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leftrightWednesday, July 30, 2008
The Ess Army together with studenst from class 4J decided to plant some trees in a field in the school.


Our school hall has been air-conditioned this year so that we can have a condusive climate to do our examination.


We see the need to plant more treess so that we can reduce the carbon foot print of the air-con hall.









Stay tuned as we report on the progress of our garden



[Mayflower] [3:44 PM] 0 Comments
leftrightSaturday, July 26, 2008
‘Well, a week of exhaustion awaits me, I guess, but, well, that's life. CCA will start again, CIP too I guess, extra lessons are of course still on, and also The Ess Army are getting busy. So, I have to put on a cheerful mood for the whole week, otherwise I'll suffer. Hahaha.’ – 11 May 2008.

‘I feel that the ess army members are able to communicate better among each other now than during previous meetings ((:’ – 26 May 2008.

‘Alright, I have to do final packing now. Tomorrow I'll be leaving for Jakarta at 5 am from my hostel. I'll be back on June 15. Meanwhile though, I will still go online and take care of The Ess Army stuff if needed.’ – 8 June 2008

‘Even the Ess Army and the Shoo Mozzie thing had brought me closer to some of my classmates.’ – 8 June 2008

After that was the finalisation of The Ess Army proposal and presentation boards, which took about 5-6 hours O.O’ – 16 June 2008, one day after I went back from Jakarta

‘The Ess Army got into Top 3! ^^ I did not expect anything, I did not dare to :P It feels so good somehow. It's like you've worked hard together with your friends, and really achieved something. It's a nice feeling (:’ – 25 June 2008



Yesterday's Ess Army project was rather enjoyable. It kinda started to feel....addictive, you know. At first I feel some challenge in doing whatever we are doing, but somewhere along the way, I started to really really enjoy doing what we do, and together with the rest of the army, they were fun (:’ – 29 June 2008'

‘Today is supposed to be our rehearsal and meeting – The Ess Army. Gosh I really hate playing in a skit :S Ok, ok, I’ll do it once and for all. I don’t mind acting in front of my friends……..but it really bugs me that I have to act in front of other people :S’ – 4 July 2008





Those excerpts, taken from my blog, were like small windows to the journey I had been through these last two and a half months.

I still remember when we were about to interview Dr Drozario and Mrs Ess shared with us how her friend asked her what she is doing all these for. Then I asked myself, "What am I doing this for?"

Well, I've always had some environmental awareness inside me, which I did not know how to bring out in Jakarta, where poverty, traffic jam and flood issues beat those of environmental ones, but.....why now, when O Levels are just around the corner?

I guess I just love exposing myself to new things.

Otherwise I wouldn't have joined taekwondo as my CCA, would I?

I did not regret my decision. I have been enjoying everything all along, all the different experts and members of the public that we met, various contradictory praises and criticisms from anonymous people, and......perhaps most of all, getting to know people that I have known before even more: fellow soldiers and also teachers.

All these had brought me closer to my friends. I have to admit that I was guilty of keeping to myself and sticking to several people last year as a new student in class.

When we were asked to pair up for the sale of Shoo Mozzie during the Singapore Garden Festival, though, I realised that I really don’t mind being paired up with any one of them, any of my wonderfriends, a term I use to describe my wonderful friends.



Probably one of the most important lessons that I have learned from being a soldier of the Ess Army, is really that line from the bible, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you."

Being a member of the Ess Army shows me that some things will happen when you ask for it.

Lessons, experiences, connections, life skills and ‘wonderfriends’.


What more could you ask for in return for doing simple things that save the environment?

Vanessa/-vNs-




[Mayflower] [11:17 AM] 0 Comments
leftrightTuesday, July 22, 2008

The Ess Army will be at the Singapore Garden Festival from 25th to the 1st August.


We will be at booth S-14.



We will be there from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays. See you there.
As usual, taking part in this activity will not contribute to any CCA points or CIP hours.


[Mayflower] [2:48 PM] 0 Comments
leftrightWednesday, July 16, 2008
After our presentation at the Worldview 360, we are very grateful and thankful that so many students and teachers have given us so many valuable feedback.

This has set us thinking and motivated us to go into further research.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Oil of Citronella has been used for over 50 years as an insect repellent and as an animal repellent.

It is found in many familiar insect repellent products: candles, lotions, gels, sprays and towelette wipes.

These products, which vary in efficacy, repel various insects, some of which are public health pests, such as mosquitoes, biting flies and fleas.

When used according to the label, citronella products are not expected to cause harm to humans, pets or the environment.

Please go to the website below to read up for more information.

1.http://www.epa.gov/oppbppd1/biopesticides//ingredients/factsheets/factsheet_021901.htm

2. http://www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/REDs/factsheets/3105fact.pdf

Here is a project entitled "The Effectiveness of Lemon Grass as a Natural Mosquito Repellent"

1.http://www.usc.edu/CSSF/History/2004/Projects/J1408.pdf


The purpose of this experiment is to determine if Lemon Grass is an effective mosquito repellent compared to a DEET-based bug spray. The hypothesis states: Lemon Grass is an effective alternative mosquito repellent for people sensitive to the DEET compound (Diethylmetatoluamide).


