Day 5

Playing Angry Bird Game on Block Programming
The teacher showed first showed us a video on Hour of Code which is a movement to get more people in the world to know how to do coding. Then, we played a game on Angry Birds related to coding. We had to arrange the blocks in order according to the directions the Angry bird should move in and where the green pig was located. The words were in Korean so with the help of our buddies, we were able to find out what they were in English and successfully play the game. Even though only a few people finished all 20 levels and got a prize, we got to learn from our buddies and got an opportunity to play a game in a language which we didn’t even understand.


Creating Wooden/Acrylic Keychains With Moto-Saws
During this activity, we were taught patience cutting the square pieces of material into the shapes of animals, as it was very difficult to make sure that the cutter/saw did not cut into the wrong part of the shape. If we didn’t have enough patience, we wouldn’t be able to have these awesome keychains. We believe that this patience that we learned, we can now be able to accomplish more things that we thought we weren’t able to. This was surely one of our most memorable lessons, partially due to the keychains that we have with us.




Making Floating Balloons with Atmospheric Air and Solar Energy Bags
During our Earth Science class, the teacher split us up into groups of five. We had to fill up a solar bag with air, then allow the sun to heat it up in order for it to float. By doing this activity, we learn about heat conductivity and the fact that hot air rises. I felt that splitting us up into groups with 2 buddies let us speak and interact with more people, as well as deepen our bonds with our schoolmates and buddies.


The science behind the balloon was that hot air rises and cold air sinks. The balloon was made out of thin light black plastic. As black absorbs more heat, the balloon quickly gained heat and rose up. Most of the balloons rose really high. One of them even went over the school building! That group had to pull it back down. Another group accidentally released the balloon! The balloon rose so high that it was eventually out of sight. This was definitely one of the most fun activities we had so far.


Putting on Korean Traditional Costumes
In this activity, we were able to learn a bit more about how Koreans dressed traditionally. Some of us who naturally had an aura of mischief actually looked quite serious. We all enjoyed dressing up in the traditional Korean way.



Learning To Make and Drink Traditional Korean Tea
In this activity, we were taught not only how to make Traditional Korean Tea, but also how to drink it too. During this cultural experience, we were taught how to show respect to the person making the tea, the careful steps of how to make the tea properly and how to bow traditionally in the Korean way. Throughout all this, the main thing we were taught was respect, which is something we all knew we needed. All of us can surely say that we enjoyed this activity, even though some of us may not have enjoyed the taste of the tea as well as others, we have learned a lot in this. If ever we get the chance to experience this again, we would gladly jump at the opportunity. This was surely an awesome lesson we wouldn’t forget.


Making Korean Mochi


Saying Goodbye to Buddies
This was by far, one of the saddest moments of this trip. All of us just had a few moments to say goodbye to our buddies, whom we have made close bonds with, to take pictures with them, exchange contacts and wish them farewell. We will all miss them very dearly, especially after they have done so much for us, taking the trouble for speaking English, a language that is not even their second language, helping us to become comfortable there in Busan Science High School and being some of the most polite and kindest people to us there. We all hope to see them soon in January, and are very excited to, in return for them introducing their school

Day 4

It was an exciting and fun filled day today.We went to many interesting places and they are as follows: 

Busan Institute of Science Education:
Here we learnt about marine life and about dissection.
We were first met by the warm and welcoming hosts of Busan Institute of Science Education(BISE).They started us off by a introductory video.In the video we learnt about how they teach students who are gifted in science and train trainees. It’s purpose of being built was to raise the amount of talent in Korea for the future generation to succeed in leading the world in terms of Science and technology. After the introductory video,we were shown how to dissect a shark and a fish. The sharks uses the liver to float in the water due to it’s amount of oil inside it. While the normal fish uses an air bladder to float. We also learnt about how to  differentiate the difference between the male and female shark. Such as the reproductive organs that are located outside and the inside of the shark. The also have a rodentino organ which senses the electrical impulses sent out by the fish’s lateral line. That’s why the shark is able to hunt fast for the prey that is camouflaged in the sand and etc. Sharks can also live up to 100 years and move 24/7. Sharks do not have gills but they have 5 holes,which allow them to stay afloat. Sharks have microscopic scales and because of that in olden times,shark skin was used as sandpaper. Car companies took inspiration from the sharks face structure and aeroplane companies took inspiration from their fin structure. Fish temperature changes according to their environment.Every fish has different smell because of a sticky substance on the surface of their scales.The gills are shaped like fur so that it can take as much as oxygen as possible(expansion of surface area).Under the gills is the heart.Long intestine is herbivore whereas short intestine is a carnivore. the sharks have their unique smell due to them passing out the Ammonia gas through their skin pores. The sharks also have a non-permanent bone structure  which actually ‘rots’ away after they die. 
the differences between the sharks and fishes:
The sharks is a kind of fish that have two noses and has it’s lips under the jaw bone. Whilst the fish does not have that kind of feature.
Last to unfold Sharks are cancer free hence scientists are finding out their secrets to how the cells live without any mutations in the cell.

