John’s Creations, My Family

Homeschoolers @ SAFMC 2014

Let me share with you my experience at the Singapore Amazing Flying Machine Competition 2014 organized by The Singapore Science Centre. It was the first time my friends  and I were taking part in the unpowered glider category.

At first we blundered about, not sure what to do. But with the encouragement of our parents, we eventually began our preparation. I am grateful that one of the fathers coached us in our plane design and our presentation script. I was also glad that my dad built a launcher so we could test our planes. Building the plane was challenging but it was a great learning experience. Another vital part of the competition was to present our learning journey and how we came up with our plane design. After much discussion, we finalized our script and the design of our poster board. Then it was practice, practice and more practice.

On presentation day, we were nervous, but it went smoothly. After the first round of judging, we were selected to compete in the finals. That was a great encouragement to us. During the finals, the pressure increased significantly. Instead of 3 friendly judges in the room, there were 5 intimidating judges waiting to hear us. In spite of that, we were calm. We presented well and were able to answer the judges’ questions satisfactorily. I give thanks that our group was united. In fact, we heard that some teams had disagreements during their presentations while responding to the judges’ questions.

Then it was competition week. We scrambled to make sure we had repair materials and a spare plane in case of contingencies. During our plane’s first flight, it veered to the side instead of going straight. We were quite disappointed but we kept our morale up. In the second round, we chose the bonus points option. That meant we would gain extra points if we hit the target object placed in a scoring zone of our choice. After the plane was launched, I thought it did not hit the target. However, Joshua saw that it did touch the target! I was thrilled!

After the competition week, we were informed that we had won a prize. But, we didn’t know what it was. On the day of the awards ceremony, we received the 3rd place for creativity. We were delighted. But we were not hopeful to receive anything else. Then our group was called. We had won the 1st prize for the championship award! We were taken aback! We could not resist from grinning widely as we walked onto the stage to receive our prize. I was overjoyed! After all, it was our first time taking part in a category in which we had no prior experience. We really enjoyed ourselves this year. After everything was over, we found out that we had won because the judges were impressed by our presentation. Of the three people in the team, one friend and I used to be in Lions for the Lord, another chapter in Singapore. This gave us an advantage against our opponents, helping us to win the competition.

Watch what happened in this video:

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