wait.. what // fyp

Ohno, the semester has started and more than a month has passed, with only 3/4 months left till gradshow.

What have I achieved? Nothing.

This week is a real eye opener and I am REALLY feeling the pressure. I know that I really need to start getting my shit together. No more idling around and its time to start putting all these words to action. As much as I want to just break down and start crying about what a mess I am in, I rather put that energy into actually doing work.

So yeah, barely to no progress at all over the holidays. Feel free to lecture or nag me about that. I totally deserve it.

Why have I been stuck?

I wasn’t committed or rather I wasn’t won over by my concept. I felt that there was still something missing and as I kept looking at my project, there was an internal disdain towards it, that made me NOT want to work or even look at it.

I just couldn’t get the right idea for my experiments. I have been wrecking my brain the entirety of the previous semester to come up with ideal experiments, but to no avail. Maybe its time to say that some of these animals are a lost cause. That is not to say that they don’t deserve my attention, but more like their situation isn’t suitable with the way my project is going towards. Their circumstances doesn’t need an invention or technology for intervention (that I can think of).

Conceptual Update

(1) Number of animals

For the Grad Show, I will be working with at least three animals. The current animal lineup is as follows: Singapore Freshwater Crab, Hawksbill Turtle and Sunda Pangolin. These animals are chosen for their suitability in designing an invention type of experiments.

The remaining two animals: Raffles-banded Langur and Smooth-coated Otter, will still be part of the exhibit as a “future case file” but will contain no interactive experiments.

(2) Shift towards INVENTOR rather than SCIENTIST

More in line with the experiments that I’ve planned so far. Most of it involves incorporating some form of technology into nature. As much as the basis of the experiments are from science, majority of the outcome are in line with inventions.

But hey, inventions and science are synonymous with each other. Many great inventions out there came from the study of science. Look at the Curies, who through science, “invented” radium, or Thomas Edison, the inventor of light bulb that came about from the study of electricity.

(3) Inclusion of some environmental storytelling

I don’t intend on having big chunks of text around the stations with explanations or information. I’ll keep the text to a minimal. I want the information to be delivered through the objects that are strategically placed. For example, textual information: Singapore’s rainwater is slightly acidic, object storytelling: Jars of rainwater with pH levels indicated. To add a flair of mystery, I want the audience to pick out the story or information by interacting with the stations, similar to an escape room.

(4) Experiments???

A little change in the approach in designing the experiments. Now, the experiments are designed based off the existing solutions provided, rather than creating a new solution from scratch. A good example of this is the experiment for the Singapore Freshwater Crab where bubbles are used to de-acidify the streamwater (actual scientific solution is to add naturally occuring alkali to balance out pH levels).

Besides that, I’ll be focusing on one main experiment per animal. Each main experiment will be broken up to different parts to show a “work-in-progress” status.

Animal Experiments Update


Main experiment will be focusing on studying which alkaline solution is best suited for de-acidifying the stream.

Current lineup of alkaline solutions: (1) Bubbles (yes they are still here), (2) Seaweed, (3) Bottles of drinking alkaline water.

Each solution will have its own individual system with a rain and acid sensor. Audience can press the button to trigger the rainfall that will activate the system to de-acidify the water by the appropriate amount.

In terms of storytelling,

Some background non-interactive elements includes:

  • “Rainwater” collected from different areas in Singapore with pH levels indicated  >>> To showcase the acidity of the rain in Singapore
  • Treasure map with the “location” of the stream  >>> That they can be only found in this location, endemic to Singapore.
  • Informational screen with 3D graphic of the crab with some details.


Main experiment will try to combat plastic pollution in the ocean, with the use of the PLASTICBEGONE-INATOR.

The development of the contraption is segmented into three parts: (1) Plastic detecting sensor – using a camera to detect plastic materials,  (2) Claw-machine – testing the grabbing mechanism remotely, (3) “In-water” Simulator – simulation of the contraption in water with spawning plastics.

In terms of story-telling,

Some background non-interactive elements includes:

  • Microscopic view of seawater with microplastic >>> Presence of plastics in Singapore’s waters
  • Informational screen with 3D graphic of the turtle with some details.


Main experiment will focus on stopping consumption of pangolin scales by educating the public that it has no medicinal value.

Idea coming soon…

Where to go from here?
  • 15 – 31 Jan: Mockup of Singapore Freshwater Crab station
  • 1 Feb – 14 Feb: Mockup of Hawksbill Turtle station
  • 15 Feb – 28 Feb: Mockup of Sunda Pangolin station
  • Entire March: Dedicated to building the actual setup of all three stations

Lets hope this time I will keep to this timeline. *praying hard*

Things I have learned from Sem 1:

(1) Trying my best to work off of cloud, and will make it a habit to backup my work to an external storage.

(2) Stop thinking, and start working. I have just been going on this never-ending cycle of excitement to get started followed by feeling of doubts that the project isn’t good enough. Its time to break that cycle.

Published by

Norafizah Normin

Leap of Faith

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