Show-and-Tell @ Scientist for a Day is not an ordinary show-and-tell session. To those who participate actively in it, it means a lot more.
This activity requires you to explain scientific phenomena using props and apparatus from the DemoLab of the National University of Singapore. SAYES collaborates with the Young Educators of Science (YES) to demonstrate scientific concepts with these props and apparatus.
Explaining scientific concepts that you understand is a vital tool in the scientific industry, called scientific communication. Show-and-Tell @ Scientist for a Day is a really good platform for members to practice this skill. Scientific communication is the ability to relate the scientific concept to others in the scientific arena. If the people you communicate to can understand what you are trying to relate, you are successful in making them understand the scientific concept. Many specialists in the field of science make use of scientific communication to relate the concept they were trying to portray all the time.
Scientific communication is not as easy as one might think. In my experiences of participating in Show-and-Tell @ Scientist for a Day, I have encountered explaining to many different people, varying in age, level of study, nationalities and even languages.
There was once I had to explain the concept of polarisation to a five-year old boy. The boy could not understand the terms I used while explaining to an adult that came before him, so I tried using analogies. I remembered using an analogy of a door allowing light waves to be able to only go in one direction to explain polarisation. Thanks to the analogy, he understood the concept quite well.
There was also once when a group of students from Taiwan came to our Show-and-Tell, so I used Chinese to explain the scientific concepts.
Through explaining these scientific phenomena, you will understand a scientific concept even better. Being able to explain a scientific concept shows that you understanding for the scientific concept are high. The better you are able to explain, the better you understand the concept. There was once when I was introduced to the concept of Brewster’s angle, which I really did not understand. Coincidentally there was an apparatus to demonstrate this phenomenon and slowly but surely, I understood Brewster’s angle a lot better.
One of the main things that really probe me into whether I really understand the concept is when the people I explain the concept to ask questions. There was one family that asked a posed a question on air pressure to me. I explained the concept wrongly, and was later corrected. It is from these mistakes that make me understand the concept better. You will remember the mistakes and remember the concept better. As Einstein said, “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”
Lastly, through Show-and-Tell@ Scientist for a day, I meet more people around my age with common interests and socialise more.
Show-and-Tell@ Scientist for a day is overall a very beneficial activity to me. I would definitely recommend this activity to the other SAYES members to try out. Those who do will reap the benefits of Show-and-Tell@ Scientist for a day.