Exhibits shows how the different Physics theory works such as the Archimedes principal and moments works. 
One of them is also the fish tanks. From the introduction to the fish tank we learnt the coral contains 30% of the world’s protein.Thinking of that, I finally understood why, for example if you looked at the eco system, the fish actually eats the coral for food. We also learnt how the coral actually reproduces such as splitting itself into two and goes into the ground and stuck there to grow.



  After that, we left for the kyeanjoo city,this city was the capital of the second dynasty,Silla dynasty.This dynasty survived a millennium.Because of their good location,near the sea line,they had trade connections with the arabs.In this city we saw the Congchomae Tower,this tower was an astrology,thy studied astronomy to do astrology.This tower is believed to be located near the royal palace.There were many controversies as there were many theories about this tower.The tombs vary in  size because in some tombs,couples are buried together.The dead usually wear gold and then they are buried. The Kings/Queens have their bodies facing the East when they died using the celestial maps. The Korean also have a type of trap to defend against the tomb raiders to raiding the tomb. By having the stone crumble on the thieves. Next we visited the hamsang mountain, 745m high,a buddhist temple.Above the Buddha statue there is a shrine which glows when sunshine enters the room.This temple was made by King Mom Mo.This king wanted to buried in the sea so as to protect his beloved people from the rampant piracy and Japanese with his soul. He also did not want his people to be troubled to build a tomb for him. there’s a story during the Silla dynasty, it talks about a male leaving his “girlfriend” to work for the king to build the palace. His girlfriend waited for him, however, she was starting to loose hope and started crying. She saw a monk and that the monk told her that if she saw the shadow of the pagoda that she would be able to see him sooner. however, the time past fast and that she gave up hope and committed suicide in the pond. When the man came back down from the palace, he saw only a pair of shoes near the pond.

Day 3

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Today’s Itinerary: 
  1. Visit to Beomeosa Temple
  2. Visit to Haeundae Beach and Noorimaru
  3. Buffet Lunch at All that premium Korean food
  4. Visit to Renault-Samsung Busan Factory
  5. Sightseeing at Busan Cinema Centre
  6. Dinner at a Restaurant

Over the course of the days our group has been in Korea, we feel that we have enjoyed ourselves the most today. 

Firstly, the breakfast today was a great kick-start to the day ahead of us. We had beef soup along with side dishes like bananas, muffins and rice. After that we went ahead to get ready for our trip outside BHSS. 

We got off the coach at the foot of a hill. After trekking uphill for a brief moment, we reached the entrance of Beomeosa Temple. We learnt in the coach that this temple was built in 678 during the Joseon dynasty. They built their temples on mountains. We also learnt that there were 3 main religions in Korea- Catholic, Christianity and Buddhism.

At the entrance of the temple, there was this gate called the Jogyemun Gate, also known as the One Pillar Gate. This is because it is the first of a series of gates built at the entrance of the temple compound. It is renowned as a masterpiece in Korea as the roof as supported with four stone pillars. When viewed from the side, it looks like only one of the four pillars is holding the roof. It was built by Venerable Myojeon in 1614, the sixth year of King Gwanghaegun of Joseon.

Before we entered the temple, we got to see four deities. These deities were believed to have been protecting heaven, and also are protecting the temple. The people entering the temple also had to bow to at every gate. 

After entering the temple, we saw people doing their prayers, so we had to keep extremely quiet. We were able to have the privilege to go up close and observe the prayers. We had to walk up the stairs on the sides, as the stairs in the middle were believed to have been for the gods.

Next up was Haeundae Beach. We were allowed some freedom at the beach to experience the sea waves there and also have a little bit of fun. Before this, we had taken a group photo, a ‘jump shot’ where we all jumped when the photograph was taken. 

After going to Haeundae Beach, we all feel that the sand was very soft and the sceneries we had seen were absolutely breathtaking. Some of us were daring enough to take off our shoes and walk along the shoreline!

After a brief 20 minutes at Haeundae Beach, we took a brisk stroll to Apex Tower
 which was just around the corner. It was built in 2005, and many of the meetings involving ministers were held there. We entered the leader’s retreat where the important ministers discussed their affairs in private. If a meeting was in progress, no one was allowed to enter. The first meeting was held in 2006, where about 30 ministers attended the event. 

