Global ideas from the next generation at student seminar

SINGAPORE - If you have leftover rice in your rice cooker, you could soon use it to make your next bowl, spoon and fork.

This idea, proposed by nine Hong Kong graduates from the International Culinary Institute, a member institution of the Vocational Training Council (VTC), was inspired by the desire to tackle environmental problems caused by globalisation, such as water pollution and water wastage, said group ambassador Yeung Yuk Ting, 20.

Group leader Raymond To added that the cutlery could be made out of materials such as tortillas, spring rolls, and leftover rice. The cutlery is then shaped and baked in an oven before being used. The group, whose project is called Edible Cutlery, has presented the concept to students, and soon aim to film a dinner using their cutlery to spread the idea to food industry players.

It is one of 19 projects presented at the biennial ITE-VTC International Student Seminar. The event, which runs at ITE College West from June 27 to 29, gathers about 600 students and recent graduates from Singapore, Hong Kong and China to present projects on the theme of Globalisation: Threat or Promise?

At the opening ceremony on Tuesday (June 27), Minister For Trade And Industry (Industry) S. Iswaran said that Singapore's and Hong Kong's prosperity came from globalisation and that both would lose out if the pushback against it - as shown by US President Donald Trump's election - becomes more widespread.

"If we want to continue creating opportunities for our people and businesses, it is essential that we remain open and connected to the rest of the world," he said.

The seminar's opening day also saw a Singapore-based team presenting a project called Dialect Cool. The 20-member team created picture cards and designed a programme on the app to encourage the use of dialects among Singapore's youth.

Group representative Angela Lim said that globalisation caused English to be used in Singapore households at the expense of dialects. Through their cards and programme, they hope to make the learning of dialects fun and engaging.

Though the project is still in the early stages, the team hopes to integrate it into the kopitiam at the National Education Hub at ITE College Central, which is open to the public.

The 16-year-old, who is pursuing a Nitec in aerospace avionics, said : "We should save dialects because they are part of our cultural roots and they make Singapore unique."