2 students from Yusof Ishak Secondary win 2024 Community in Nature School Award

3 weeks ago 59

Updated

May 23, 2024, 09:17 PM

Published

May 23, 2024, 09:15 PM

SINGAPORE – Student Poon Xi Song, 14, cannot distinguish certain shades of colour, yet he doggedly documents the species of plants and animals in and around Yusof Ishak Secondary School (YISS).

He does it with the help of his “sidekick”, Tiffany Chu, 15. They have found 50 different species of plants and 70 species of animals, including the pygmy tiger butterfly and the blue-winged pitta.

Xi Song even found a monitor lizard living within the school’s rain garden. Naming it Geronimo and recording its growth for a year, the avid naturalist told reporters: “I do not know if it is a male or female. Now that it’s fully grown, I could not check without putting myself in harm’s way.”

Their findings are being compiled into a book that will be launched at the school’s official opening in July.

For their efforts, the duo bagged Student of the Year 2024 prize under the biennial NParks Community in Nature Schools Award, a National Parks Board initiative.

“We like being outdoors and in nature. It is our passion learning about the different plants and animals around the school. Getting the award is a pleasant surprise and an added bonus,” Tiffany said.

YISS won School of the Year in the Secondary and Junior College category for incorporating sustainability and biodiversity conservation in subjects like English and mother tongue to enhance awareness among students and staff.

Under its Applied Learning Programme (ALP), the students have many opportunities to learn about sustainability and cons...

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