Dr. Hongfang Lu (right) and Mr. Sin Kim Ho (Divisional Director, Curriculum Planning and Development, MOE) at the 25th Youth Science Conference.

Congratulations to Dr. Hongfang Lu on winning the Outstanding Mentor Award from the Ministry of Education’s (MOE’s) Science Mentorship Programme (SMP).

SMP is organized by MOE’s Gifted Education Branch in partnership with various research institutions, including NBL’s Youth Research Program (YRP@NBL). It aims to expose students to scientific research and lay a solid foundation for those who may be interested in pursuing this field in tertiary institutions. By offering research attachments at its partner institutions and schools, SMP hopes to develop students’ interest and talent in scientific research, and provide them with opportunities to deepen their knowledge in a particular area and learn about the latest research developments.

SMP Outstanding Mentor Award winners are nominated by their mentees for making a positive impact on their learning. “Dr. Lu did not spoon-feed us. Rather, she gave us opportunities to explore and think critically, and asked us questions to make sure we understand the concepts correctly, ” said Tham Yun Xin, an SMP participant from Raffles Girls’ School (RGS) who was attached to Dr. Lu from March to September this year. Another SMP participant from RGS, Chow Jean Yun, appreciated Dr. Lu’s patience and attention to detail during their internship.

Ms. Noreena AbuBakar, NBL Director and Chair of YRP@NBL shared, “Hongfang is an excellent researcher who is passionate about training young talents. Over the past 10 years, she has mentored 27 secondary and tertiary students. She truly deserves this recognition and we are very proud of her for winning this award.”

Dr. Lu received her award at the 25th Youth Science Conference on September 21 from Mr. Sin Kim Ho, MOE Divisional Director for Curriculum Planning and Development.

YRP@NBL continues the mission of YRP that was initiated by Ms. Noreena in October 2003 at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) to nurture future generations of researchers and technopreneurs. Since April 2018, YRP has been run by NBL and its outreach activities include career talks, open houses, workshops and research attachments for students and teachers from secondary to tertiary levels. As of September 30, 2019, over 120,280 students and teachers from 291 schools have participated in YRP, including over 2,910 students and teachers who completed research attachments of at least four weeks at IBN and NBL. Since 2017, YRP has organized the annual Symposium on Science series with support from MOE to inspire science teachers to transform their teaching by featuring the latest research advancements in their fields and how these could relate to the GCE ‘A’ Level science curriculum. This year, the third symposium, which focuses on Physics, will be held on November 1 at Biopolis.