Jia Chen



Pre-trip

How do you feel about the upcoming trip?
I feel excited about going to Taiwan as it is my first overseas trip with the school
3 Things that I am looking forward to
- I am looking forward to the University visits as I have never been to one before
- I look forward to the Earthquake Museum
- I look forward to learn more about Taiwan in general
3 things I hope to learn from Taiwan
- I hope to learn more about Space Weather
- I hope to learn about how Taiwan was formed
- I hope to learn about the culture of Taiwan
3 things I hope to learn from my friends
- I hope to learn how to work together more effectively
- I hope I will learn to have better time management
- I hope I will learn to be more active especially in discussions
3 things I hope to learn about myself
- My time management if I had improved so far
- I would like to learn if my Chinese has improved so far after exchanging conversations with Taiwanese Students
- How I would adapt to the cultural differences there
3 challenges I give myself
- Reduce my usage of the phone
- I will try to speak Chinese more often and hopefully that will help me to be more fluent in the subject
- Be more prepared
What are my expectations of Taiwan?
A nice place to stay and the trip to be very educational

Day 1
I used to think that Taiwan was a country that was full of Chinese speakers but now I realised that Taiwanese can speak basic English
3 words to describe today’s experiences
Fun, Exciting and Tiring
3 things you’ve learnt about Taiwan
Taiwan has a really rich history, Taiwan has Sulphur Springs which release Carbon Dioxide dozens of meters up and are not commonly found in Singapore and that Taiwan’s night markets may be warm and a little humid but they are filled with amazing food which cannot be compared to those in Singapore
3 things you’ve learnt about yourself
I am good at helping my friends out, I like to go out forward and be ahead of the rest and I like to rush for example climbing up the hills and I was trying to get to the summit before the rest.
3 things you didn’t do so well
I did not sleep much during the flight and got pretty tired and
3 things you look forward to tomorrow
I look forward to seeing the observatories which are used more for Research and not built around the public use, I look forward to the university visits and I hope to learn more about Space Weather


Day 2
I used to think that at the Universities was going to teach us information that I would barely understand, but now I realised that I understood more than half of what was taught pretty well.
3 words to describe today’s experiences
Fun, Educational and tiring
3 things you’ve learnt about Taiwan
Taiwan has relatively clear skies and high mountains making it optimal for Stargazing up on the mountains, the universities are really supportive of the Student’s work and that in Taiwan, that the University is heavily funded for its programs like when they launch satellites into the Low Earth Orbit.
3 things you’ve learnt about yourself
My Chinese standards cannot be compared to theirs, I tend to feel tired when I do not understand what was going on and I like to do things earlier than others to avoid competition.
3 things you didn’t do so well
At some points in the talks, I felt a little tired and slept for 1 to 2 minutes, I did not understand some parts as I was not very great at Chinese and I slept a little late last night doing my reflection
3 things you look forward to tomorrow

