our space
From: Jolin Wang, Pri 6, Elias Park Primary
After reading "Holocaust survivor is world's oldest man" (April 2016), I thought Mr. Kristal is so amazing because he survived both world wars and the Holocaust. He experienced a lot of pain and suffering when he moved into the ghetto, a place I only hear about in history books, but not from a person who actually lived there. He lost his family members but he is still carrying on. I think he is a very extraordinary person.
Send a letter
From: Victoria Lim, Pr 5, Tao Nan School
"Holocaust survivor is world's oldest man" (April 2016), I was so amazed that Mr. Yisreal Kristal lived through two world wars and was 112 years and 178 days old before he died. That's a long life! He was born into a Jewish family in 1903. However, he was separated from his parents in World War 1. Although many Jews were tortured and killed in World War Two, he was alive but made to carry out hard labour. After the war ended, he was found starved and sickly. He believed that although he had lost many things, he should look on the bright side and rebuild what was lost. I am very inspired by him. There are definitely ups and downs in life and when we feel as if everything is lost, we should rebuild what is lost instead of simply moaning about how terrible our situation is now.
From: Jeremy Hew, Pri 6, Tao Nan School
Technology is really fascinating and important. No country can operate well without technology as technology is required for daily activities. The lights, fans and air-conditioning that we use every day are examples of technology. Many forms of transport also make use technology to function. We may not realize it, but a person who lives in a city is very dependent on technology. Technology is advancing at a quick pace, but some of the elderly are unable to keep up. Unfortunately, gadgets with better technology are more expensive nowadays. That means that lesser people are able to afford it. Engineers should find ways to make the high tech gadgets efficient and yet affordable.
From: Joel Chew Keng Hian, Pri 6, Teck Ghee Primary
With reference to "Computer Beats Go Champion" (April 2016), I think it is amazing that a computer programme can beat a champion at Go. This brings technology closer to the technology in the future. An AI, otherwise known as artificial intelligence, is actually a supercomputer that is similar to human being. Go is a territorial game in which you have to gain territory without losing any of your own stones. There are literally millions of moves that can be played in a single game. So, to build a piece of technology that can win such a game, you would have to admit that it is not an easy feat. However, prior to the fact that Mr Lee won one game, the supercomputer is not close to human. In fact, supercomputers will never be human. True, they might be like us in certain ways, but there will always be differences. For example, supercomputers cannot fell feelings and do things completely independently. We will still need to be around to monitor them so they will never replace humans. Still, with more advancements in technology, we will have more help in future.
From: Sheryl Ng, Pri 5, Tao Nan School
What season do you like the most? To me, I enjoy winter. Snow! This is why I love winter. I seldom feel cold in winter and I even perspire when it is snowing at times as I remain energetic and active! I enjoy watching winter sports on television. Years ago, I watched the Winter Olympics for the first time and fell in love with figure skating, skiing and snowboarding. Twisting and fidgeting in my seat, I asked my parents so many questions while soaking in the excitement watching them on television, till they jokingly commented that I should represent Singapore in the Olympics one day. But alas, I know it is highly unlikely that any Singaporean can ever represent or win any medals at the Winter Olympics as we lack the natural, snowy environment for our athletes to be properly trained in. There may be a snow city, and several skating rinks around the island, but the venues are certainly too small for competitive training to be carried out professionally.

However deep in my heart, I will not make any selfish wish for Singapore to start snowing one day. For I fear, that if that day really comes, it will mean that global warming has reached a horrible level, upsetting the earth’s natural ecosystem and rhythm. I hope our tropical island stays safe and sunny but not scorching. I will instead do my best in my studies, so that perhaps come one day, I can further my studies in a country with four seasons, allowing myself to enjoy the occasional winter snow but still be a proud Singaporean who calls Singapore my home!
From: Dylan Kam, Pri 5, Tao Nan School
A smile is like a rainbow,
it's like a door,
to the freedom within us,
it digs deep into our core.

A smile is like a rainbow,
it especially shows,
the happiness in us,
there is no fuss.
It spreads around to everyone,
it let us have fun .

A smile is like a rainbow,
so faint, so fragile.
But its impact is so strong,
it lasts for so long.

