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Archive for April, 2009

On the 17th of April, we had an outreach with YAH! college at St Margaret’s Secondary School. And just 3 days later, we had one at Zhenghua Secondary School!

St Margaret’s is an all-girls school, while Zhenghua has both boys and girls, so our group was particularly interested in how differently those at Zhenghua would react to our project compared to those at St Margaret’s. Encouragingly, the students of Zhenghua Secondary were very responsive and attentive, and the two of us who went there left with soaring spirits.

This round, our presentation included a mysterious demonstration at the beginning! 😀 A student bravely responded to our request for a volunteer, and proceeded to use the suspicious-looking lump of hard dough. Lo and behold! He found out it was actually soap! He unsuspectingly reported that it felt just like normal soap, which brought us off to a good start.

Our brave volunteer washing his hands with our soap!

Our brave volunteer washing his hands with our soap!

“However, this is not normal soap. It’s actually made from used cooking oil!” Saying that, we proceeded on with the viewing of our video done up last year (it summarises our project’s journey and accomplishments), a powerpoint presentation and finally, a sur-PRIZE-sing Q and A 😀 we gave out souvenirs with our mascots on them and our own hand-made soap bars as prizes.

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Answering one of the Q & A questions

Many heartfelt thanks go out to the enthusiastic students who answered our questions, particularly the notorious last one – “Who wants a free bar of our soap? Run up here now!”  – to which we had at least 5 students running up to the stage at the same time.

(If you’d like to know the questions and answers, you’re welcomed to take a look at our “17th April 09 – Outreach to St Margaret’s Secondary School” post.)

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Remember the photo of the big banner that hung proudly, advertising our workshop for the Chong Pang RC residents? The long-awaited day finally arrived, and Project GREASE members excitedly came down to get the RC ready 4 hours before the event.

And my, did the RC really look like a different place after our setting up. Because of the limited space (a wall separated the RC into 2 sections), we had to split the participants into those English-speaking and those Chinese-speaking.

Setting up the materials

Setting up the materials

Many volunteers from NorthWest CDC arrived to help us set up the area, including projecting our powerpoint presentation onto a whiteboard.

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Some of us rushed off for a quick lunch, before arriving to find the area brimming with activity- many participants had arrived early! The registration booth outside the RC was surrounded by people all eager to participate in the workshop. Many who had not registered also came in hopes that there might be extra spaces.

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The workshop commenced with Yujia and Jiayi giving a bilingual powerpoint presentation on our project and about GREASE-ycle, the former speaking in English and the latter, Chinese.

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The workshop participants were then split up. Sam directed the Chinese-speaking participants and Talia, the English-speaking ones. The rest of the the Project GREASE members played their parts as facilitators.

Mrs Amy Ong from Yishun Primary School (who also brought along 2 of her students to participate in this workshop) and Yujia’s father came down to support us, and very gamely agreed to help us take photos- many of which you see in this blog post. 🙂 There were many other photographers from NW CDC, our school and the media- more on this later.

Talia demonstrating

Talia demonstrating


Action!

Action!


The kids from YPS

The kids from YPS


Guiding participants

Guiding participants

Our school principal Mrs Julie Hoo also came down to kindly support us.

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Prior to the workshop, Manager of Corporate Communications, Miss Jamie Chua, had contacted the media regarding coverage of this event. Thus, the media came down and interviewed team leader Yujia.

The Guest-of-Honour and the rest of his entourage arrived in the middle of the workshop. Invited guests of the workshop included Mr Ang Chee Yam, JP, BBM (CCC Chairman), Mr Teo Choon Hock, BBM (CCMC Chairman), Mr Jayakumar Narayanan, PBM (CCMC Vice Chairman) and Ms Estina Lee (Chairperson of Chong Pang RC Zone 7). The Guest of Honour was none other than Mr K. Shanmugam (Minister for Law & Second Minister for Home Affairs, Constituency: Sembawang). We presented soap to Mr Shanmugam and took a photo with him.

[Don’t blame us for not looking into the camera- there were so many cameras aimed at us, we had no idea which to look at!]