According to the The Cancer Awareness Coalition (CAC)
the mission of the CAC is - to raise public awareness about the health risks associated with pesticides and other environmental toxins - to encourage growers, homeowners, and others to use more natural products - and to promote legislation designed to protect public health.
Please go to this website to see the problem with DEET
http://www.cacinfo.org/DEET.html

(P.S. There are many ways to give feedback. We aim to received them with a positive attitude even when feedback is given in a negative tone.)


[Mayflower] [3:38 PM] 0 Comments
leftrightSunday, July 13, 2008
The war has only begun. Fighting climate change is not a short term battle but a lifelong war. After wining the Worldview 360 for the Best Overall Project and the most creative presentation, the ESS army is back to the drawing block for our next project.



We plan to use the prize money that we have won to built a garden in our school. We plan to plant some native trees and shrubs to reduce our own carbon footprint. Another class (4J) has agreed to join us in this project and they will also plant two trees in the garden.


We hope that this garden will inspire our school mates to fight climate change by reducing their carbon footprint.

In addition, we will also plant pandan leaves and lemon grass to promote the use of natural insect repellent instead of those which we can buy from the supermarket.

Fighting climate change is not a once off event to be forgotten after a competition but is a lifestyle change which involves forming new green habits that will reduce our carbon footprint.

Here are some information about lemon grass which is one of the main ingredient for our Shoo Mozzie




Lemon Grass, Ginger Grass, Serai Grass



Cymbopogon Citratus

Description

Perennial, densely tufted, aromatic grass.

Stems underground, short, whitish or pale-violet.

Leaves in dense clusters, linear amplexicaul, rough-margined, glaucous green on both sides.

Inflorescence in many-branched panicles without stalks.

All parts of the grass are lemon-flavored.

Chemical Constituents

The whole plant contains an essential oil consisting of critral, limonene, isopulegol, citronellic acid, geranium acid and a-camphorene.

Uses

The entire plant possesses antiseptic, antiferbrile and stomachic properties.

It is used in treating coryza, influenza and pyrexia.

It is also prescribed against dyspepsia and vomiting and as a carminative, using three to four drops of the essential oil, diluted in water.

Used externally to treat eczema.

The essential oil is used as an insecticide against mosquitoes and as a deodorant.

(P.S. We are greatly touched and inspired by the suggestion provided by one of our friendly competitors that we should test out our Shoo Mozzie by using actual Aedes Mosquitoes as part of a scientific studies.

We regret to say that after consulting with relevant authorities, we could not get permission to breed them as the slogan says: "If they breed, we will bleed."

If any one of the mosquitoes is released into the environment, it will be a bio-hazard.

Thus we will have to rely on secondary sources to test out the effectiveness of our product.

Nonetheless, we discover that sometime our grandmothers' old wives' tales hold more than a grain of truth and we will learn to respect this pool of native knowledge rather then solely on scientific studies alone.

But thank you for taking the time to suggest this test. )



[Mayflower] [9:19 AM] 0 Comments
leftrightThursday, July 10, 2008
The Ess Army has done it. At the World View 360 the Ess army was awarded two awards : the most creative presentation award and the best overall project award.


The competition was held at the Science Center on 10 July 2008.



After the competition, the guest of honour Dr Amy Khor took a picture with the Ess Army.




This is the display board that we made for the competition.



Our mascots with the trophies.

Well done. Of course, this is just the beginning and there is a lot of work to be done.


[Mayflower] [10:22 PM] 0 Comments
This is the script for our presentation.


Good Afternoon, Dr Amy Khor, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, and Mayor, South West CDC, ladies and gentlemen, friends and participants from the Worldview 360.

We are from the ESS Army,

I am Tanya, and I am the other Tania, this is Jessica, Tommy, Vanessa, Agustina, and Emanto. We are from Indonesia,

I am Yuxi and I am from China.

I am Jill, he is Chong Junn, Jeremia, Yong Qing and we are from Singapore.



Together, we are the Ess Army -- Empowering a Sustainable Society.





Wait a minute. (Slowly) Why do we want to waste time telling people where we are from?

Well, one of the objectives for worldview 360 is to promote cross-cultural understanding (hand to wave and point to students shaking hands) and harmony through the sharing of common activities and experiences of youths from different races and culture.

Really?


Yes, through this competition, we learnt that global warming and extreme climate change phenomena like floods and rising see level affects all of us regardless of .....where we come from, who we are…. So we tell them, we are the Ess army.

Wait a minute. Wait wait…

What in the world is the Ess Army?

Who is this Ess?
Is he making an Ass of himself fighting a lost cause? Climate Change? Global Warming? Don’t waste your time.Don’t be an ASS.


Ah that is where you are wrong Yong Qing.We, the youth are challenge to come up with feasible and practical projects to protect our environment, slow down climate change and global warming.

O.k. (Challenging tone) So, what has the Ess Army done?


Well, we worked with an environmental N G O called Cicada Tree Eco Place to develop an all natural, organic insect repellent.

Ah ? (Acting surprise ) What for? Kill mosquito ah?

