I am taking some 100 Ridge View Residential College students to the beach next year as part of their core module GEM1917 Understanding and Critiquing Sustainability. Tasked with a marine life/marine pollution component through lectures/tutorials and field trips, I was motivated to have them tackle a beach cleanup after watching some other students fumble the use of wheelbarrow.
The lesson was simple – undergrads need to get their hands dirty for a realistic grasp of issues. In other modules, they have indeed gained confidence through exposure and acquired competence after analytical work. it’s not exactly blood sweat and tears, but baby steps at least.
So to the beach with this lot but they should organise the data-collecting coastal cleanup themselves. It’s not rocket science but the details can make or break an op.
The joint outing should be conducted after some exposure to ideas in a lecture and a tutorial. January can still be wet but February (Week 4) is a typically dry post-monsoon month, with little danger of lightning threat. Just as well since the long shore at the potential sites of Pasir Ris 6 or Tanah Merah 7 are without shelter.
A tidal height lower than 1.0 metres will allow them to interact with an adequately exposed shore. Thanks to friends at NParks via FTTA Gavan Leong, a hourly tide-table was procured and examined.
The only suitable dates seem to be during NUS’ Recess Week in late February, right after Chinese New Year. Many may be away during the long weekend, so an 8.00am start on Thursday 26 February 2015 beckons.