A smile is like a rainbow,
You should do it now.
And what I want to say,
is that you might make someone's day.
From: Cayden Chong, Pri 4, Woodlands Primary
With reference to the article "Meet the megadino"(April 2016), it is mind blowing how big the titanosaur dinosaur is, measuring up to 20 metres in height and 40 metres long and weighing 77,000 kilograms! After reading this article, I am now much more interested in dinosaurs and find dinosaurs fascinating. The weight of the Titanosaur is 15 times African Elephants which are the largest and heaviest land animal on the earth! I would like to thank those fossil finders out there for finding these extremely rare fossils.
From: Wenni Liau Wen Sin, Pri 6, Teck Ghee Primary
After reading the article "Why thinking you are ugly is bad for you" (April 2016), I found out that people with low body confidence tend to do less physical activity, eat less fruit and vegetables and it is damaging their health. I realised that I have been thinking that I am ugly yet I did not know that it is bad for me. I totally agree that it does not matter how we actually look but the way we think we look. No one defines who we really are but us. We should not let what others think about us affect how we think about ourselves. People should look more positively instead of negatively of themselves. It would be great if everyone looks towards the better and not for the worse. As it is said, "A pretty face is nothing if you have an ugly heart." Thus, I think that everyone should care more about their attitude towards others and not care too much about their appearance. I hope that one day everyone will know the true meaning of beauty.
From: Dai Yi Hua, Pri 5, Woodlands Primary
With the reference for the article,"Why thinking you are ugly is bad for you" (April 2016), I do not think our appearance is important. But there are still some people who think that they must have a nice appearance. Thus, they will go for plastic surgery. Actually, what is the most important is to have kind heart. Teenagers go through a period of time when their body parts change (for example, they start developing pimples). Some friends or classmates may mock and laugh at them. Some teenagers may thus develop depression or lose confidence in themselves. Their studies will also suffer. Thus, we should not laugh at people. We should compliment people for their effort and action, but not their looks.
From: Tan Kai Xin, Pri 5, Tao Nan School
After reading "Zootopia's Secret Message" (April 2016), I feel very amazed that one show can let us learn so many lessons. I think it is more effective to learn lessons through a cartoon like Zootopia than when somebody is trying to teach them in a boring class. The main lesson I learnt is that we must not be racist. For example in the movie, the fox got scolded by the rabbit when he played with the sheep's wool. This teaches us that even though we are different or curious, we should respect one another and not do things that would make them uncomfortable. To sum up, we should not take racial harmony for granted and get to know the culture, habits and tradition of different races. This is especially important in a multi-racial country like Singapore.
From: Zalikha Humaira, Pri 5, Qifa Primary
With reference to the article "Zootopia's secret message" (April 2016), I think that the Zootopia is a wonderful movie. I think everyone of all ages should watch the movie as the movie has multiple messages about friendship, respectfulness, determination and racism. When I watched the movie, I understood the messages immediately as I, myself, have experienced such bullying. The movie taught me about stereotyping, politeness, fear and most importantly, overcoming racism.

Stereotyping is when people classify others by their appearance and personality. An example from the movie is when Judy had an ambition to be the first rabbit police officer. Even her parents did not believe she could do it. Judy then grew up to be the best police officer, proving everyone wrong. This shows how there is a first at everything and how humans should be whatever they want to be. Learning to overcome racism is a very important. Both children and adults should not hurt other people's feelings by insulting their race or religion. My friends do sometimes insult my race so I do get upset. Just like in the movie, other animals were afraid of predators and they kept believing the false information about predators. Overall, I love the movie and I do recommend it for everyone to watch it.
From: Janice Goh Jia Li, Pri 6, Teck Ghee Primary
"Every child should have a caring adult in their lives. And that’s not always a biological parent or family member. It may be a friend or neighbour. Often times it is a teacher." - Joe Manchin
After reading the article "Palestinian teacher wins an award for 'playful' teaching" (April 2016), I agree that Hanan Al Hroub deserved the Global Teacher prize. Her unique method of teaching her pupils to overcome and master their fear or shock of violence is absolutely brilliant. Her brilliant method killed two birds with one stone. Not only did her method taught her pupils to read and write, but also helped her pupils to overcome and master their shock and fear of violence. In my opinion, Hanan Al Hroub is a caring teacher. Her care for her pupils is indeed commendable.

