Research stint an unforgettable learning experience for student

PRACTICAL KNOWLEDGE: Priscilla Esther (left), a research assistant of Tropical Peat Research Laboratory Unit, assisting Joel (centre) extract CO2 from soil.

KUCHING: For 16-year-old Joel Tiong Sie Ming, it was indeed a good experience being a research assistant for Tropical Peat Research Laboratory Unit, even if it was only for a day.

The Form 4 student of SMK Padungan here said he got the opportunity to experience the life of a research assistant through his mother.

“It is a new thing to me (as a research assistant) and I have learnt much,” said Tiong, who wished to further his study in a chemistry related field in the future.

Tiong was one of the students who participated in the scientific exhibition and demonstration booth of the unit that was held in conjunction with the Chief Minister’s Department’s Innovation and Integrity Day 2011 held at the old State Legislative Assembly (DUN) complex here.

When met at the booth, Tiong was doing a demonstration on carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction from soil.

He explained that the purpose of extracting the gas was to analyse the content of CO2 in order to know what kind of plants were suitable for that particular soil.

The director of the unit, Dr Lulie Melling, said a few hundred secondary students from five schools in Kuching visited the booth.

She pointed out that the booth was a good platform for Science students to know the fields that they can pursue in higher learning institutions and the current job opportunities available in Research and Development (R&D) market.

She said R&D played an important role in safeguarding the economic success of the state.

“Science is the only way forward for us, without science, we can’t go forward,” she stressed.

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