Hwa Chong Institution (High School)

Projects Competition 2015
jtcnew.jpg Jurong Town Corporation
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We declare that the web-report is our own work and does not contain plagiarised material.
Lower Secondary
Engineering Science
Project Title
Study on non-contaminated dredged materials as alternative reclamation fill
Singapore relies alot on its land to expand and progress. Therefore, land reclamation is very important to her. Through this project, we want to explore how we can improve how land reclamation is conducted and find out how we can make it cheaper and more efficient.
Link to Web-report page
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Mr James Lee (JTC)
Mr Eugene Chan Wee Xian (Hwa Chong Institution)
Team Leader/Members

(Name & Class)
Team Leader :

I have learnt a lot from this project. Cat 12 is one of the hardest and interesting project that I have ever done. This project allowed us to go to various places and try out different experiments. In January, I assembled a team of my friends in the same CCA, judo so that we could coordinate out timings easier. We could also work well together, as we were close friends. We were thinking of at project to do and we initially wanted to do CAT 4, Resource Development. However, resource development was full already. When we saw the EMB from Mr Goh about STEM, we decided to take a chance and embark on a STEM project. We did not really understand what we were supposed to do when we started but our mentor, Mr Eugene Chan, explained to us what STEM was all about and we understood. One of the highlights of our STEM journey was during the Term 2 sabbaticals, we went to various places to further our learning. The most memorable place was going to Jurong Island on Wednesday. We had all heard of Jurong Island before, but knew that it was off- limits. Having a chance to go there was great, and we learnt many thing about the island. Jurong island had expanded its territory using land reclamation and we learnt that there were 3 layers in land reclamation. In June, we started on our testing and tested out what chemicals we could use to dry the Soft Cohesive Soils for land reclamation. The chemicals that were already in use were cement, CaO, CaSO4, Na2SO4, Na2SiO3, CaCl2, NaOH, Steel slag. We first tried the chemicals to find out how would the dried SCS look like. The SCS took about 2 days to dry with the default chemicals. We then needed to find suitable and cheaper replacements. After research, we found that some food products, such as • Processed Fruits and Vegetables (Calcium Sulfate) • Dairy and Grain Products • Meat and other protein sources • Soybean products • Sausage casings • Watermelon Contained some of the chemicals that JTC sent us. After finding the chemicals, we went to the Science Research Centre to start on our testing. After the testing, we presented our project during the semi- finals but sadly, our idea was rejected and our journey ended at the semi- finals. I learnt many things from this project. As I was the leader of my group, I had a lot of responsibility and had to push my groupmates even if they did not want to do their work. Last year I depended on my leader to tell me what to do and I just did it. This year was different. We had a lot of disagreements this year on what ideas to implement. Each member was eager to contribute and use their ideas. Hence, we had to meet up a lot of times to discuss and decide which the best way to use was. I learnt about cooperation and accepting that sometimes your ideas are just not the best. As the Chinese proverb says”一山还有一山高 This quote is very applicable to my daily life I will always remember it. In conclusion, at the start of the year I did not expect to be doing this project. However, I stepped out of my comfort zone and rolled the dice, embarking on an interesting journey. Even though I did not get through the semi- finals, I do not regret doing this project. I would like to thank my project mentor for guiding us through this project and teaching us what to do. I would like to thank JTC for giving us such an interesting and wonderful experience, allowing us to visit various places which normal people would not be allowed to go. Lastly, I would like to thank my awesome groupmates for helping me gain an invaluable experience this year and for cooperating with me in this project. Next year, whatever project I do, I will definitely to better.

Group Members :

I feel that our project required a very large amount of research and scientific knowledge to create the solution design. We had to research on materials that contained chemicals which had strong binding and drying properties, and mix them together with marine clay to make the marine clay strong such that it could be used for land reclamation. I feel that from this project, I have gained knowledge as to what products contain what chemicals and what properties these chemicals contained, and the knowledge gained could be applied in the future. The first problem we faced was that our mentor had to leave for re-service, this left us without a mentor and we were not allowed into the SRC to perform our experiments, furthermore, we could not obtain the help of our mentor in choosing what products to use, and this lead to us making some wrong decisions in the choosing of the products, thus this caused us to have a shorter time to get the better products through looking through our results obtained . We also faced problems when it came to grinding up the food products, as many products, such as the sausage skin and rice could not be grinded properly, as the sausage skin would not be able to be mixed properly with the marine clay, as the products would stick out of the clay, making it not appealing aesthetically. Thus to counter this problem, we decided to mix the sausage skin with other products before mixing it with the marine clay, so that the residual sausage skin would be covered up by the other food products. This not only covered up the sausage skin to make it aesthetically appealing, but also allowed the sausage skin to become even better as an alternative product. From the results we took, we realized that the vegetables dried at a much faster rate as compared to all of the other products used, and thus, we decided to mix the vegetables with the sausage skin to allow it to dry faster yet remain strong. We also found out that the mixer could not be used to mix the products with the marine clay, as the amount used was too small when we were experimenting, thus we decided to mix the products together with the clay by hand as we were given a limited amount of marine clay, such that we would not use up too much marine clay. Throughout the experiment, there were many products that cracked due to being too dry and thus became brittle when it was dried in a microwave. From these failures, I feel that rather than just placing the products into the microwave to dry, we should have used other methods that would allow the products to dry properly without breaking, which would allow us to test all of the products on equal strength. However, this also allowed us to know which products could be heated at higher temperatures, and which products could not. These results gave us knowledge which could be applied to other situations, such as the heating of food, this can be applied as the products we had used were food products, thus knowing the properties of the foods, the application lies in heating the food such that it would taste good. To conclude, the experiments conducted during the project has provided us with a lot of knowledge of chemicals and such and we have also learned how to apply the knowledge gained in various situations, whether it is daily-life or special events.