To me, teachers are like my 'second parents' for they nurture us, educate us and teach us good moral values. Teachers may seem like fierce on the outside but they are actually angels in the inside. They scream, scold and shout at us. Some pupils may think that their teachers dislike them, but actually all the things our teachers had done for us are actually for our own good. There is a particular teacher who left a deep impression on me. She taught me for three consecutive years. She might be a bit fierce on the outside but she is very caring. Once, when I was facing some problems, she was the teacher who helped me overcome my troubles. She may not be like Hanan Al Hroub, who created a great impact in the community, but she left a great impact on me.

Hanan Al Hroub is a role model to all teachers. Her care for pupils is one that other teachers should learn from. Teachers should not just focus on their pupils’ studies. They should learn from Hanan Al Hroub and care for their pupils more and understand the plight of their pupils. For us pupils, we should thank teachers for their hard work and care.
From: Deneise Kuah, Pri 4, Methodist Girls'
With reference to the article "Bali's plastic bag warrior" (March 2016), Melati and Isabel, despite their young age, had successfully convinced the government to sign a covenant to create a plastic bag free Bali. I have high admiration of both of them for their determination to preserve and protect the environment. They have proven that being young does not mean we cannot make big differences in the world.

From: Yeo Ze Khai, Pri 4, Nanyang Primary
After reading 'Bali's plastic warriors' (March 2016), I feel that the girls from the news are very brave and courageous to launch a campaign like that. I am surprised by their determination and boldness to step forward and solve a nation's problems. They are trying to the save the very world we are trying to pollute and destroy, I feel that, as kids, we can also help to save the Earth, regardless of our age. I am certain that they will succeed, and we can do our part too, one step at a time.
Wijsen sisters
From: Chong Wei Yan, Pri 6, Pei Tong Primary
After reading the article on "Bali plastic bag warriors" (March 2016), I really admire Melati Wijsen and Isabel Wijsen, two schoolgirls who were brave enough to help persuade the Bali government to ban plastic bags. Usage of plastic bags will eventually cause global warming, so I strongly agree with the two schoolgirls' decision of trying to put a stop to plastic bags in Bali. Almost all the plastic bags in Bali end up as rubbish in the island's drains and rivers, and eventually flow into the ocean where they cause environmental harm. Melati and Isabel even went on a hunger strike until the governor of Bali would agree to meet them to talk about how to stop plastic bags in the island. In my opinion, their perseverance in times of difficulty is a worthy trait that we could emuIate. I am also inspired by what Isabel said, "Us kids, may only be 25 percent of the world's population, but we are 100 percent of the world's future." Although we are kids, we can still make a difference if we have the courage to do so.
From: Hannah Foo Hui Ern, Pri 4, Methodist Girls'
After reading the article "Zika outbreak"(March 2016), I learnt that Zika virus is causing a lot of harm to people, especially there has not been a cure for this virus as yet. I felt sad when I read that newborn babies were being born with their heads much smaller than normal. We ourselves should take precautionary measures to prevent breeding of Aedes mosquitoes. We should also avoid travelling to Zika-infected countries such as North and South America. If we put our hands together, we can prevent Zika virus from doing more harm. I hope scientists can find a cure for this virus soon.
From: Sivanesh s/o Ganesh, Pri 6, Changkat Primary
I have watched "Zootopia" but had just learnt the 'secret' messages in the movies:
  • Racism. The movie deals with racism which I feel should be removed from this world completely. Why does racism exist? We have to learn to live in social harmony regardless of our race language or religion.
  • Stereotypes. We should also not take stereotypes seriously. You are who you are and no one can change the way you do things even if it means not following stereotypes.
  • Politeness. People should be kind to one another and understand and respect one another.
  • Fear. Never fall for people deceiving you to be fearful of someone or something until you hate them. You are the one to make the right decision. Do research even if you have to.
Movie poster
From: Lee En Xian, Pri 6, Pei Tong Primary
After reading "Where it is hard to go back to school" (January 2016), I felt depressed about the students who cannot go to school. They are not as fortunate as us. I could not imagine the pain they are going through. Fortunately, the UNICEF is helping those victims of the bomb attacks by providing them with temporary shelters and helping them in other ways. I really admire these students who persevered to study. I will cherish my opportunity to study.
From: Luo Junxiang, Pri 6, Punggol Primary
Einstein was doubted by his parents and teachers just because he had trouble speaking until he was nine years old. However, he proved them wrong and became one of the greatest scientist in history. He once said "Knowledge is limited while imagination encircles the world." I could not agree more as it is not our ability to remember facts that make us successful, but our ability to imagine and create innovations that inspires the world to keep moving on. It is impossible for us to know everything in the world, there is still much more facts that you may not know. However, with imagination, you can use things that you have learnt to uncover them. I do admit that I may not be very good in science, but since I am young, I can still learn. Many theories are still waiting to be discovered.
From: Tang Xin Chen, Pri 6, Punggol Primary
Einstein is indeed a very clever scientist. He proposed many theories, such as the Special Theory of Relativity and the General Theory of Relativity, which were later proven to be true. Yet, he remained humble. He was also a pacifist, so he did not participate in wars. I like the fact that he likes to stand up for others. Not only was he a hero of science, he was also a hero of good values. I hope you can write more about scientists or about astronomy in the next coming issues.
From: Or Kai Yun Kathryn, Pri 6, Mee Toh School
I think there is something in the article "Growing up with English" (March 2016) that we can learn from. Sunil Asirvatham was passionate in learning English and he picked up better English pronunciation by watching television shows! He also encouraged us to speak proper English all the time. From this article, I realised that English is very important as it is used all over the world. I will pay more attention in English class, try to speak proper English and put more effort in my work.
Mr Asirvatham
From: Ericia Kwok Xiu En, Pri 6, Meridian Primary
I read about the international agencies that gives emergency health care to people in poor and war-torn countries. Volunteers who risk their lives to treat injured people in dangerous places are really doing a noble thing. Dr. Marlene Lee is also a volunteer. She started treating patients and teaching at the National University of Singapore, she still finds time to go on those mission. MSF volunteers even enter the countries affected by deadly ebola virus. Being a volunteer of MSF is a job that is risky. But without them, people will not be given a chance to survive. Thanks you, volunteers!

