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Archive for November, 2008

Project GREASE is honoured to have had the chance to participate in the annual ARTy pARTy 2008, an event held by Central Singapore which comprised of many art-related projects which were, artistic inclinations aside, in tandem with environmental conservation. Indeed, such an event was appropriately aligned with one of our objectives – to propagate the message of environmental conservation through a novel platform, that of the arts.

Many of the activities also allowed passers-by to directly participate in hands-on fringe activities, hence increasing the interest factor and directly involving many in the act of recycling. Talk about artistic appeal! 😀

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The event was held at Clarke Quay, Read Bridge, and open to the public from 4pm to 9pm. Only 3 of us could make it in lieu of the holiday season, but undaunted, we excitedly turned up at 3.30pm to set up our booth, eagerly anticipating the day ahead of us.

Intrigued by the many booths around us promising fascinating exhibits, most of which comprising of fringe activities allowing the mobile crowd to attempt, we walked around since it was only minutes before the crowds would stream in. Just then, we caught sight of a familiar face… only to find out that one of the booths were manned by Jumpstart ladies, whom we had earlier held a soap-making workshop with! Delighted, we promptly exchanged niceties, whereby they wasted no time in proclaiming themselves “teachers” (as opposed to them attending our workshop months ago) and proceeded to teach us their craft.

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It was none other than using recycled magazine paper, rolled around wires, to weave baskets and pencil holders! We were so proud of our handiwork after we were done that we declared we’d weave the baskets religiously and use them to display our soap in.

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They do make very pretty soap-carriers, no? (:

We really must credit Jumpstart for this fantabulous idea!

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Behold – the fruit of our labour! The Jumpstart ladies are on either side of us; a friendly passer-by also posing with his hand-made basket.

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Check out the free environmental bags that one booth generally distributed! 😀 (picture Brenda in the photo beside us, who studiously refused to exchange her position as photographer with us) We’re definitely encouraged to have a Bring Your Own Bag (BYOB) day of our own everyday, as far as we’re concerned.

Just then, the crowds started streaming in, so things started getting busy at our booth.

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Explaining our booth displays and to interested members of the public and encouraging workshop signupsarty_08

The coordinators of the event then interviewed us for our two cents’ worth of how the event was running in our opinion, and we sincerely gave it a thumbs-up.

We were then handed a marker and encouraged to pen down our hopes for environment conservation.

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Guess what we’d write? 😉arty_12

No prizes guessing which caption represents Project GREASE! 😀 It may seem childish but the recycling of liquid wastes in households – or rather, the lack of it – lacks the coverage it ought to garner, for a cosmopolitan city that cites recycling as one of the main activities its people carry out in the name of environmental conservation.

We had some time in our hands to peruse the other booths, so we decided to stop by at a booth supplying passers-by with green environmental bags and poster paint to paint our designs with. The bags were kindly sponsored and freely given out to passers-by, testifying to the lengths many passionate environmentalists would go to encourage recycling.

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What better way to encourage the use of these bags (and hence by extension, recycling) from the mere fact that these bags are one of a kind in the entire world, personalized by your very own hand? Priceless, we say.arty_21

Limited edition Project GREASE bags, up for grabs! This personalized bag we will proudly display as part of our DIY kit from now on. (: The first of its kind in this World!arty_14

A reporter doing an article on Community Development Councils (CDC) getting our take on ARTy pARTy 2008

The sky was darkening, and our stomachs were rumbling audibly by then. 2 of us ventured off to look for dinner, almost examining the entirety of Clarke Quay in the process. (from the street directory, of course :P) When we thought we could finally fill our stomachs at one of the relatively more economical cafes that entertained takeaways and phoned Gloria, stationed back at the booth, to ask what she would like, she informed us that the Mayor, the Guest of Honour for ARTy pARTy 2008, was arriving anytime soon, and his delegates had already visited our booth!

Panicked, we ran back, only to be just in time to present our project to the Mayor, Mr. Zainudin Nordin.

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Much to our delight, he recognized us from Clean and Green Carnival! (: He didn’t have time to linger at our booth for long, but he did commend us for our efforts and our commitment to our cause. We truly appreciate his taking time off to grace this occasion and more so, putting in this word of encouragement for us, because it’s always the little things like that which affirm our faith in our cause. (:

As the event drew to a near-closure, we started visiting the other booths for a last chance to participate in the activities.