Explaining our project to the guests

Explaining our project to the guests


Interacting with participants

Interacting with participants

Undeniably a unique gift

Undeniably a unique gift

Group shot with Mr Shanmugam

Group shot with Mr Shanmugam


Photo with Mr Jayakumar

Photo with Mr Jayakumar

What an eventful day! Project GREASE is grateful to all who made this workshop a success and all who came down to support us. We are indeed encouraged by the responses of the participants, many of whom bought packets of sodium hydroxide or placed orders of it to continue this recycling practice at home. We sincerely hope we have managed to bring across the need for household liquid waste recycling to the residents of Chong Pang RC Zone 7.

On a side note, the latest flyer distributed to all residents in the NorthWest area dedicated a whole page to GREASE-ycle! 😀 Jiayou, Project GREASE!

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To refresh your memories, one of Project GREASE’s platforms to educate the public on liquid waste recycling has been our partnership with Drama Box, a Mandarin threatre company that seeks to heighten civic responsibility through the use of performing arts.

Following after our 2008 collaboration of public outreach event “Project Mending Sky: ME”, Project GREASE has been invited to be part of their programme “Drama Box School Performance Tour” which aims to spread the message of environmental conservation to youths.

Alongside a play entitled “7 Deadly Sins: I killed Mother Earth” by members of Young-At-Heart College, Project GREASE has presented their cause to various schools including Raffles Girls’ School Secondary and Guangyang Primary School.

Most recently, 17th April 2009 saw us sharing our project at St Margaret’s Secondary School in line with their school’s Earth-Week programme.

Apart from the normal PowerPoint presentation given, Project GREASE members – Sam and Brenda – decided to try out a new presentation concept so as to engage the students better.

Preparing for presentation!

Preparing for presentation!

We started off by inviting the students to come up to the stage to guess what Brenda was holding in her hand. (Hmm… what do you think?) Moments later, a bubbly girl had gamely volunteered to observe, smell and touch the object, correctly identifying it as soap! She walked away with a piece of our soap for her proactive-ness.

Fingering the object! (a.k.a SOAP)

Fingering the object! (a.k.a SOAP)

Thereafter, we revealed to the school that the soap was no ordinary soap for it had been made with used cooking oil, a piece of news that was met with surprise and bewilderment.

Launching into an introduction encompassing our area of concern, 3-tier approach, as well as project overview, we were extremely encouraged by the supportiveness of the St Margaret students who gave utmost attention to our presentation.

Introducing Project GREASE

Introducing Project GREASE

The attentive audience XD

The attentive audience XD

At the end of our presentation, we had our first experience in organizing a never-before-tried-or-done-in-the-history-of-Project-GREASE…
Question-&-Answer Session! Below are the questions asked:

 

(Dear readers, please feel free to run through the questions and see how well you know about Project GREASE! Answers are at the bottom for reference.)

 

1) Complete this sentence: Singapore is relatively recycling-conscious. However mostly, only _______ are recycled and not ________.
2) What is the 6-month UCO collection drive called?
3) Name 2 consequences of pouring UCO down the sink.
4) Can you describe our 3-tier approach? (Hint: The best thing people can do is _________. If they can’t do that, then they can _________. If they can’t do either of that, they should at the very least ________.)

Giving an enthusiastic (and correct!) answer to the question
Giving an enthusiastic (and correct!) answer to the question
And finally, our last question…
that will stretch the mental will of the mind…
that will push for focus and endurance to the very limit…
that will truly put all passions to the test…
that will pit yourself against the clock…

 

… 

 

5) Who wants a free piece of soap made from UCO? Run up to us right now!

(Disclaimer: The author of this post hereby acknowledges and deeply regrets that she is incredibly lame and appeals to readers not to stone her.)

 

We were extremely thankful and encouraged by the students of St Margaret’s Secondary School who were immensely supportive, never failing to show their appreciation with a rousing round of applause. Thank you so much!

[Another special thanks also goes out to the student who helped us take photographs!]