From: Tristan Mok Song'en, Pri 4, Nanyang Primary
I am writing in response to the article "Doctors without Borders" (February 2016). I am moved by the doctors in the organisation. To be in Doctors Without Borders, you need a lot of courage because you might die while you are on a mission. Most people are afraid to go out of their comfort zones. The doctors without borders also have a good heart and do not just help one religion. They help anyone who needs it the most. When I grow up, I would like to do something just as meaningful to help my community.
From: Lim Yee Fey, Pri 5, Tao Nan School
To me, technology is a world of machines and I find it very hard to understand it. However, some people want to understand technology related stuff. However, I am not as interested in technology. I am interested in how good writers learn how to write well. One reason I want to write well is because I like the feeling I have when I write. It is a mixture of intense happiness and great satisfaction. Another time in which I felt the same feeling is when I am sailing with the wind blowing in my face.
From: Ling Zhi Rong, Pri 6, Changkat Primary
After reading "Why thinking you are ugly is bad for you" (April 2016), I think that what Meaghan Ramsey said is absolutely correct. Some of my friends are a little chubbier than everyone else and they think they are very fat. The looks does not matter, what matters is the heart.
From: Nicole Leong Tong Ning, Pri 6, Changkat Primary
With reference to the article "Smiles from across the miles" (April 2016). I am sure almost everyone has friends, but do they have friends of different race and religion? For me, it is "yes". I love being around people. It just brings me happiness knowing that everyone has a friendly side to them. We should not dislike others who are of a different race or religion. It is wrong to think that way. Races and religion should not affect whom you befriend. I am sure everyone can be friends. I have a lot of friends and all are of different religions. I am really grateful that I have friends whom I can lean on and speak to when I'm feeling down. We may have different personalities, but who cares? We all have fun with each other and that is what matters. We do not have to change to fit in because our friends like us for who we are. Thank you, What's Up, for sharing an article about International Friendship Day. I am definitely going to celebrate this lovely occasion with the people who I cherish the most.
From: Nicole Leong Tong Ning, Pri 6, Changkat Primary
I was reading the article "Not So Random" (March 2016) and what attracted me the most was the picture in the article. I have always wanted to be an architect because I love the thought of designing spaces that will be enjoyed by others. The design of the residential complex that is designed by Ole Scheeren is really something I have never seen before. There are even gardens, swimming pools and other amenities, it is like a few condominiums combined into one. Ole Scheeren is a very creative architect, the complex is really one of a kind. I hope I get to stay there someday.

