Tuesday, 27 August 2013

by Ryan Yoong Ka Jun, Form 4 Science 1, Class of 2014

Photo credit : Beh Chee Kin, Class of 2015

It's that time of the year again, when all students (excluding the Form 3's, Form 5's and Year 11's) gather to put their thinking caps on for a week-long, brain-draining Challenge Based Learning — better known as CBL. These challenges range from tackling a world crisis to solving local complications, to creating inventions for a better tomorrow.

To solve problems is the essential baseline of CBL. This year saw a new project being introduced as an option for the Form 4 and Junior 1's, called Making A Difference Project or in other words, the M.A.D Project. Like its name suggests, this new project proved to be a challenging one (surprise, surprise). Besides the M.A.D Project, the alternative of designing an improved product as well as the traditional "Big Idea" projects were also options for the younger Cempakans.

Moving on, the most difficult part of CBL which I'm sure most of you will agree with, is the very first day on which you have to decide what project you want to undertake with your group. Possibilities seem endless when faced with the diversity of different topics and array of angles to approach them from. Perhaps this is why a full day is allocated to just this activity.

The following days then go by like a breeze. In six days (including the weekend which we should all be thankful to have this year), students have to cram in researching, surveying, interviewing, filming and editing in order to come up with a decent research paper and video. The research paper and iMovie have to outline a solution to the problem they chose, or in the case of a design project, it has to showcase their new design. Having gone through the process a staggering three times during my years in Cempaka, I can safely say that it is always grueling and tedious. Often you see groups erupting into a heated discussion which may sometimes disrupt the synergy of its members, causing a dispute. However, this is not necessarily all bad.

Honestly, I believe this is a big part of what CBL stands for. The ‘C’ need not only stands for the challenge of discovering something new, but also about the challenge of working with your fellow peers to accomplish something as a team effort. Furthermore, like what Encik Hisham said: ‘If you find your project easy, you’re doing it wrong!’. Being able to stand on stage during the review day and speak confidently as a group about your topic is nothing short of satisfying.

CBL review day today covered topics from various health issues to football strategies to crime prevention to futuristic locker and umbrella designs. Despite the occasional similarity, every group had a unique outlook on their topic which kept the day informative and refreshing.

CBL is, and will always be, a program that brings out the creativity and innovativeness of Cempakans and is definitely here to stay. With this being my last, I would like to wish all the juniors the best of luck for their CBL in the coming years. May you always find the challenge in your projects.
by Amanda Lee Yue Ping 22:40 1 comment | in , , , , ,

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