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At the Scrapkids booth – hard at work, sewing ragdolls out of bits of scrap cloth.arty_20

Painting a block of recycled wood, carved deftly into a shape of a pretty ship (:
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Hurray for Central Singapore!! Spot the second balloon in the photo – that’s ARTy pARTy 2008’s.

This has doubtlessly been an enlightening and extremely interesting experience for the 3 of us. We do know for a fact that all 8 of us would have enjoyed the experience immensely if we were all there, because this event truly appealed to the masses, young and old. Everything we encountered and experienced there, in fact, was an eye-opener and a lesson at once for the 3 of us, and we did have some precious takeaways, such as the newfound skill of folding pretty baskets from recycled magazine paper.

Project GREASE is really glad to have had the opportunity to take part in ARTy pARTy 08, as part of the many other commendable efforts to convey environmental messages in the form of the arts! We look forward to participating in similar events in the near future.

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Team member Jiayi had previously been drafting and sending out emails to various Community Development Councils. We felt that CDCs provided a platform for communication with Community Centres, and liaising with them would help us garner more workshop sign ups from the public.

Today, we went down to the South East CDC where we met up with Miss Caen and 2 other ladies, whom we presented our project to in the form of powerpoint slides, our video and scrapbook. We met up 1 and a half hours early to go through our presentation. We had a nice chat in front of a fountain (which was sadly, not on).

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We were shown into a large and beautiful conference hall.

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Concerns were raised about the sustainability of this movement due to the apparent lack of altenatives for sodium hydroxide and the safety of the soap, but we assured them that we were still searching for alternatives, perhaps Drainex, a drain cleaner, if alkaline ball didn’t work out. (Read our up and coming Research and Development Post for the details) Furthermore, many have used our soap, and so far, there have been no problems.

Besides those concerns, the 3 ladies were quite supportive of this cause. Miss Caen said she was happy to see youths coming to present their project, a refreshing change from groups of adults after adults. After all, she said, one of their aims was to “empower youths”! Workshop details were briefly worked out, set to be in the 2nd week of December or January/February next year. The ladies offered to contact us if there were any upcoming outreach events where we could set up a booth at.

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Group shot!

Group shot!

We look forward to further liaison with the South East CDC.

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Project GREASE is proud to have been given the honour of participating in this year’s Clean and Green Carnival, held at Toa Payoh HDB Hub Mall on the 22nd and 23rd of December from 12pm to 8pm. (: This event was jointly organized by the National Environmental Agency and the Central Singapore, in an impassioned bid to reach out to the heartlanders to raise awareness about the dire need for environmental conservation.

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Project GREASE happily arrived an hour in advance to set up our booth on the 22nd of November…

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…then spent the rest of the time excitedly counting down to 12pm when the public would be allowed to stream in, eagerly anticipating a fulfilling day of reaching out to the masses.

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Sunny, a part-time canteen vendor at St. Andrews Secondary, has kindly offered to supply used cooking oil to Project GREASE since the canteen vendors have no use for their cooking oil and merely dispose of it after use. Talk about saving the Earth as one collective effort! 😀 We are certainly heartened at the offer, and discussions between Project GREASE and the St. Andrews management are well underway.

The clock struck at 12 – precisely when the crowds started to stream in! (:

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Pointing out the photos on our display board for a more graphic explanation

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Enthusiastically presenting our scrapbook

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Displaying soap samples to amazed passers-by

While we chatted and shared with interested browsers, occasionally letting them finger our soap samples and peruse our scrapbook, we never once forgot what our official mission was: to teach as many people as we could how to recycle used cooking oil into soap.

As such, we made it a point to garner workshop signups along the way, much to the delight of many awed passers-by who pestered us for the methods. (:

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Gathering workshop signups

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An angelic, yet precocious little girl, determinedly signing up for our oil-to-soap workshop (:

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We also presented our project and several soap samples to a friendly, easygoing man, who seemed genuinely interested in our project and even shared his own experiences of using bar soaps as a child. It was only later, when we registered the entourage that followed, that we noticed he was in fact Mr. Zainudin Nordin, Mayor of the Central Singapore District!

Just then, the air around us seemed to grow thicker by the second. Scanning our surroundings curiously, we perceived another throng of excited people streaming in, promptly announcing the arrival of the Guest-of-Honour, Dr. Ng Eng Hen, Minister for Education and Second Minister for Defence. The first booth he encountered was ours, which gave us the opportunity to explain our project to him. It was definitely an honour!

