Reflections from AISM’s Trip to Taiwan: Asia-Pacific Forum for Science Talented (APFST)


Ghazi, Year 10

The Taiwan trip was an amazing experience and an awesome trip. During the course of the journey I learnt a lot of things, perhaps the most memorable was being educated about the science behind a hydroponic system, which was the project that my group decided to do. In addition the cultural experiences the trip provided a further learning experience, with my personal favourite being the museum.

The hands-on project that my team and I conducted was a hydroponic system, essentially a way of growing plants in a nutrient rich solution without the use of soil. The reason why an individual might want to do this is because it is supposed to allow the plant to grow faster. It can be done in regions without fertilized soil and it is not as messy (as soil is not being used). My team and I got the participation award; The project was fun and interesting to conduct and definitely a great experience.

Xuan Lin, Year 10

APFST offered the opportunity for collaboration between friends from all around the world - and that’s the aspect I enjoyed the most. It gave me the opportunity to befriend people from Hong Kong, India, Russia, Vietnam, and Denmark.

Unlike the others, Hands-on team 15 had group meetings every single night since Day 1 (which may have been our excuse to hang out). There were ideas of converting carbon dioxide to oxygen, utilizing body heat to power a fan, replacing trees with small pods that could perform photosynthesis… the scientific theories provided for each possibilities and errors were endless. However the problem was that we only had 2 days to complete our project, and there were very limited resources.

Procrastination started at 10.00pm the day before the presentation. Amidst long night meetings and the hilarious Google translations, we managed to pull through, impressed the judges, and won the Grand Award.

Manisa, Year 10

Ni Hao, hej, namaste, halo, annyeonghaseyo are few of the many greetings I encountered during the Forum in Taiwan. The Asia-Pacific Forum for Science Talented held in Taiwan was a week filled with challenges, where comfort zones were tested, friendships were made and the reigns of creativity were let loose. The Forum had a considerable balance of allowing students to experience different environments such as museums and city life and working on our group project. We were all put into groups to create a product aimed to solve a specific future issue, that as a group we predicted would take place. My group viewed transportation as an issue and with deep thought we decided to develop an electromagnetic mechanism that allowed the effective movement of goods or persons. The carrier-like mechanism allows quick installation, is affordable, efficient and can be used in different terrain. After presenting and having the project be evaluated and questioned, the project won the ‘Popularity’ Award. I undoubtedly enjoyed the trip as a whole and it brings me great difficulty choosing one thing that I simply enjoyed the most about the trip. If I had to pick one aspect, it would be the social. I have made friends with people from Denmark, Russia, Taiwan, Vietnam and even Canada, and still am on a active communicating basis with them. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Donovan for taking the time out of his holiday to accompany us, to Ghazi and Xuan Lin for being with me through this journey, to AISM and to everyone else involved. The forum was definitely an exceptional experience.

Mr Zegna, ICT Facilitator & Integrator

The Asia Pacific Science Forum provided a well-organised and extraordinary experience for all involved. It was most notably impactful on the students as a global social collaboration. They came together from many countries in an effort to work out real world problems using science as a foundation. Their social cooperation to effect change in the world was profound, and a true model for which we as adults could take note from. I hope none of them lose the passion they all demonstrated. This was a truly priceless experience. My perspective of Taiwan is that it’s an incredible country with a very forward-thinking and community-driven atmosphere. The people of Taiwan struck me as an overall gracious, friendly, and welcoming culture. My favorite part of the trip in addition to the sightseeing was being reminded by watching the students work together, that with the right attitude towards working with others and a positive approach to problem solving...anything is truly possible.