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Singapore Science & Engineering Fair 2022

The Singapore Science & Engineering Fair (SSEF) is a national competition (open to 15-20 year olds) that is affiliated with the prestigious International Science & Engineering Fair. It is organised by the Ministry of Education, Agency for Science, Technology and Research and Science Centre Singapore (SCS). Due to COVID-19, the SSEF final judging was held virtually.

Our project was on Information Gathering by Passive SONAR, and we were mentored by Dr. Wulf Hofbauer from 
CRADLΣ, SCS, under the Science Mentorship Programme. During the course of our research, we successfully derived two fast and accurate Python programmes: the first one automatically determines the location of multiple stationary sound sources with different frequencies, using Frequency Filtering; the second one determines the velocity and starting position of a single moving sound source, by modelling the Doppler Effect.

At Cradle.jpg
Our last day at the CRADLΣ Lab @ Science Centre Singapore under the Science Mentorship Programme. Our team members are (from left): Cheok Yin Jia, our team leader Gan Kah Shuen and Tan Min Min.

After careful refinement of our presentation slides and quad chart with feedback from the judges of the Raffles Science Symposium, the day of the SSEF final judging arrived (30 March 2022). We presented our project and engaged in a question-and-answer segment with six different judges from different universities and organisations.

In the end, we were awarded the Silver Award and a special award - SUTD Research and Innovation Award: Multidisciplinary. This special award, awarded to only two teams, aims to recognise innovation and creativity in science research, especially those which transcend disciplines. Although we believe that the passion and joy we gained from this one-year experience were more important than the awards themselves, we are proud that our hard work has been acknowledged.

To say SSEF was an enriching experience is an understatement. It broadened our horizons as we not only got our first taste of scientific research in an external laboratory but also contributed to the real-world study of Passive SONAR. Moreover, throughout the entire journey, we experienced the true value of teamwork, both during the experimentation, report writing and presentation process, where we built on each other's strengths and supported each other.

Undeniably, our research process was not a walk in the park. At first, we were pretty intimidated by the fact that we had to apply both coding and university-level physics concepts, especially since the level of the content we researched was a huge jump from what we learned in the classroom. Our code failed countless times, but instead of being discouraged, we were like detectives, constantly analysing why our code went wrong. We broke down the code bit by bit, troubleshooting and trying new methods over and over again. Slowly but surely, we gained confidence. Every small win gave us a tremendous sense of satisfaction and gratification, which has always kept us going.

During the fair, we were very inspired by the work of our peers and seniors. The virtual platform, AirMeet, allowed us to 'hop' onto different tables to interact with like-minded peers from other schools!

All in all, SSEF was an eye-opening experience and it furthered our passion for scientific research. Our team would like to thank our mentor, Dr. Wulf Hofbauer, and our teacher-in-charge, Ms Cheong Szu Chuang. We are truly grateful for this opportunity. To everyone, step out of your comfort zones and dare to chase your dreams!

Screenshot 2022-04-07 at 16.48.51.png           The SSEF final judging were we presented our project in front of judges and experts in our field of research!