As our family considered the possibility of joining Singapore American School, one of the first things we did was explore the high school program planning guide. I remember opening it up and thinking: “Wow—this feels like a university course catalog!”
There were and are so many appealing courses across so many disciplines. It doesn’t matter whether you are interested in performing arts, math, athletics, or humanities: there are courses that encourage students to explore new interests and allow students to challenge themselves with college-level material.
One of the highlights of the SAS experience is our robust culture of possibilities. With over 4,000 students representing over 60 different nationalities, our students have an endless variety of interests and passions. Our role as educators is to inspire them to pursue their passions and cultivate these interests. As we do that, we want our students to take ownership of and drive their learning, and most importantly, we want them to find joy in the pursuit of learning.
One example of the breadth and depth of the learning opportunities available to our students is the high school Spacelab program funded by the SAS Foundation through generous donors like many of you.
Spacelab is a program where students get the opportunity to design and engineer an experiment that could run aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Students perform research in a project-based environment, tying together fields and skills such as electrical engineering, computer science, mechanical engineering, finance, design, and strategic networking. With a number of constraints, including size and energy use, students are encouraged to think critically and work creatively to imagine, design, and build their experiments. The course is highly student-led and allows for a diverse range of creative directions for the students to take and explore.
This year's Spacelab team will be conducting two simultaneous experiments aboard the ISS: testing brine shrimp’s survivability and farmability as a potential protein source as well as testing the efficiency of gallium nitride, all in a two-inch by four-inch capsule. Once in space, a reservoir of oxygenated water will be circulated to the brine shrimp cysts to hatch them, while photos will be taken at programmed intervals to document the brine shrimp’s behavior. Once the experiment is sent back down to Earth, the team will be able to analyze the photos, procure qualitative data on the experiment, and draw their final conclusions.
This is just one of the hundreds of opportunities our students have at SAS. Elementary school students have competed in Lego robotics competitions, conducted field observations in our natural campus rainforest, and learned coding and programming. Middle school students have workshopped their writing with New York Times bestselling authors, produced and managed division assemblies, and created hundreds of unique projects during TRiTime. High school students have participated in professional internships, published books, and produced full-fledged musical theater productions.
While this year has changed the way many of these opportunities are experienced, we are continually looking for more ways to provide students these types of experiences.
Thank you for your continued partnership as we provide these learning experiences for our students.