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An Eye-Opening Geography Field Trip

Secondary 1 Geography Field Trip

Written By:
Chloe Tan Zhi Yu
Shooting, Secondary 1

In line with the Secondary 1 Geographical Investigation (GI) curriculum, all the Secondary 1 students had an opportunity to learn about water quality testing through fieldwork. I must say, I was doubtful if I would enjoy the experience. Before the GI, we got together in our groups within our class to practice testing water samples. While shaking the vial, a classmate dropped it on the floor and broke it. A lesson better learnt in the classroom than out on the field. It was fascinating to see the colour of the water transform, even though it was just tap water. Everyone got a turn to shake the vial, whether it was in class or during the GI itself.

Just before the GI started that afternoon, buzz was about. After double-checking materials, we were off. Lower Seletar Reservoir was surprisingly empty, giving the Secondary 1 classes more room to spread out. The variety of birds was plentiful in contrast to my expectations of our invasive Mynas.

In order to carry out our water quality test, a pail was used to scoop out water from the reservoir before being distributed amongst the students. Some students were even up to the task and scrambled for a chance to collect water from the reservoir using the pail.

Even though we were told that the results might be different from the practice session in class using tap water, I had assumed that it will still be similar. The test proved me wrong, as you might have guessed.

At my group’s second site, the fishing jetty, the gaps between each plank weren’t small and the teacher stationed there reminded us to be careful not to drop anything in the water as previously, someone had dropped their pen in accidentally.

Finally, we headed to our last site, which was a litter trap. Would the water be dirty or clean? It all depended on whether we scooped up the water from within or outside the trap. Surprisingly, the results at all our three study sites were all quite similar, unlike the experiments in the classroom.

It was fun to do investigations and learn to work as a team. I initially thought that when recording the amount of dissolved oxygen in water, one would need fancy equipment, but we just had to shake a glass vial with two pellets for a long time to allow them to dissolve. I also have a newfound view on group work; that we work together so as to make up for each other's weaknesses. A funny thing to learn from a Geographical Investigation.

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