Science and Student Dialogue The Second: 5 of 9

The night safari last night was enchanting to say the least. Amongst the various animals we saw were tigers, lions, wallabies and bats (which incidentally happened to cajole the chiroptophobia of certain delegates). It was a shame that the sheer number of visitors stopped us from going on the tram ride, although the show was quite amusing and walking around the zoo at night was a slow-paced relaxing change.

Today kicked off with an excellent dialogue from Mr Carl Baptista, entrepreneur and director and head of R&D at Origin Exterminators. He shared with us a myriad of anecdotes and experiences and also described his journey to success in the business world. His incessant love of combining science with entrepreneurship was also very inspiring. In some ways he has changed my views in regard to pursuing either science or business as a career. That said, the highlight was, as always, the Q&A session at the end.

Afterwards we paid a trip to the Housing Development Board (HDB). We learnt about how much of Singapore’s housing is provided by the government and also how heavy subsidies are in place to promote flat ownership. Australia has an incredibly low population density compared to Singapore (or the rest of the world for that matter), hence it was extremely different to see how the HDB creates solutions the population problems Singapore faces.

Straight afterwards we headed to the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and heard stories and opinions from a number of science scholars. We also took a tour around the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (part of A*STAR) and saw working labs where materials (specifically polymers in our case) were synthesised and characterised. Once again this contributed to my reconsideration of the sciences today.

Later on tonight we are having our second student dialogue which I am extremely looking forward to. The first student dialogue was amazing and I trust this one will not disappoint.

Andy Wang
Brisbane Grammar School

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