I had quite an enjoyable day today as it was slightly more relaxed then previous days. Although I could have done without the 6am start, however I somehow managed to get to sleep by 10pm which I have not been able to do in years, so it was good to be able to catch up on some sleep.
The first item on our agenda for the day was to visit Republic Polytechnic near Woodlands. Republic Polytechnic is an organisation that is similar to tafe and university in Australia. It is students who have finished the Singapore equivalent of year 10 and go on to earn a diploma which they can then use to either get into uni, or go straight into the work force. They offer a wide range of courses from biochemistry, biotechnology, material science, pharmaceutical science, environmental science, or marine science and aquaculture. What makes Republic Polytechnic so different to all the other polytechnic schools is that its method of teaching is that they use problem-based learning, have hands on training, and industry attachment. I enjoyed seeing their aeroplane hangar where they had their very own business private jet that was no longer air-worthy, but still fully functional, so that they were able to examine and see how everything works. Some of us were lucky enough to get to sit inside it.
In the afternoon we had a great opportunity to meet and make friends with some students from all around the world who are studying in a biodiversity summer program at NUS. We had a field trip to the S.E.A (South East Asia) Aquarium which is currently the largest aquarium in the world (however it is soon to be passed by a new aquarium in China). We had a chance to go behind the scenes of the aquarium to learn about how they look after and feed the animals, and were able to feed some of the tropical fish ourselves. My personal favourite animals I saw at the aquarium would have to be the cuttlefish and giant octopus as I am extremely interested in cephalopods and find them extremely intelligent and fascinating creatures. I also enjoyed the nautilus as they are such interesting fossil like creatures that have been around for centuries.
I am very happy that we had a day like today where there wasn’t so much work and we were able to relax a bit more, and look forward to seeing our friends from the biodiversity summer program again when we visit the Singapore Zoo in a few days.