During this project, I and my team had to come up with a suitable solution to solve the problem of the materials for land reclamation being way too expensive and inefficient. Firstly, we had wanted to find a suitable chemical to facilitate the drying of marine clay so it could be used for land reclamation, so we could get into semi-finals. Firstly, we did some research on the concept of land reclamation so we could understand more about it. I feel that this was extremely important as most of us were new to the topic and did not know much about it. Next, with our external mentor, we found out about the current solutions that are already being used and we found the properties of these chemicals so we could have a basis for comparison when we are finding our own solution design. We used a lot of the internet to do this and managed to find a lot of information. Next, we established our solution criteria. We had created our list of solution criteria based off the similarities and the limitations that our external mentor said that we could not have in our project. Then, we searched the internet and put our brains together to find out suitable and cheap materials to use as our material. We realised this was quite hard as we needed to be creative and yet follow the solution criteria: something that was very hard to do. However, our group leader had a great idea that we could use food products (something that we thought was good, however, we did not see one problem in that solution and therefore it got us kicked from the semi-finals). Our next challenge was to prepare the food products so we could use it for our experimentation. It was a task that had gotten our hands dirty. Our last challenge was testing the chemicals. We were very busy students from a demanding CCA, and had very little time to test this. However, with time management, we managed to squeeze out time so we could test our solutions. In all honesty, I feel that our group was more privileged as we were all from the same CCA and we could work together quite well: something that some of the other groups might not have been able to do. However, if we had more time for the project, I feel that we should stop procrastinating and get on task; many of our tasks we left it to the last minute and therefore we had to rush through them so we could get them done. Furthermore, we could have thought more about our solution design and realised the flaw in our design, to avoid our failure. I have learnt a lot from this project: scientific principles, gained a lot of experience from the field trips we went on during our sabbatical and most importantly, the importance of teamwork and getting on task. After doing this project, I feel that I could use the experience I’ve gained from this project in my working life sooner or later, especially teamwork and collaboration. This is a skill and virtue that all of us need to have in order to succeed in life. In conclusion, I feel that this entire project was a very eye-opening one, and one that has given me insight into the work of those doing land reclamation.

Our goal of our project was to find a solution that could mix with marine clay and dry it and make it more sturdy and durable. We chose food products, as it was cheaper and could also solve the problem of food wastage. We faced many problems when doing our project. Firstly, our mentor was away for re service, thus we had no one to help us. Secondly, the SRC was not open on weekends, thus it was very hard to find a time slot when we could all meet up and do our experiments. Thirdly, we received the marine clay very late, thus limiting the time in which we could do our experiments. Fourthly, we had trouble when mixing the food products, especially the sausage skin. We had to skin the sausages, and then blend it, however we had to blend it 4 times before it was even able to be mixed with the marine clay. Lastly, we had trouble getting the solutions, as it was hard to find the food without other substances mixed with it, for example preservatives and coloring. However, we were able to tackle many of these problems we faced. We received help from the teachers in the SRC, helping us take the chemicals needed and microwaving the product. This helped us immensely,as we were new to the SRC, and do not know where the chemicals were kept and how to use the equipment. We also received help from mr Goh, he helped us in the organization of our project. As we were in the same CCA, we were able to meet before and after our training sessions. This allowed us to meet frequently and were also to communicate to each other frequently. Although we received the marine clay very late, we were still able to meet frequently and complete our experiment. We assigned the solutions to one another, those who had the food products just brought it and those who did not bought it. We all met in our leader's house to mix the solutions. This did not really work, as some of the group members did not or could not buy the food products that we needed. However we were able to quickly go to a nearby store and buy the products. Mixing and blending the food products were still a problem, we cut up the food products into smaller pieces before blending it, which made it much easier. We still did many things wrong. I feel that we should have spent more time during the June holidays to complete our experiments, as the group members were very busy, we hardly met up at all during the June holiday, and had to meet up frequently after the holidays, but were able to complete the experiments. We only did the experiment once, I think we should have done the projects numerous times, so as to ensure reliability, however due to time constraints, we were only able to do it once. We also only found solutions that contained one or two of the chemicals used thus not being very effective. We also did not consider the factors that the solution needs to be exposed or weather conditions, we did not do experiments testing the exposure of the solution to natural weather conditions such as rain and long exposure to heat. We should have done those experiments to ensure that our solution design was feasible and was able to last long. Although we faced many problems, I still feel that this project was extremely enjoyable. I learnt many important values from this project, such as residence time management and cooperation. I learnt resilience, as we had to do extremely long experiments and many different experiments. I learnt time management as we had to find time slots when we were all free to meet up, I also had to manage the time we have in the SRC to use the time more effectively and efficiently, to complete the project in the limited time. I also learnt cooperation, as this project was a team effort, we had to assign roles to each other and work together. We can apply these values in the future. I can cooperate with the people I work with. I could also manage my time properly and we in task with my work. Resilience is also a very important skill, as it will help us through hard times. To conclude, we learnt many values from this project and it was very enjoyable.