our guests were treated to a number of exciting performances. These included percussion performances, song performances, fusion cultural and hip hop dances. There was also a heart-stopping abseiling act by three students from NYP Adventure Club.

“When I was first selected to do abseiling upside down, my first reaction was ‘Are you kidding?’ But I like challenges and decided to give this a go. So I had been practising three to four times a week to master this. I’m glad everything went smoothly. It was an honour and an once-in-a-lifetime experience to do this for NYP and Singapore," said Year 3, Diploma in Space & Interior Design student Muhammad Haidar Bin Tayib.

The highlight of the evening was the lighting of the YOG flame. Six NYP torch bearers were specially selected to be part of this relay. The final torchbearer, Nada Binte Ahmad Khalid, a second-year Diploma in Physiotherapy student, joined the Prime Minister on stage for the lighting of the cauldron.

“It was such an honour to be the final torch bearer. When I was bringing the torch to the atrium, I felt very touched to see so many NYP students and staff cheering me on. I was so overwhelmed that I wanted to cry. It makes me very proud to be an NYP student, and to be able to play my part in this special occasion,” she said.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Making the Right Choice: Preparatory Workshop for NYP Top Students

By Tiew Xin Yi
Diploma in Industrial Design

What are your strengths and weaknesses? How can you improve those weaknesses and leverage on your strengths, in order to secure scholarships and jobs in the future? Those were some of the questions posed to some 100 top NYP students who attended a one day “Interview, Scholarship & Career Preparatory Workshop” held on 22 June 2010.

In the morning, the students were introduced to a framework for career planning and guided through several exploratory and self-discovery exercises. This helps them to have a better understanding of themselves and learn more about their skills, strengths and weaknesses. They discussed career planning and completed worksheets on skills investigation, values assessment, and career interests.

“We encourage the students to know more about themselves, what makes them unique, and to know how to promote their positive traits effectively,” said Ms DJ, one of the coaches from Brightsparks.

After lunch, the participants worked in groups and practised role playing in mock panel interviews, where they learnt how to ace an interview.

Here’s what two of the participants had to say:

“I was able to explore and learn more about my interests and ambitions. I also picked up effective interviewing skills to ‘sell’ myself such as how best to presenting myself during an interview. These include,: speaking in a coherent manner, proper posture, facial expressions, tone of voice and language used.”

Malcom Chan
Year-3 Diploma in Fund Management and Administration student

“I will apply the skills I have learnt by creating a ‘sales story’ about myself, as taught in this workshop. I will focus on my leadership skills and the measurable achievements that I’ve attained. I will also read up on the company I’m applying to, and to anticipate the possible interview questions. I learnt that it is important to stand out from others during an interview and to provide evidence to support the personal qualities that you have stated.”

Nair Zeus Jaren
Year-3, Diploma in Molecular Biotechnology

Friday, July 23, 2010

New Sponsorship Scheme from NCSS for NYP Students

They are young, earnest, and enthusiastic. They are also driven by a strong desire to pick up professional skills to help others.

NYP’s first batch of 26 students from the Diploma in Social Sciences (Social Work) course started term since April 2010. This new course aims to train Social Work Associates to meet the increasing manpower needs of the social service and healthcare sectors in Singapore.

The students in this course recently received a boost with a new sponsorship scheme called the Social Work Associate Training Sponsorship. This new sponsorship has been introduced by the National Council of Social Service (NCSS), with the support of the Ministry for Community Development, Youth and Sports.

Ten students have been offered this sponsorship, which covers tuition fees, other compulsory fees and an allowance for books and reference materials for their three years of study. The students received their sponsorships from Ms Ang Bee Lian, CEO of NCSS during a ceremony on 20 July 2010.

Many congrats to our students!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Graduation 2010

Pictures by
Bjorn Goh
Student Photographer
Diploma in Industrial Design

Braving the Cold in Hainan, China

A sudden drop in temperature to below 10 degrees Celsius in Hainan sent two groups of students and their lecturers scrambling for warm clothing.

“We had expected similar weather to Singapore’s, so we were not prepared for the sudden drop in temperature. The first thing we did was to buy warm clothing,” recalled School of Information Technology lecturer Dr Alan Ang.

Dr Ang was leading a group of NYP students on an Overseas Community Service project in Hainan, China last March together with School of Interactive & Digital Media (SIDM)Lecturer Wendy Tan.

