National Junior College Floating Classroom Experience

On January 31st, 2023, Singapore

22 National Junior College Year 5 students had a remarkable experience at Raffles Marina on board the M/Y Star of the Sea which was transformed into a floating classroom for the day. Researchers from the Tropical Marine Science Institute of the National University of Singapore facilitated the sessions on Coral Conservation.

Coral conservation is an important topic in Singapore which has rich marine biodiversity but is not necessarily widely known. The students were informed of the various coral types in Singapore, enhancing their appreciation for the country's biodiversity. Whilst the facilitators' stories about coral conservation and diving experiences served to broaden the students' career aspirations. Some were inspired to consider marine biology as they reflected that their current field of study may not be the determinant of their future careers and that the environmental field offers numerous opportunities.

Coral populations in Singapore are declining due to climate change and human activities, such as land reclamation. To combat this, the students heard that coral restoration projects have been launched, including moving corals to protected areas and using structures to encourage coral growth.

During the session, the group engaged in interactive activities, including handling specimens of coral fossils. This hands-on experience enhanced their comprehension of the various types of corals present in the ocean. Moreover, the facilitators assigned them a task to position the corals correctly on pre-cast concrete, enabling them to appreciate the difficulties involved in relocating corals in actual situations. Additionally, the participants were educated on the method of collecting plankton in the sea using a specialized net and observed a diverse array of plankton under a microscope.

After refreshments prepared by Raffles Marina, the students had a tour of the yacht, where they discovered how challenging it was to drive a boat, especially at night or in choppy waters. The Captain shared how he must stay vigilant to ensure the yacht does not collide with anything.

Overall, the floating classroom experience provided the students of National Junior College with an unforgettable experience that deepened their understanding of coral conservation, Singapore's biodiversity, and the environment field's vast opportunities.

Expedition Gallery:

Partner sites:

National Junior College:
Raffles Marina:
Tropical Marine Science Institute: Home Page - TMSI (

For more information contact:
Gail Tay, Director of Operations & Programmes
International SeaKeepers Society, Asia
[email protected]