STEM Series Part 1: Igniting the Girls’ Passion in Science

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The buzz is all about “Application”. People are driven not only by how much they know, but also in applying the knowledge to various aspects of life. It is important to nurture curious and analytical minds which can make sense of information and apply it to the world around us. These are the types of skills that students learn by studying Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics – subjects collectively known as STEM.

Here at CSI Singapore, we are committed to encouraging growing young minds to pursue their interest in science, and grooming young talents to achieve global success.  We will be featuring a three part STEM series focusing on how CSI Singapore nurtures and supports an interest for Science in people across different age groups.

On the 3rd February, CSI Singapore was pleased to host a group of 25 inquisitive students from Nanyang Girls High School (NYGH) as part of their STEM extended classroom program. The girls arrived brimming with excitement and eagerness to learn. They were welcomed by our director, Professor Daniel Tenen and were introduced to our Institute and the research conducted here.

STEM ALP refers to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Applied Learning Program. This program was introduced by the Ministry of Education (MOE) to encourage students to study STEM related courses and to embark on a career in these fields. MOE expects half of 124 mainstream schools to offer STEM ALP by 2017.

NYGH runs their STEM ALP from January to August and this program is purely participated by Secondary 3 students on a voluntary basis, propelled by their interest in these fields. As part of the programme, students will go for learning journeys for a greater exposure to research institutes/organisations related to STEM. In addition, students will be attached to STEM-related organisations for internship.

The students were inspired by our Principal Investigators, Dr Melissa Fullwood and Dr Yvonne Tay as they shared their personal stories on the reasons they took up Science and the routes they took that led them to CSI Singapore. Dr Fullwood and Dr Tay began their laboratory tours and exposed the girls to the live demonstrations of Agarose Gel Electrophoresis and using light microscope to discern distinct cancer cells in their labs. They were intrigued and asked a lot of questions to quench their insatiable thirst for knowledge.

“This learning journey has allowed us to gain more knowledge, developed our interest in the study of cancer cells, and inspired us to explore different fields in science.”

Leung Zhi Ying, Valerie Teo Hui Wen and Wong Zi
Class 301

CSI Singapore has always welcomed school visits and attachment students as we seek to promote Science and awareness to the research done in CSI Singapore. In May 13 2015, we hosted 15 students from Dunman High School and 7 students in the Science Scholars Program from Madrasah Ah-Arabiah Al-Islamiah (MAI) Secondary School on June 3 as part of their school’s enrichment program. These visits allowed aspiring students to have an insight into the lives of a scientist in a research institute.

We hope that through such visits, these students will be inspired to pursue a career in Cancer Science and contribute to the fight against cancer.

This was a great opportunity for the students to explore first-hand about STEM-related careers and how to apply their science education within a laboratory setting.

Prof Tenen's Welcome
The girls from Nanyang Girls’ High School were warmly welcomed by our Director, Professor Daniel Tenen.

Having a go at the microscope

The students were given a go at the light microscope to examine cancer cells.


The students displayed their interests by asking questions after the tour.

NYGH Group Photo

A group photo with our Principal Investigators, Dr Melissa Fullwood and Dr Yvonne Tay.