Another group of students were led by SIDM lecturer Clyda Puah and School of Engineering (Manufacturing)lecturer Charlie Tan.

Preparation for the 17-day trip took about six months. It included recruitment, first aid training, as well as bonding sessions to foster team spirit and camaraderie among the student volunteers.

During the trip, the main tasks of the two groups were: the teaching English and Arts & Crafts at a primary school, the painting of the school, as well as painting an old folks home.

The dreary and cold weather in Hainan proved a challenge but the team persevered to complete the tasks.

“We wanted to paint 12 rooms in the three-storey school building but due to the weather, the paint took a longer time to dry. Furthermore, our movements were slower due to the cold weather. Nevertheless, we did our best. The students divided themselves into three groups: the ‘sander’, ‘painter’ and ‘lacquer’ groups. This
specialisation helped us to complete the task more efficiently, without compromising quality. The sense of achievement when all tasks were completed was our greatest fulfilment,” said Dr Ang.

Helping Hands in Siam Reap, Cambodia

School of Chemical & Life Sciences (Life Sciences) lecturer Ms Tan Chiew Nai has never done community work before and wanted to experience it. So, she took the opportunity to lead a group of 20 students to Phnom Penh Cambodia from 29 March 2010
till 11 April 2010.

One of their stops during the 14-day day trip was to the Rainbow Orphanage, run by Working for Children, a non-profit charity committed to assisting orphans, poor and vulnerable children in rural communities in Siem Reap Province. It provides secure
and loving home for 34 children aged between six and 16.

“We set up five computers so that the children can learn to use computers. Our students introduced various methods of teaching English such as through songs and simple composition. They also taught the children, as well as how to use a camera, about hygiene and also origami,” said Ms Tan.

The team also painted the wooden volunteer house, assisted the orphanage with simple farming tasks and helped update the Orphanage’s website.

They also took part in a rice soup programme organised by the Jesuit Service Catholic Church for village kids and also donated clothes at Peak Sneng – one of the poorest villages in the province.

“The students worked hard and were happy that their work was recognised. The students and I were definitely humbled from the experience,” said Ms Tan.

Project Reading in Chiang Rai, Thailand

A group of 17 School of Health Sciences (SHS)students spent a meaningful two weeks of their March term break doing community service in Wiang Kaen, a district in Chiang Rai, Thailand. The project was led by SHS lecturer Dr Bala S. Rajaratnam.

“We worked with the Lions Club of Singapore, Somerset to secure story books and textbooks from their outreach program Project Reading mms. We also contacted the Singapore-Thai Chamber of Commerce to identify two deserving schools which would benefit from the project. Besides sorting the books, the students also created skits to excite the children to learn English. The skits were even tested with children at the NYP child care centre. The preparation took about three months,” said Dr Bala.

The students taught English skills to children below the age of 12 at the the Panghud Sahasart School and Koon Kuat Pittiya School. They also equipped and furnished three libraries at the schools with some 2,000 donated books, complete with a cataloging system for the loan of books.

In addition, the team also educated children from the nearby villages on the importance of personal hygiene and basic first-aid.

According to Dr Bala, there were some minor hiccups along the way. However, the excited looks of the children’s faces made it all the worthwhile.

He said: “The challenge was to be able to think and react on your feet, as what we had planned in Singapore changed significantly when we were at Wiengkaen. For example, we faced communications problems travelling in the hill-tops location. We overcome these by identifying four Thai students who were good in their English to support the project.”

Friday, July 2, 2010

Our New Blog for All Things NYP

Hey there

We’re the folks from NYP’s Communications Division, and we’ve decided to start a new blog. Why this blog? It has always been our dream to have an NYP blog. A blog for NYP students, with posts written by students – on topics, issues and campus happenings that students care about.

Our first blog was actually started three years ago. Called ‘We Are NYP’, the blog initially started out as one to capture the thoughts and feelings of graduating students from the Class of 2007. After that, new students joined the blog, and they wrote on a wide range of stuff – from CCAs to environmental issues, from overseas attachments to class projects. This batch of students has also graduated from NYP.

So ‘Discover NYP’ is actually version #3 of our NYP blog (new, improved version, haha). We will be talking about campus topics that matter to YOU, dear NYP students. Stuff like friendships, lectures, projects with looming deadlines, sports, competitions, CCAs, food in the North Canteen, etc.... You get the idea? Our group of student writers will also be contributing posts here. Sounds exciting I hope? Do tell you what you think, and share with us what you want to read.