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Dr. Ng feeling and smelling our soap samples. Woohoo, now that this particular soap bar has the minister’s touch, we can auction it off on Ebay! 😀 (nah, kidding)

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Project GREASE presenting our project to Dr. Ng, as well as the mass of people momentarily surrounding us. Even after he moved on to the surrounding booths, the throng of people didn’t end there… life just got busier by the minute!

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Posing with the soap samples and our publicity banner during a rare break

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A photo taken with two judges of the Central Singapore O.N.E. Award, a competition which Project GREASE had represented Raffles Girls’ School in together with two other projects, to which we eventually won Gold

Moments later, a rather soft-spoken, innocuous-looking man with a bagpack approached, and yours truly began introducing our project to him as if he were any normal passer-by. Only when he suddenly whipped out a recorder and requested I repeat what I had said all over again, did we realize he was in fact a reporter for the radio station 93.8 Live!

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Project GREASE being interviewed by a reporter working for 93.8 Live

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End of Day #1, 22nd November – everyone’s visibly tired, but feeling relieved, accomplished, and filled with pride for our project all at once. 😀 Ah, the beauty of fulfilment, especially it comes from within!

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Start of Day #2, 23rd November – adrenaline pumping at full blast, everyone’s ready and raring to start! (:

These 2 days have been truly meaningful for Project GREASE. From the many commendable efforts put in by other outstanding projects and displays, Clean and Green Carnival has only served to reinforce our staunch conviction to do what we can to conserve the environment in one collective effort, by involving everyone else as well. In these 2 days, we have garnered mixed signals from people from all walks of life, whereby we have been fortunate to have the gracious support of most we have spoken to. Admittedly, we have encountered our fair share of skeptics too, amongst them one who, incredibly, denies the occurrence of global warming and the need to recycle, but we are rooted to our cause, and will nonetheless continue as environmentally-friendly role models dedicated to reducing carbon footprint.

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Miss May Tan said, Bring ONLY your display board, and go to Anlgo-Chinese School (Independent) on 21 Nov. Wear ANYTHING.

We went to ACS(I) with these instructions, having not much clue about what we were supposed to do. But we soon found out, we can TRUST Miss Tan!

We were shown to a classroom, where we set up our display booth in a corner of the classroom. P.Reserve it was there too, and we pasted posters and displayed boards on the tables together. To our pleasant surprise, Miss Tan Beng Chiak was there too! She had come back from her sabbatical 2 weeks ago. She was stil the jolly and fun teacher we remember her to be.

Teachers from different primary and secondary schools soon filled in, and the 2 Miss Tans gave a talk on the Future Problem Solving Programme in RGS, which CmPS falls under.

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The talk was given twice, to 2 different sets of teachers. After each talk, the teachers walked around the classroom, and those who visited our so-called booth were treated to an explanation of our project. Many were interested in what we have gained from doing this project, and our answer: we learnt the importance of TEAMWORK, besides the importance of recycling. We assured them that although this meant juggling between our studies, CCA and Project GREASE, we enjoy doing this project nonetheless and have never regretted taking it up.

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Many of us were DELIGHTED to find that our beloved primary school teachers also happened to be at ACS(I) to attend various talks, and instantly struck up conversation with them during the break between the sessions.

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For the School Performance Tour held by Drama Box, we have conducted presentations for other schools besides RGSS, including Guangyang Primary School! On the whole, it was really fun interacting with these younger kids (only to realise that some members of our team had… *cough* mild *cough* paedophilic *cough* tendencies).

 

The booth we set up in the canteen adorned with many coloured brochures and bright coasters received good response, especially among the lower primary. While more intrigued by the soap samples, they displayed receptiveness in listening to our project summary, also flipping through the scrapbook eagerly to read the storyline. By the end of the lower primary break, our booth had been stripped clean of brochures (practically none left) and its coasters (wiped out, all gone). Wow.

Our booth (:

Scrapbook magic

Scrapbook magic

In preparation for the upper primary’s break, many of us set down to tediously write basic workshop details on scrap papers (re-use! recycle!) one after another for the students to bring home for their parents, so as to promote our “Parent-Child soap-making Session” on 8 November.

Hard at writing! Jiayou, Yujin!

Hard at writing! Jiayou, Yujin!

