Sunday, May 1, 2011

My Learning Journey ( Regarding Science and Ecological Concept )

As far as I remember, my very own first ecological concept that I encountered was from a nursery rhyme that I always kept singing it. The song entitled ‘Bangau oh Bangau. Actually, the concept of this song mainly is about food chain where it all started when why does the egret (bangau) is so thin. This is because of it did not gets its’ fish. Then, the fish said that the grass is so long that it cannot be at the surface as the buffalo does not eat the grass. The buffalo then says that it has stomachache due to eating raw rice. The rice continues the rhyme saying that the fire does not lit due to the wood is wet. The flow goes on with wood blaming the rain. Eventually, the chain ends when the snake tells us that the frog who call upon the rain, is its food. Although, the rhyme does not so directly focusing on a food chain, but somehow, when I was little I could imagine that there are relationships among the characters involved. Other than that, I also enjoyed watching Captain Planet and the Planeteers which was on air on TV2 if I am not mistaken. It was an environmentally animated series.I find it was interesting with its characters like Captain Planet which always saves the Earth from destruction done by Eco-Villains and Captain Pollution. Captain Planet is supported by a group of teenagers which are the chosen Planeteers. Somehow, though I was so small at that time I could understand the bad effects of pollution and damages to Earth will affects the whole living matters.
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Then, my learning journey continues to the next level. When I was in my primary years in SK Convent Butterworth especially during year Four, Five and Six, I really love Science subject a lot as during that time, the subject only be taught starting standard four. I enjoyed studying life matters as I was very keen to be a doctor that time which I never thought to be more challenging that I could barely imagine during my childhood. Because of my love towards Science, I had involved many activities that my Science teacher organized though some of my fellow friends did not show any interest to it. My understanding on food chain’s concept begins to develop when I was initially being introduced with that term during those years in primary school. My teacher proposed the song back, and I was able to recalled and relate the song which I used to sang before with new understanding about food chain. A part from that, I still remember when there was an event where ‘’Eco Friends’’ mascots which I am unable to memorize their names, came to our school to promote Environmental and Earth’s Day. A part from being excited to meet those fancy mascots, they gave us a talk on our natural ecosystem that had been disturbed by vigorous human activities. The consequences when one part of the ecosystem been destroyed or harmed would eventually affect the whole ecosystem. For instance, the excessive poaching tigers for their skins as such, may reduce the quantity of it and hence, brought impacts toward the food cycle.

Our field trip to Cameron Highlands
Then, as I continued my secondary level studies in SMS Tun Syed Sheh Shahabudin , I began to open my mind towards the surrounding and alert with environmental issues. During lower forms, food chain concept that I achieved previously had widen to food web where many food chains correlates in a huge relationship until reach to humans which is usually on top of the ranking as humans are the fittest organism. Then, further to upper forms, I started to understand the flows f energy and its cycles in every food chain. The energy circulates and cycles around us. Other than that, I also had been introduced with terms like niche, ecosystem, interaction and much more. During my secondary years that I managed to harvest inputs and basic knowledge regarding ecology especially during Biology subject.

Our Biology Lab Session
The journey goes on as I further to Perlis Matriculation College. To be honest, during secondary years the loves towards Biology especially in upper forms begins to reduce as I rarely understand with my teacher’s teaching. But, things get different as I stepped into my Biology’s lecture where my lecturer really taught us Biology in a fun and humorous way. For ecology chapter, my lecturer did stressed on it compare during secondary years. From here, I now knew about biomes, first and second thermodynamic law, tropic structures and so on.

Biodiversity's Symposium
I further my higher studies here in UPSI. But, it does not means that my learning journey ends here. Instead, the journey is just newly begun as I entered my ecological class. Base on my prior knowledge during years behind, I began to diverge my thoughts and views. I now, understand that there are many subs under ecology for instance like quantitative ecology, population ecology, as well as behavioral ecology. Together with my fellow team mates, we proposed and started a mini project about water quality. A part from that, me and my classmates as well had field trips and formed realistic investigation on behaviors as well as population ecology. Other than that, I also understand there many sampling methods can be done other than just quadrat which I had never did it before as my teachers and lecturers before just thought us theoretically , we did not have chances to performed it. On top of that as well, the na├»ve understanding of food chain from ‘Bangau oh Bangau’ develops at its most. In a food chain, there are preys and predators, decomposers, first, second consumers and so on, producer, as well as energy flows. From a food chain, combines with others will form food web where there are many relationships and correlations in a community.

Overall, I actually did not realize that ecology in me had started long before I studied it. From little, we had been exposed with its concept without noticing it correlates with what we are focusing and studying now. In a nutshell, I hope my learning journey does not stops here, instead develops more and more as learning is a continues study throughout our life time.

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