Primary school pupils win top prize in environmental competition with role-playing game

The 11 students from Temasek Primary School with their teacher, Mr Lim Wu Yi, posing with tablets and laptops showcasing their project, Symbiosis. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - The year is 2100 and rising sea levels have forced Singaporeans to live atop a floating city.

Global warming has caused irreversible damage to the environment and the only solution is to travel back in time to educate society about the importance of environmental conservation.

This is the premise of Symbiosis: The Environment Role Playing Game, which was developed by Primary 5 pupils from Temasek Primary School in collaboration with 28 partners, including the National Environment Agency.

The team of 11 pupils emerged joint first-prize winners in the Green Wave Environmental Care Competition in the primary school category, along with pupils from Westwood Primary School.

The two teams each received $4,000 in prize money on Wednesday (May 22) at a ceremony held at the Marina Mandarin hotel.

Organised by Sembcorp Marine, the annual competition saw 281 project submissions from about 1,000 students from primary and secondary schools, junior colleges, institutes of technical education and tertiary institutions.

These included tertiary institutions from Indonesia.

In total, 63 teams received prizes on Wednesday.

Other winners included pupils from Yishun Primary School, who turned sugar cane pulp into useful biodegradable products such as flower pots, and students from Anglican High School, who used shrimp shells to come up with bio-plastic packaging as well as fertiliser.

Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education, and Social and Family Development Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, who was the guest-of-honour, said the competition helps set students on a life-long journey caring for the environment.

He said: "We want to nurture young Singaporeans who go beyond their textbooks, and use their creativity and energies to create a better society.

"Competitions like Green Wave have provided them an opportunity to identify real life problems, work in teams, undertake research and come up with practical solutions."

Mr Wong Weng Sun, president and chief executive of Sembcorp Marine, also highlighted the importance of educating the young on the importance of environmental conservation, saying they play an "instrumental role" in preserving and enriching the environment.

Temasek Primary pupil Aidin Faiz, 11, who was part of the winning team, said his friends like the game, which is available through the Singapore Student Learning Space, an online portal the Ministry of Education rolled out to all schools.

"Through the game, we can learn more about the environment. There's a lot of emphasis placed on the environment and we can encourage others to take better care of it," said Aidin.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.