However, we were lagging behind in terms of time. Therefore, we had to rush to our location for lunch. This place was ‘Rak and Wok’. We had a short amount of time to eat lunch, spanning half an hour. On the bright side, we were greeted by the smell of Bulgogi beef and fried chicken, along with drinks and soft ice cream. We, of course, ate our food with relish.

An hour later, we reached our next destination of Renault-Samsung Factory, also known as the world’s best assembly room. There, we learnt and observed the engineers and mechanics assemble the cars and how the machines there work. The conveyer belts in the factory transported all the parts to its respective locations and spanned over 9 km long in total. 

Our group’s favourite part was watching the cars being assembled together. The doors were being held by machines and fixed to the door perfectly. The factory have machines that will transport the parts and tools to the mechanics very efficiently. No wonder it is the world’s best assembly line.They house the vehicle that have achieved world records, such as a taxi that has travelled a million kilometres and they also have the first Renault vehicle made.We also looked at the gallery that showed how Renault came to life and its leaders over the years. 

Busan cinema was the next destination where we went, which holds the world record for the largest unsupported cantilever.The place there was huge with an enormous screen and had 30 loud speakers,with around 5000 seats! The place had a large infrastructure, and we went up the roof level where we got to see the skyline of Busan. At the second level, there was a skybridge that we crossed to get to the other side of the building that was supported by about 500 metal wires. Surprisingly, the entire structure could stand. 

Dinner was at a restaurant. there was kimchi, beef, seaweed soup, anchovies etc. The drink was rice water tea. After dinner, we had free time to talk about our reflections. In the end, we all felt that the food was delicious and the we left the place with food in our stomachs and smiles on our faces.


  After crossing a road and trudging up a hill, we finally reached the familiar corridors of Busan Science High School. Proceeding to Seminar Room 1, we continued adding details to our journals while waiting for our Korean Buddies. Once they got here from their hectic classes, we continued to the ICT room for buddy time with our Korean counterparts. There we shared our interests, our lifestyles, our preferences and our tastes. While doing so, we made use of the internet to show our hobbies and lifestyles back in Singapore. While doing so, time passed really fast, and we had to say our goodnights once more before proceeding back to do our reflections.

Day 2

Overview


Today is the second day that we are in Korea. We started off the day with a healthy breakfast. After our meal, we then went to the seminar room to meet the principal, vice-principal, teachers and students of Busan Science High School. Mrs Lee, our liaison and BSS english teacher, introduced us to our buddies who subsequently showed us around the school premises.   The first place we went to were all the Science laboratories that had many interesting devices inside them like an ultrasonic cleaning tube. After that, we went to observe some of the lessons that were being taken place throughout the numerous classrooms, the Math lesson was especially interesting as we saw the students solve some difficult equations. Then we went to the observatory.
Sadly that was the end of the tour and we had to go back down to the seminar room to be released for lunch which was delicious.





We ended lunch with some ball games in the field. We then continued the day with other activities which were interesting to say the least. At the end of the day we calmed our excitement and settled our stomachs by listening to the healing concert done by the seniors.We ended the day with having an extremely fun, engaging and interesting bonding session with our buddies which included us playing Korean games.


Concert


During the concert done by the the students of Busan Science High School, they put on quite a good show of music performances such as singing and instrumental songs.


Although we were a bit late, we were at least able to catch the rest of  other songs which were mostly classical. We really enjoyed the last song, which was a vocal performance that included a rap by one of the talented students here.

Their music was relaxing, especially since we had just had a long day touring the school, participating in the lessons and playing games in the gymnasium.

We really appreciate all the students who took the time off their studies, trouble and effort to prepare this wonderful concert.


We were really touched at this act of kindness done to us by the students of Busan Science High School. If we were given the chance, we would definitely do something in return for them.


Astronomy


The astronomy lesson was arguably the best lesson in this day. Their equipment totalled to over 10 million USD! We first entered a room filled with telescopes. It was surprising as all the telescopes were in a shed. At first, we expected the teacher to bring out the telescopes into the outside to let us see. Then, the teacher pressed a button. All of the sudden, the roof of the shed moved backwards.  




Unexpectedly, we were put in the sunlight. We excitedly crowded around the telescopes and viewed the sun, which was where most of the telescopes were facing. After a few minutes of insane excitement, we moved away as the shed roof slides back and thought that it was over. Then, we were treated to a even bigger surprise. We were redirected to a circular room. There was a giant telescope in it.








The roof of the room suddenly opened up, leaving a flood of sunlight. The telescope aimed out of the light.




They explained that the equipment they had was 1 of the only 2 in the whole of the entire busan. The mega telescope cost a amazing USD$1million! I felt that the astronomy class was amazing because we got to see the sun and the amazing equipment they had.


