Caltex Fuel Your School program seek to inspire Singapore’s youths to consider technical careers in a new light

As part of Science Centre Singapore’s 40th anniversary celebrations, 250 students aged 11 – 14 years experienced a sneak peek into potential career paths that involved designing wearable technology, computer coding and sound engineering. The budding STEM professionals were the first batch of participants in the Caltex Fuel Your School – Tech Jam 2017 enrichment program, which will see a total of 700 upper primary and lower secondary students from eight public schools island-wide participating over four days.

Held at the Science Centre Singapore’s Marquee, this year’s Caltex Fuel Your School – Tech Jam 2017 marks a new chapter for Caltex’s signature community program. Projects featured at this year’s workshops span across Science, Electronics, Engineering, Creativity, and Maker Culture, and have been carefully curated to ensure gender neutrality. Additionally, organisers recruited local industry experts and makers of change to mentor and inspire attending students, with the aim to break traditional gender stereotypes associated with the field. Mentors include Ms Farah Sanwari, Executive Director of Sustainable Living Lab; Mr Leon Lim, Technical Support Engineer, Touch & Print; Mr Saad Chinoy, Chief Geek at Tusitala Digital Publishing; and Ms Melissa Law, Resident Tech Wizard, Makedemy.

From today to 13 October, participating students will get to try out fun hands-on projects that integrate music, visual, and performing arts with the ofttimes-daunting subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The acronym STE(A)M refers to integrating elements of the arts into traditional STEM subjects. The partnership also sees the debut of a two-week research experience program, which will see best-performing students returning to Science Centre Singapore during the school holidays to hone their interest in the field.

“We have invited inspiring mentors from the maker community to encourage children to use their hands as it teaches them to investigate and it also encourages innovation. The mentors are also involved in various community initiatives and are in a good position to share with students that STEM-related careers are multi-faceted, exciting and enriching,” Associate Professor Lim Tit Meng, Chief Executive, Science Centre Singapore said.

“Thanks to the support of the community, our signature Caltex Fuel Your School program can now harness the talents and expertise of Science Centre Singapore to help engineer a genuine spark in future STEM fields, not just among targeted beneficiaries but members of the public too,” said Mr Shahid Ahmed, Chevron’s general manager for products in Singapore.

“It was very enriching as I learnt how to sew and make a bracelet, and other things. I think what we learnt today will be very beneficial for us in the future. I can’t wait to come back for the camp in November and get to learn things that are more advanced and will help prepare us for Secondary school,” said Isaiah Hui Zhou Rong, a Primary 6 student from Nanyang Primary School, one of 10 students selected to return for the two-week research experience program.

“I had so much fun doing the activities! I didn’t know that Science could be applied this way. I just hope that I can get more chances like this next time,” Keritharan Gopalkrishnan from Wellington Primary School said.

“I’ve always enjoyed robotics and programming, so getting an opportunity to do it physically always thrills me. It was especially interesting to learn about how some objects that are broken may be repaired and recreated,” said Raiden Kai Puthucheary from Nanyang Primary School.

A separate session of Caltex Fuel Your School – Tech Jam 2017 will be held on the weekend of 14-15 October for members of the public. Held in appreciation of the community’s support in helping Caltex Singapore to meet its pledge of $60,000, the open session features condensed versions of the projects, and is suitable for kids and adults of all ages. Additionally, interested participants who present a recent Caltex fuel transaction receipt along with a Plus! Card will receive priority access to the open session on a first-come, first-served basis, and a 20 percent discount on admission to Science Centre Singapore from now to December 31. For more information on the activities, visit www.science.edu.sg.

Caltex Fuel Your School – Tech Jam 2017 was made possible through the support of the local motoring community. From 8-17 September, Caltex raised $60,000 following a pledge to contribute $2 for every eligible fuel transaction made with a Plus! Card at their retail network across Singapore.

Chevron Singapore Pte Limited markets the Caltex retail brand locally. The signature Caltex Fuel Your School program is part of Chevron’s overall support to education, which has totaled over $300 million worldwide since 2013. It has been locally adapted for the third year running to support learning-based programs that help students acquire new knowledge, gain new skills and be exposed to diverse ways of thinking. For more information on the program, visit bit.ly/CaltexFuelYourSchool2017