Singapore wins global award for project that brings classroom physics to life for students

The prize presentation ceremony of the Unesco King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for the Use of ICTs in Education.
The prize presentation ceremony of the Unesco King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for the Use of ICTs in Education.PHOTO: UNESCO

SINGAPORE - A programme that brings physics concepts to life has earned Singapore a global award recognising teaching methods that make use of technology.

The project developed in 2012 by the Ministry of Education (MOE) is known as Open Source Physics at Singapore (OSP@SG). It won the Unesco King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for the Use of ICTs in Education, which is funded by Bahrain.

The prize ceremony was held on Wednesday (Jan 13) at the Unesco headquarters in Paris, France. Since 2005, the award has been given to governments, organisations and individuals that tap information and communication technologies (ICT) to improve learning.

MOE said in a statement on Friday that it has received positive feedback about the OSP@SG project both locally and globally.

The programme is being used by 12 schools including River Valley High School, Innova JC and Victoria JC. Its modelling tools are also free for students all over the world to use.

It allows teachers to make use of interactive models that complement real-life experiments, helping students to visualise physics concepts better.

It also has a function for mathematical modelling, where students' ideas can be modelled and compared with real life and simulated data.

In Evergreen Secondary School, for instance, students learn about concepts such as kinematics and energy using the software's modelling tools. They learn about the optimal time for a parachutist to release his or her parachute.

Students at Innova JC and Yishun JC learn about abstract concepts such as superposition, or the overlapping of waves, and gravity, through simulation and modelling techniques.