School student Mansa Sukheja makes quite a mark at international science event, SISC 2015
Mansa Sukheja, a Year 11 student from Aberfoyle Park High School, part of the IGNITE program for students with ‘high intellectual potential’, participated in the Singapore International Science Challenge (SISC) 2015 held recently. The theme for this year’s challenge was Excite! Energise! Electrify! Contestants had to create innovative products showcasing the importance of light to the world.
After a complicated process involving written application and meetings about commitments and expectations, Mansa ended up as one of the top three applicants to participate in SISC 2015. Her team competed against 24 schools from 12 other countries.
Her group’s presentation was inspired by the idea of how different animals view the world with their eyes. “Our research paper, entitled An Examination of Light Transmission Through a Variety of Pupil Shapes Found in Nature was submitted in the Physics category,” Mansa told Indian Link. “Our teacher showed us images of various pupil shapes found in nature and we became interested in how this affected the images seen by animals.”
The project was completed after five months of dedication, hard work and time taken up from free periods, lesson breaks and before/after school hours.
The SISC 2015 kicked off with the research poster challenge, judged by a panel of judges and chief guests. After an impressive lecture, Mansa’s team finished with two gold medals, one in the Physics Category for Research and one for the Overall Best Poster Award.
The students were then split up into teams comprising students from across the world with whom they completed the next challenge – the Creative Communication Challenge. This challenge required a creative presentation using science-related word prompts. Mansa and her team once again impressed the judges with their creativity and won another gold medal in this challenge for Best Creation.
The third challenge, Design and Build, required the students to build a robot using their knowledge of coding, 3D printing and Arduino. Although the robot was made successfully, they did not manage to wow the judges in this round.
Mansa has done her school proud by winning a total of 9 gold medals and 1 silver medal with her group.
“This competition has changed my life around and it is my greatest achievement so far,” an excited Mansa said. “I couldn’t believe it when I received these awards, and the recognition for all the work I put into this project was definitely more than I’d expected. My experience has opened up international opportunities for me and introduced me to a number of areas in science. I have chosen primarily science and maths subjects for next year, which will open up my options for a career.”
In the push to attract more girls towards STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), there’s no doubt Mansa will go on to make her mark. She has already set her sights on a teaching career in science and maths.
Mansa and her team recently had the chance to showcase the results of their innovative project at Tonsley TAFE as part of the National Science Week.
The SISC is hosted every alternate year by the National Junior College of Singapore and Singapore’s Ministry Of Education. It aims to bring together skilled students from around the globe to participate and innovate in the field of science.