Ah ( With a hint of mystery) listen to what the Ess army has to say.




Aunty, Aunty Would you like to try this?


Ah yeo What is this?

Ah this is Shoo Mozzie. It is all natural, it will not cause cancer because it does not have DEET and best of all when you use this you will help to protect the environment.

Really Ah?



Really We need to save the environment and there is very little time left now.If we do not play our part, then there will be more flood like what happened in Myanmar, China, India and USA.


Choy Ya Ta Jia Ta Li. (In hokkien) Singapore will not flood.

Aunty cannot say like that.
Remember the florist shop along Thomson Road?.
They were flooded in December 2006.
Even Kota Tinggi was also flooded. We must start now.




Ya Ho

Wait

I must go and tell all my majong Kakie about this.

Way …. AH Kum Soh ah … You know ah… (Walk away).

Is this real?
Is this reliable? Are you sure the Ess army have been speaking to the community about Shoo Mozzie?

But of Course. Let Vanessa share with you how we empower ourselves to fight climate change.





Hi I am Vanessa.
Let me share with you our three Ps approach of Programme, People and Passion to empower a sustainable society.


Firstly there is the Programme. By working with the National Environmental Agency, we have been putting up road shows like what you have just seen. We did one for the CLEAN Project at Ang Mo Kio Ave 10 in May and another at Ang Mo Kio Ave 4 in June. We also went to Anchor Point shopping centre to promote our Shoo Mozzie.


Through this we are given the opportunity to talk about climate change and global warming to the community at large


Wow, that is impressive.
But how do you empower yourself to speak with confident and authority so that you will be more credible?
After all, you all are very young and some older people will say that they have eaten more salt then you have eaten rice.






Yes, we know we are very young but we are willing to learn from the expert. For example, we went to NIE to learn from Prof Wilma D’ Rozario how to protect the environment and how she sustains her passion.


We learnt form Uncle Joe Lai, a botanist, on how mangrove forests protect the river bank and coasts during a Tsunami or flood.






Did you know that the extent of the damage brought by Typhoon Nargis in Myanmar was made worse because all the mangroves were removed and replaced with prawn farms and padi fields?


O.K. I can see that you have the programme, and you have the people, the Expert who will empower you but ….

what about your passion?
Will the Ess army stop after this competition?

What happen when all the foreign students leave Singapore at the end of the year?

It is true that some of us will be leaving Singapore after our O level exam

But do not forget our Blog.

The Ess Army Blog.
We have discovered that the internet is a very powerful tool to connect people from all over the world.

We have invited our friends from Indonesia, Thailand and China to join in our fight to stop or slow down global warming and climate change.

Even if they cannot be around to sell Shoo Mozzie, they can read articles that we have posted on our blog, they can look at our video and pictures and get inspired.


Best of all when we formed the Ess Army, we know that we will not get any CCA points nor any CIP hours. So all of us took part in this project because we really care for the environment. So we are confident that we have the Passion to sustain this project beyond this competition.


To sum, global warming and extreme climate change phenomena such as floods and rising sea level are pressing issues facing the world today.

Time is not on our side.

Worldview 360 has challenged us with this question "What can our youths do to help protect our environment?"

If we do not do something, no one else will. We are all in the same boat. Remember Norh’s ark is built by amateurs, the Titanic by profession.

Protecting the environment is not just for you me or the Aunties in Ang Mo Kio. It is for everyone


So are you ready to be an ess ?

and join the Ess Army?



[Mayflower] [9:40 PM] 0 Comments
leftrightWednesday, July 9, 2008
There's a competition for all those those inclined in English and wish to share their tale of the environment.

Pen Awards 2008

"The Environment and Me"

Objectives:
To raise the interest of English language writing and encourage creativity through writing in schools in Singapore.

Topic:
How I made a difference.
Articles must be non-fiction.Students are invited to contribute nonfictional articles on how they made a difference. The story may be funny, moving, interesting, offbeat - something that will move, inspire and engage readers. It has to be based on their own experience and it must be a true account.
Upper and Lower Secondary

No. of words:
Maximum 1,000 words

The Ess Army do urge everyone to take part in this competition, as there're attractive prizes to be won. For more information, please visit this website.


[tommy] [12:40 AM] 0 Comments
leftrightFriday, July 4, 2008
Our efforts in the Enterprising Challenge at Anchorpoint was featured in the Straits Time IN section on 30th Jun! Click here to read the article. Click here to read our post about the event.


[tommy] [10:40 PM] 0 Comments
Today, Class 4Justice held a funfair in school to raise funds for cancer patients. We collaborated with them and they agreed to lend us a booth to sell our Shoo Mozzie to the students of Mayflower Sec. All profits made by the sale will go to ACRES, like all our other profits. We'll also be selling more Shoo Mozzie to the students of our school throughout the Humanities Week, from 4th Aug to 8th Aug.

Here are some pictures taken today:

The 4 girls manning the booth!
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Promoting our product!
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Getting the teachers to buy!
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And again!
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Group photo!
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Overall, it was a great way to introduce our product to the school, and let them know about it, before we sell it to them with a greater supply during the Humanities Week.


[tommy] [7:23 PM] 0 Comments