I hope that the university visits will as great as today’s one, I hope I would be able to understand better and I hope I can get enough rest
Day 3
I used to think that the National Taiwan University (NTU) was going to be almost the same as the previous University, but now I realised that NTU is pretty different.
3 words to describe today's experience
- Confusing
- Interesting
- Informative
3 things you've learnt about Taiwan
- Taiwan's schools and universities are more catered to Earth Sciences when compared to Singapore
- Learning quite a lot about dark matter and dark energy and how the schools are very interested in those
- I realised that some of the professors went great lengths for science
3 things you've learnt about yourself
- I learnt that despite my Chinese results, I am still able to converse well with the students
- I learnt that if I was given a lot of time, I would often delay
- I learnt that without English, I will not understand half the talk
3 things you didn't do so well
- Above, I mentioned "confusing" as during the talks by one group from Li Shan High School, I did not understand what they were saying and after a while got a little confused.
- I did not really understand the instructions during the Biology experiment at Li Shan High School
- I get bored and begin talking especially when I do not understand
3 things you look forward to tomorrow
- I look forward to seeing the next location where we would be staying
- I look forward to the earthquake simulator in the museum
- I look forward to going out of the Taipei City and seeing Taiwan in another perspective
Day 4
3 Words to describe today's experience
- Educational
- Long
- Wet
3 things you've learnt about Taiwan
- I learnt more about why floods occur in Taiwan
- I learnt about Taiwan's Earthquake
- Taiwan's culture
3 things you've learnt about yourself
- I prefer to go to areas closer towards the meeting point
- I cannot really understand the chinese facts around the Museums
- I hate the rain
3 things you didn't do so well
- I like to talk quite a lot
- I forgotten my Umbrella
- I am easily distracted
3 things you look forward to tomorrow
- No rain
- The new hostel
- Hopefully good weather conditions
Day 5
I used to think that the Museum was going to be around the size of the other museums, but now I realised that the Museum was larger than the rest with a beautiful observatory
3 Words to describe today's experience
- Cramped
- Wet
- Tiring
3 things you've learnt about Taiwan
- Taiwan's earthquake heavily affects the observatory in Taiwan
- It is better to have an observatory in the Mountains compared to the city
This rain is not heavy but comes in large amounts which floods
3 things you've learnt about yourself
- I am really careless
- I forget things easily
- I have really high standards of the Hostel 
3 things you didn't do so well
- I burnt my hand
- I forgotten to buy my food for tomorrow
- I kept complaining about the small walkways and the crammed rooms
3 things you look forward to tomorrow
- Leaving the Hostel
- The new Hostel
- The observatory
Day 6
I used to think that it would rain the entire day, but now I realised that the rain would start and stop multiple times.
3 Words to describe today's experience
- Beautiful - The new Hostel was far beyond my expectations
- Educational - I learnt how earthquakes had surfaced multiple corals
- Fruitful - I learnt more about Nuclear Energy
3 things you've learnt about Taiwan
- Taiwan's nuclear energy is pretty safe after a tour of how the plants are built
- I learnt about the different sources of energy which are Solar, Nuclear Fission, Water, Coal and Oil and their effects on the environment
- Hostels away from the city are cheaper and have are more spacious as there are more people around the city area.
3 things you've learnt about yourself
- I like a spacious hostel
- I prefer western compared to other food such as at the Night Market, I was eating mostly fries.
- I like to save money and up to now, I did not spend much such as at the night market, I only spent 140 TWD
3 things you didn't do so well
- I did not sleep well last night as it was really cold and was pretty noisy
- I did not feel like trying out some of the food which was special to Taiwan as I felt that they were unfamiliar
- I did not finish my food as I ate too much other dishes and left almost half a bowl of rice.
3 things you look forward to tomorrow
- I hope to learn more about the corals on the mountains
- I look forward to learning more about the bridge and how it can safely hold up against many people
- I hope to learn more about Marine life at the Museum tomorrow
Day 7
I used to think that the coral mountains will be an easy trail, but now I realised that the trails are very uneven