From: Ignatious Kurian, Pri 4, Woodlands Primary
I was very sad when I heard that humans are poaching animals. Satao, the elephant, was killed by poachers just because they wanted money. Greed has led to the death of many animals. It was a very good thing that the government brought up CITES. Now there will be less poaching. We are losing nature's greatest wonders because of some people who do not care about living things. Let's all do our part to cherish these animals. After all animals have the rights to live on the world as much as we do.
Seized ivory
From: Kellie Tan Huimin, Pri 5, Hougang Primary
After reading "Saving endangered species is a jumbo-sized challenge" (February 2016), I feel that poachers are heartless and greedy. I am very saddened by the fact that the planet will lose some of the iconic and well-known species like the African elephants. The poachers only care about their lucrative and illegal business. There are rules and regulations that poachers violate that should be re-enforced. I hope that the poachers will think twice before they act. They should feel guilty of their actions and be put behind bars.
From: Benjamin Gnoh, Nanyang Primary
When I read the "Saving Endangered Species" (February 2016), I was shocked and sad that all endangered animals were still being poached and culled. I have a passion and interest in all animals. They never fail to fascinate and amaze me with their beautiful colours and variations of species. I am definitely disgusted by the way people treat these magnificent and wonderful creatures. These poachers catch them straight from the wild, locking them up in crammed, filthy cages before slaughtering them for food or selling them to people in the black markets as pets. I feel that the only way to stop the killing of millions of animals all over the world is to stop buying animal related products and pets. You can also help by volunteering in animal sanctuaries and nursing animals back to health before releasing them back into the wild.
From: Zhang Yao Ye, Pri 6, Teck Ghee Primary
After reading the article "Bali's plastic bag warriors" (March 2016), I was surprised that the warriors were just two sisters of our age. I was really impressed by their determination of persuading the Bali government to ban plastic bags. Plastics have brought us a lot of convenience, but, at the same time, they have brought us many troubles. Plastic waste has severely destroyed the ecological balance of the Earth. mammals and birds have died from eating plastic rubbish. It also indirectly caused deaths of human.

Once I thought that the only way to reduce the damage that the plastic waste caused was to improve on the technology of recycling plastics. However, now I know that we can actually reduce on the plastic products used in daily lives. We can bring along our own recyclable bags when we go for shopping in supermarket. We can use our own containers to take away food in the coffee shop. Everyone has responsibility to save the Earth, let us start reducing the use of plastic products today.
Shopping bag
From: Ethan John Lim, Pri 6, Nanyang Primary
I am inspired by your article "Bali's Plastic Bag Warriors" (March 2016). I believe that it is our duty to save the environment and the earth. Every day, tons of plastic bags end up as rubbish, which cause environmental damage. Today, plastic is widely used and have now become a threat to the environment. Plastics contain chemicals. Mammals and sea creatures have died after consuming plastic. When fish ingest chemicals from the plastics, the toxins are passed on to humans. Oil spills pollute ocean, seas and beaches which cause great damage to sea creatures and must be prevented. In Singapore, plastic bags are commonly used in supermarkets and shops. Some supermarkets have been trying to encourage their customers use less plastic bags by giving away free recyclable environmentally friendly bags. This is a step in the right direction. However, many customers still prefer plastic bags.

Apart from plastics, there are other pollutants which harm the environment. Hence, there must be strict measures on pollution control which must be implemented on pollution of the atmospheric pollution. Every day, vehicles emit large amounts of carbon monoxide and soot which pollute the environment. People should be encouraged to use public transport like MRT which does not release these pollutants.

Therefore, it is necessary to spread the message and educate the public. The Gardens by the Bay in Singapore is an excellent example. The Super trees in the Gardens harness energy from the sun through the use of solar panels to air-condition and light up. The Gardens also has an interesting program to educate visitors of the need to save the environment. Thus, authorities should organize campaigns to convince people to change their habits. There should be more programs to raise the awareness of the importance of saving the environment. We should learn from the young Bali's warriors and do our part. For example, we should make conscious efforts to switch off lighting and air-conditioners when we leave the room. Every bit counts and when added up, make a significant contribution. We should save the environment to ensure that future generations will have an environmentally friendly world to live in.
Seized ivory
From: Lee Jia Claire, Pri 6, Nanyang Primary
After reading the article "When others want to get out, these doctors go in" (February 2016), I too salute these kind-hearted doctors. Some people want to be doctors because of the high pay they get, but I am happy that many just want to help humankind even though if it means risking their own lives. Thank you What's Up for letting students know about the efforts of charitable organisations like "Doctors without Borders".