An Excerpt, for those who might be interested:
We are a group of Raffles Girls’ School (Secondary) students from Project GREASE hoping to promote household recycling. Thus, we would be holding soap-making workshops to recycle used cooking oil into soap.
Details:
8th Nov 08, 10-11.30am
$3 per participant
RGS Science Lab
Each child must be accompanied by a parent
Visit us at oiltosoapmovement.wordpress.com for more details or Contact us at oil.to.soap@gmail.com for signing up

At the same time, Yujia and Talia were leading the hall presentation of our project, putting up an easily-understood PowerPoint and also screening our video. The enthusiastic large response gained undoubtedly proved that our outreach to Guangyang Primary had been particularly fruitful. XD

Our presentation

Our presentation

 

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"Who wants to sign up for our workshops?"

Unfortunately, us members who were down in the canteen meticulously writing more notes were blessedly unaware of the alarming level of support from these kids. Hence, when about a few hours of neat writing (of notes) were swiped away clean all in a matter of minutes, we were honestly… overwhelmed. As a result, we had to make do with quickly scribbling the most basic of details for the kids who came up to us asking for notes to give their parents, reducing the earlier excerpt to… …

8 Nov, 10-11.30am, $3 each, RGS lab
Child must be accompanied by a parent
Contact oil.to.soap@gmail.com

However, despite our several overlooks here and there, our visit ended well on the whole, with support not only given by students, their parents, but also teachers who took an interest in our project. We hope that future endeavors will continue to be as successful (:

Thank you for the support!
Thank you for your support!

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After much liaison with the Parents of RGS Association, we finally held a workshop for them. Some of Project GREASE’s parents also came along, and when interviewed, were asked how they felt about their children embarking on this project. Our parents said they were proud of us, and would continue to support us. 🙂 Some 20+ people turned up, and this included parents and children. Some brought their own used cooking oil.
Workshop participants waiting in the General Office

Workshop participants waiting in the General Office

The lady in charge of the PRGS participants said she felt this workshop was a good way to let parents know more about what their children were doing in school, as well as promote a “green” lifestyle. Before the workshop, we gave a presentation to let the parents know more about Project GREASE.

Our presentation

Our presentation

Listening attentively

Listening attentively

Refreshments were even provided and of course, well recepted. (Pandan sponge cake, walnut cake and fishballs! EEE! YUM!) The food was super; Project GREASE members could not help themselves…

Workshop participants helping themselves

Workshop participants helping themselves

Yujia eating cake, Samantha eating fishball

Yujia eating cake, Samantha eating fishball

We feel that this workshop was overall a success, with many satisfied parents leaving us with their own moulds of soap!

Grandmother and granddaughter

Grandmother and granddaughter

Yujia's dad+ Mr Evans, an RGS bio teacher

Yujia's dad+ Mr Evans, an RGS bio teacher

The PRGS lady in charge

The PRGS lady in charge

Samantha helping a cute little girl

Samantha helping a cute little girl

Gloria's mother enjoying herself

Gloria's mother enjoying herself

Interviewing workshop particpants

Interviewing workshop participants

Praise for this workshop

An email from Mr Evans

An email from Mr Evans

The following email is proof that we are actively involving people, and the fact that we leave a lasting enough impact for them to help us in our project 😀

An email from Mr Kim

An email from Mr Kim

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Following after our collaboration of “Project Mending Sky: ME” with Drama Box, we were also invited to be part of their programme of their School Performance Tour with them performing an abridged version of the original play at school assemblies. The outlying objective would be to educate youths on the importance of environment conservation.

An abridged version

An abridged version

With our assistance, the first school that would be booking their performance was undoubtedly… Raffles Girls’ School (Secondary)! Programmes were held separately for both Secondary 4 students and Secondary 3 students, consisting of giving a PowerPoint presentation, screening our project video and also, a 15minutes synopsis of their original play “Seven Deadly Sins: I Killed Mother Earth”, performed by the members of Young-At-Heart College.
Screening our project video

Screening our project video

This was a great chance for us to introduce our project to the school community, as even though many had come to know of Project GREASE in one way or another, some were still unfamiliar with our project outline. We were thus able to share our experiences and accomplishments since the month of March. Our batch mates and seniors thoroughly enjoyed the short play and were immensely supportive, never failing to show our appreciation with a rousing round of applause!
Presenting our project

Presenting our project

Hall of Sec 3s

Hall of Sec 3s

We felt proud to be RGS girls (:

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