A Turning Point
A melting pot of Asian and European culture, a land of scientific growth and opportunity, and a place grown rich with custom and tradition, Singapore is a country unlike any other. Traveling to Singapore for the Second APEC Youth Science Festival, I encountered an environment where people of different backgrounds come together, a fusion of ideas and insight, and a piece of artwork painted rich with the colors of each individual culture. Upon my return to the United States, I brought with me an enhanced cultural awareness, a greater understanding of the international scientific community, a wealth of knowledge, as well as numerous life-long friendships.
During the festival, the students divided into smaller, diverse groups where we researched individual topics and prepared for a Youth Science Summit where we would present our research. While preparing for the Summit, I became aware of the importance of international cooperation and collaboration in the field of scientific research. Each individual student in my group had unique ideas to contribute to our project on new-age diseases. Despite a substantial language barrier, our group was able to come up with three insightful recommendations to combat new-age diseases. From each student, I learned a great deal about foreign educational programs. I was surprised to learn that in many Asian cultures a three-day exam alone determines which university you will attend as well as the next four or five years of your life. During the science and technology lectures, I was again reminded of the great importance of international cooperation. It seems silly not to collaborate with foreign scientists when someone may be researching the exact same study. A great example of a study that continues to require immense worldwide cooperation is the human genome project.
Without Cooperations such as APEC, the organization of international scientific and engineering research would be nearly impossible. By creating a youth science festival, APEC has increased youths' awareness of scientific cooperation today and ensured scientific growth for the future. This festival has opened my eyes to the immense worldwide web of people and ideas known as the field of science. It has also made me aware of my desire to pursue an international science career that allows me to...