PICTURES

Students learn through trial and error at polytechnic science challenge

Secondary school students learn concepts like electric circuitry, buoyancy and propulsion through designing eco-friendly hybrid boats at Nanyang Polytechnic's Science & Technology Challenge held at Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) on Thursday, Oct 17, 2
Secondary school students learn concepts like electric circuitry, buoyancy and propulsion through designing eco-friendly hybrid boats at Nanyang Polytechnic's Science & Technology Challenge held at Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) on Thursday, Oct 17, 2013. -- PHOTO: NANYANG POLYTECHNIC
Secondary school students learning about energy storage and projectile movement through building catapults at Nanyang Polytechnic's Science & Technology Challenge held at Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) on Thursday, Oct 17, 2013. -- PHOTO:&nb
Secondary school students learning about energy storage and projectile movement through building catapults at Nanyang Polytechnic's Science & Technology Challenge held at Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) on Thursday, Oct 17, 2013. -- PHOTO: NANYANG POLYTECHNIC
Secondary Three student Jerome Goh, together with his three schoolmates from North Vista Secondary, built a wind-powered model race car and clinched the top prize in their category at the Science & Technology Challenge held at Nanyang Polytechnic
Secondary Three student Jerome Goh, together with his three schoolmates from North Vista Secondary, built a wind-powered model race car and clinched the top prize in their category at the Science & Technology Challenge held at Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) on Thursday, Oct 17, 2013. Posing with their prize is Dr Choo Keng Wah (right), the deputy director of the NYP School of Engineering. -- PHOTO: NANYANG POLYTECHNIC

The topic of aerodynamics would daunt most secondary school students, but not 15-year-old Jerome Goh.

The Secondary Three student, together with three schoolmates from North Vista Secondary, built a wind-powered model race car and clinched the top prize in their category at the Science & Technology Challenge held at Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) on Thursday.

Their model car was the fastest among 24 entries submitted by 22 secondary school teams in the Wind-Powered Racer category.

The winning team was so intent on getting it right, they also added a bonnet made out of cardboard to their vehicle, which they believe was their winning touch.

They were winners in one out of the 10 categories at NYP's fifth edition of the annual competition, where 1,035 students from 31 secondary schools competed in challenges aimed at teaching them the basics of subjects like physics and pharmaceuticals.

Jerome said: "We don't know much about aerodynamics, so we just did it by trial and error."

While previous editions were targeted at students keen on physics and engineering, this year's challenge included segments on how to build catapults.

Dr Choo Keng Wah, deputy director of the NYP School of Engineering said: "This challenge allows students to see and feel science in a way that cannot be taught or described,"

"Through experimenting, they learn to try, fail, and try again."