Physics


We had a Physics lesson and had to do 2 experiments. Firstly, we had to make a hologram pyramid, and to make one, we needed a sheet of clear plastic and a base made out of cardboard. We had to cut out 4 plastic isosceles triangles and make a 10cm by 10cm base out of a piece of cardboard. Then, we formed the pyramid by using cellophane tape to stick everything together. We had to use our mobile devices and find a video clip that will be placed on top of the pyramid to create the hologram. Our efforts paid off when we finally saw the hologram. Here is a video clip of the holograms.

The other exciting part of the lesson is that we saw how the Ruben’s tube works, how the pitch and volume of the music affects the height and movement of the flame. Here is a video of the flames.


I think the physics teacher tried his best in explaining to us the steps in building the set-up and he did a very good job in explaining to us the concept of the experiment in English. It is very amazing to see the holographic fireworks dancing around in the hologram pyramid. I learned the difference between virtual images and real images. I like this session as it is very engaging and the hands-on activity is very interactive.


Chemistry


We got to make two devices, the electrolysis device and the explosive device. As for the electrolysis device, we used simple materials such as syringes, pincers, tape, mini taps, a bottle and an EVA stick. We put them together such that the EVA stick was between the two syringes without the plungers and one side of the pincer was pushed into syringes and the other bent side was outside the syringe. We then put the setup into half a pet bottle and poked two holes opposite each other in which we pushed the bent part of the pincers. Then we poured a sodium hydroxide solution into the bottle. We connected the bent part of the pincers to the machine which passed electric current through the pincer into the sodium hydroxide solution, which caused electrolysis and collected oxygen at the top of one syringe and hydrogen gas on the top of the other syringe. As for the explosive device, we clipped up a wire with a paperclip and collected 5 ml of oxygen and 10 ml of hydrogen gas in a syringe and prevented them from escaping from the syringe. Then we put the side of the wire without the rubber cover into the oxygen and hydrogen gas mixture, pressed both buttons on the wire's end and created an explosion. We feel it was important as we overcame our fears of fire and explosions by trying out the explosions by ourselves. It was very engaging as the buddies tried their best to involve us in making the setups and and carrying out the experiments.

Day 1


It was a long and sleepless transit flight before we finally touched down in Busan. We were all starving and exhausted. We had to wake up early to take our transit flight to Busan and were hungry because we had last eaten four hours ago.Thus we went looking around for food in Incheon airport and filled our growling stomachs.



We were greeted by our friendly tour guide and was immediately treated to a sumptuous lunch. That was what we exactly needed to reenergise our tired bodies.The meal included Kimchi, Fried egg, Fishes, Raisins, Fanta fruit punch, sesame rice. Though this was the first time some of us had Korean food, we still liked the food very much.


We went to the National Maritime Museum after the lunch. We learnt about the celestial maps which they used during nights to guide the sailors.We also learnt about the ports in Busan and that Busan is the largest trading port in Korea.We learnt about shipment in Busan and the research station in the Antartica.We also saw marine life in the aquariums and learnt about ancient fishing techniques.We also learnt about olden piracy and modern.We also learnt the differences in the boats that were made by the Chinese and Koreans as compared to the Japanese. We also visited the Skypark and looked through the telescope and were treated to a cinematic view of Busan Bay. We learnt the importance of ancient trade and civilisation. This has opened up our minds and has allowed us to look at the situation from a 3rd person perspective, now understanding the errors made by our ancestors.

Next, we went to Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) Square and shopped for souvenirs.We saw the handprints of the celebrities who came to Korea.We saw various food stalls including the Turkish ice-cream and twisted potatoes. The group bought shirts, caps and a selfie stick.The place was packed with enthusiastic shoppers and we had to stick close to each other and had to do regular headcount.


We crossed the street to go to the Jagalchi Fish Market. We looked at the many interesting seafood most of which we have not seen before. These included giant lobsters, squids,live seafood.We also learnt that the ladies selling seafood there,were the only breadwinners for their families and were well-known throughout Busan. Though we take much for granted, we know that we are privileged to have what we are given.

Afterwards we ate a barbecue dinner that consist a lot of meat like beef,chicken,pork,fish,shrimp


squid. We also had ice creams and fruits.I think that this helped us bond with our teammates as we shared the barbecue with four people and had to work together to cook it and eat it.The team found the experience a blast.


Lastly we came to the hostel and were warmly greeted by a few teachers of Busan Science High School. We felt very welcomed by their warm hospitality. We then proceeded to do our reflections and after reflections in which we understood the mistakes we had made and how to improve it, we proceeded to our dormitories and got a good night sleep, awaiting the next day eagerly.

     








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