 

A backstage photo of the YAH! College play presenting after us (:

A backstage photo of the YAH! College play presenting after us (:

 Answers:

1) Complete this sentence: Singapore is relatively recycling-conscious. However mostly, only __solid wastes__ are recycled and not __liquid wastes__.
2) What is the 6-month UCO collection drive called? __GREASE-ycle__
3) Name 2 consequences of pouring UCO down the sink. __Clogs pipes / Breeds pests / Results in land and water pollution__
4) Can you describe our 3-tier approach?
– Promote the proper disposal of UCO
– Encourage households to contribute UCO for recycling
– Educate public on how to recycle UCO into soap

(Hint: The best thing people can do is __recycle UCO into soap__. If they can’t do that, then they can __contribute UCO for recycling__. If they can’t do either of that, they should at the very least __dispose of UCO properly__.)

 

Hope you got them right!

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4th April 09 and 18th April 09 (also day of our RC workshop) saw a team of volunteers head down to collect UCO from Chong Pang RC Zone 7 once again.

We are glad that students from Chong Cheng High Yishun (CCHY) formed the core group of volunteers – just one member of Project GREASE went down on 4th April, with a school friend who volunteered. CCHY did the oil collection all by themselves on 18th April, as Project GREASE was busy with workshop preparations. CCHY has come on board GREASE-ycle as a partner school, and will be coordinating the bulk of efforts pertaining to this initiative in Chong Pang RC Zone 7.

The UCO collection went relatively smoothly – I (Talia) wasn’t required to coordinate anything at all, merely as (wo)manpower. The CCHY students seemed prepared, although it would have been better if they were slightly better-equipped logistics wise – there was a shortage of large containers. That resulted in my friend and I having to lug around over 10 small containers and bottles around during the entire collection, which wasn’t much of a problem, just inconvenient.

Nevertheless, it went quite well overall, and we are glad that CCHY is stepping up to take the lead in this. Both sessions yielded 10 containers of UCO.

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4th April

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18th April

On a side note, we were rather excited at seeing a banner advertising our upcoming soap-making workshop for residents in the area proudly displayed! There were black-and-white posters of the workshop as well, at the foot of all the blocks. We are definitely looking forward to the workshop on 18 Apr 09.

Banner done up by RC advertising our workshop

Banner done up by RC advertising our workshop

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If you’ve read our 28th March post, you’ll know that we followed the team of students and teachers from Yishun Primary as they surveyed the Nee Soon East RC Zone 1 area, asking households if they’d be interested to take part in GREASE-ycle. Unfortunately, the students were understandly exhausted and unable to finish surveying all 16 blocks in time.

So, on the 4th of April, the team of energetic students (minus some who were busy and plus a few who were new) and 2 teachers set out at 9.30am to that very same area, determined to finish the remaining 7 blocks. While Talia from Project GREASE and Yuanteng, a fellow schoolmate who kindly volunteered to help, followed Chung Cheng High (Yishun) for their oil collection, Gloria from Project GREASE followed Yishun Primary for their household surveying.

Mrs Ong and Ms Wong briefing the eager beavers

Mrs Ong and Ms Wong briefing the eager beavers and handing out materials to them

Procedures were about the same as the 28th of March, so we shall not bore you with much repetition of details.

Basically, groups numbered 1 to 10 took the respective floor with their number, and surveyed all the households on that floor. Then, everyone would meet back downstairs at the void deck and move together to the next block.

Going to their respective floors - "The lift is too small, take the next one!"

Going to their respective floors - "The lift is too small, take the next one!"

Going from door to door

Going from door to door

Being efficient - "I do this one, you do that one"

Being efficient - "I do this one, you do that one."

An agreeable household let us take photos of their baby but not them!

An agreeable household let us take photos of their baby but not them!

Meeting back at the void deck for a short break

Meeting back at the void deck for a short break

And now, the moment we have all been waiting for – how many households agreed to participate in GREASE-ycle?

*drumroll…*

Kudos to Yishun Primary students and teachers for managing to get an amazing number of 156 households to participate!

They’ll be having their first oil collection this coming Saturday, 11th of April – Project GREASE wishes them all the best!

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