It might be hard to remember a time before face masks and regular hand sanitising, but 12 months ago we’d barely heard about coronaviruses. Since then we’ve gone through a phase when we panicked when anyone sneezed, we’ve had a 8-week Circuit Breaker (during which we had to get used to having birthday parties on Zoom), we’ve experienced full-time home-based learning, eaten plenty of takeaway meals, and done lots of hand washing!
Many of us won’t look back on those home schooling days as our favourite experiences, but it wasn’t all bad - we got to see a lot more of our kids and get a better picture of what they were learning at school. Some of us even dusted off the bicycles and got to discover new parts of Singapore. And watching the news about the rest of the world we could feel pretty lucky to be in a place where Covid-19 measures were so well organized.
When the Circuit Breaker began in early April 2020, Newtonshow moved to online camps to help ensure that our budding scientists could keep learning remotely. In early June 2020 we saw the softening of restrictions and it was possible to venture out in groups of 5 and enjoy a family meal in a restaurant again. At Newtonshow we were delighted to move back to in-person camps and see all those happy faces again!
But we knew that the world was a different place now and that precautions against Covid-19 and other viruses would need to be implemented. To this end we developed our own protocol, based on Singapore government advice. This includes doing a temperature check for everyone (kids and adults) who enter the camp venue; limiting groups to 5 children sitting in one zone; not using reusable plates, cups or cutlery; sanitizing all surfaces regularly; following MoE regulations; and encouraging kids to follow sensible self-hygiene procedures.
Despite all these enhanced procedures, we’re confident that the fun or learning experience in our camps hasn’t been diminished. We anticipate that the situation will not change dramatically until Q4 2021 at the earliest, so our Summer Camp will go ahead as normal with the precautionary measures still being implemented. And this summer we are delighted to offer 2 programmes, one for budding scientists and another for future astronauts. ‘Chemical Monsters’ includes topics such as kitchen chemistry, heat-sensitive slime, a phenakistiscope project, fizzy science, and chemistry inventions that enable the modern world. ‘Space Academy’ covers such diverse topics as robots in space, UFOs, coding messages for life on other planets, space cadet tests, and an air-pumped rocket project.
Rest assured that we keep up to date with government guidelines on Covid-19 and will adapt our precautionary measures as necessary. In the meantime we’ll be making sure that our own kids keep active, eat lots of fruit and vegetables, and get plenty of replenishing sleep to keep their immune systems strong. Stay safe!