3 words to describe today's experience 
  • Tiring - the climb up and down the mountains were filled with uneven paths and slippery mud.
  • Educational - I learnt more about marine life and it's impact on us
  • Sunny - Today was surprisingly sunny as I expected rain like the past couple of days
3 things you've learnt about Taiwan
  • Earthquakes result in the corals appearing up in the mountains 
  • I learnt that the military uses domes which are located nearer to the edge of Taiwan to protect the island
  • Taiwan has magnificent bridges and 
3 things you've learnt about yourself 
  • I prefer seas to mountains as to get to the sea, I would not have to walk on uneven surfaces and therefore making it less tiring 
  • I avoid the ants as much as possible when climbing up and down the coral mountain as I did not want to accidentally step on them 
  • I like to wear my jacket despite the fact that it may be warm
3 things you didn't do so well
  • I woke up late as I had forgotten to set my alarm
  • I kept stepping into the mud when I was climbing up and down the coral mountain
  • I spent quite a lot of money at the gift shop 
3 things you look forward to tomorrow 
  • The flight back home
  • I hope to learn more about technology from the technology museum 
  • I look forward to the trip to Kaohsiung
Day 8
I used to think that, but now I realised
3 words to describe today's experience
- Tired -  After eating so much seafood, I am getting a little tired from it. I hope that I can get a break from it in Singapore.
- Excited - I am looking forward to return back home
- Worthwhile - I find this trip meaningful as I got to meet many seniors which I rarely interacted with and also learnt a lot ranging from Nuclear Energy to Typhoons. 
3 Highlights of the day
- Science and Technology Museum - I learnt a lot about Typhoons and more from interactive exhibitions.
- Kaohsiung Airport - Hopefully, we will have a safe flight home
- Vigor Kobo - Most of us bought some Taiwan delicacies so as to share with our families back in Singapore
3 things you've learnt about Taiwan
- That bridges can help in cases such as typhoons as it will allow many citizens to quickly leave a single location
- Taiwanese usually have seafood as for many days, we have been eating seafood
- I learnt that Taiwanese are very enthusiastic about their job. An example would be during one of the interactive activities, which required us to cycle, a crew member found an empty bicycle and decided to play the activity too. I find this surprising as I rarely see such enthusiasm for a job in Singapore.
3 things you've learnt about yourself 
- I learnt that I learn better by actually interacting with the items than to just hearing talks
- I save quite a lot of money and I had quite a lot of money but most were spent at the Vigor Kobo as I wanted to bring some food back
- I like to do things as quickly as possible as I usually want to get things done and forget about it. 
3 things you didn't do so well
- As most of the talks in the Museum were in Chinese, I found some parts a little difficult to understand
- I woke up a little too early and felt a little tired on the bus
- During the typhoon room, I got a little bored and was not paying much attention

End of trip reflections

How is the Taiwanese culture shaped? What are the historical events that shaped its culture?

The Taiwanese culture is really broad when compared to Singapore. To start off, Taiwan begun with earthquakes which were the result of the movement of the plates. I also realised that the locals use traditional chinese while we use Simplified Chinese. This made it difficult for me to understand most of their write-ups. The locals are really generous, an example is that the lady who prepared our delicious breakfast on day 7 was really generous and gave some of us more sandwiches when we asked. The night markets in Singapore is nothing compared to those in Taiwan. The Taiwanese Night Markets have a large variety of food which ranges from local cuisines to Western cuisines and even Japanese cuisines. The markets often have these games that involves shooting balloons. The more balloons which are shot, the better prizes that can be redeemed. The food is usually cheap and good seafood which are freshly caught compared to those in Singapore which have been sitting on the shelfs forever.

How does science and technology impact the Taiwanese lifestyle?
Science and Technology in Taiwan goes further than in Schools. In Taiwan, they use Science and Technology to detect Earthquakes and quickly evacuate residents and to detect floods. It is also used by observatories around to study about the sky. One such observatory which we visited was the Kenting Observatory. Having the roof turn as the telescope turns and the images being projected on a computer screen, these actions would not have been possible without Science and Technology. Science and Technology also aids disaster relief such as to build stable bridges to evacuate residents who are affected by typhoons or to make it easier to send help to those trapped in typhoons. In a nutshell, Science and Technology helps taiwanese in countless ways and have heavily impacted their lifestyle in general.

What is the importance of science education in relation to the technological/economical progress of a country? Explain.
Science Education in Taiwan is very different. An example is at Lishan High School. The students learn subjects which are more relevant to what is going around them. They have subjects that are not found in Singapore's curriculum such as Earth Sciences. To them, Earth Science is vital due to Taiwan's location and it's emphasis on Astronomy. To be honest, Singapore's Curriculum does not help a lot just think, in future, what are the chances that you will be doing a food test? I am pretty sure it would be unlikely. Singapore's science should be something which we all can relate to like the example of Taiwan having Earth Science as a topic. The advancement of Science has also helped Taiwan create semiconductors which help which allowed Taiwan to be where it is today. Therefore, Science Education is vital in Taiwan.

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