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Nuur Hasanah Bte Noor Azman

A Science Enthusiast

In my time in MI, I have had many memorable moments. My proudest moment is when my work in a collaborative science project titled “Blue on Blue: Blue Fluorescing Aluminium Molybdate for Methylene Blue Sensing” with the Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore (NUS), was showcased in the Singapore Science and Engineering Fair (SSEF) 2020. My determination to inquire, coupled with the effort and time spent on the project were recognised and I was awarded the Gold Award; the first time a Millennian is presented with this prestigious award.

This project required a certain depth of knowledge in Chemistry, which presented a significant challenge as I did not offer H1 or H2 Chemistry in the A-levels. However, I learnt that this should not be an obstacle. I adopted a growth mindset and read deeply on the required Chemistry content. My mentors in the Faculty of Science readily assisted me whenever I had doubts or queries. This was especially helpful and necessary as the project had not been carried out before, resulting in a high degree of ambiguity and uncertainty.

There were occasions where despite following the procedures closely and carefully, I would still not get the expected results. This disappointed me. There were however, moments of elation when the experiments went smoothly and I obtained the results that moved the project forward. It was definitely a rollercoaster of emotions.

I reflected on my experiences and appreciated the importance of the values of respect, responsibility and resilience. I respected my mentors’ and my own time, coming prepared for each laboratory session and consultation with my mentors so that these sessions were productive. I respected the work that was being done in the project, always putting my best foot forward to ensure its success. Herein lies also the value of responsibility. It was my responsibility to finish the project. Hence, I visited the laboratory at least once a week to complete the required work. Holidays were spent finishing the results analysis and technical report so that the project could progress in a timely fashion. Resilience was certainly a necessity. I had brushed up on my Chemistry knowledge only to realise that it was not sufficient and thus I invested even more time on it while juggling my other school commitments. I learnt from the unexpected results and tried again. I made mistakes while using the equipment, writing the report and designing the showcase poster as I had no experience on how to do so. However, I did not let that faze me. As Sir Winston Churchill once said, “Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm”.

I am especially thankful to Ms Lee Li Wen and Mr Chia Guo Hao. Ms Lee accompanied me throughout these years and pushed me whenever I felt apprehensive to start on the report and poster. Mr Chia provided insightful and specific comments to refine my work. They also had confidence and faith in me, which greatly reassured me. My achievements would not be possible without my mentors’ and teachers’ guidance and support.

My time at MI has taught me to live by this philosophy and I would like to share it with you. “If you are starting on something new, do not be scared of failures or imperfections. Always take the opportunity to learn from them and constantly reflect on yourself so that you can be a better person tomorrow.”