Seeking opportunities in adversity.
It is with this mindset that the inaugural International Sci-Teens Challenge (ISTC) was launched in May 2020. At a time when the pandemic led to more stringent safe management measures and physical events were disrupted, the ACJC Science and Mathematics Council (SMC) continued to encourage the exploration of Science and Mathematics concepts through an online competition.
To participate in this competition, students had to develop videos that explain a phenomenon in the disciplines of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics or Computing. In the preliminary round, the videos were reviewed by a panel of scientists from universities and research institutions. Thereafter, the top 30 videos were shortlisted and published online for public voting before the winners were decided.
Attracting submissions from students between the ages of 13 and 19 in the Junior and Senior categories, the competition received entries from local and overseas schools. The participants demonstrated a high level of resourcefulness and technical proficiency by producing videos of quality. These videos introduced scientific concepts in a novel fashion through a variety of approaches such as animations and simulations.
Besides aiming to cultivate an inquisitive mind in the participants, the competition also provided a platform for SMC members to develop their competencies in event planning. The success of the 1st ISTC allows one to be optimistic about the collective endeavour for scientific outreach and sustained interest in future editions of the ISTC.
Joseph Tan (right) from ACJC is the 1st place winner of the Senior Category. He has this to say on what makes a good video “The most important skill is your ability to package information to be digestible and draw audience attention even in the “boring” bits, using your own talents in comedy or visuals. The best videos are those that can explain any concept, even the boring ones, while making them interesting to watch.”