20 June 2014 – An exhibition was held where students from Foundation in Science (FiS) Semesters 1 and 2 gathered to present their Cross Boundary Studies projects. Cross Boundary Studies is an interesting project-based subject taught in Semester 1 and 2 of the FiS programme in International Medical University (IMU). Even though the projects for the two semesters were different, the process of thinking, analysing and learning were not missed.
Semester 1 students were placed in groups of 6 with a total of 18 groups, where they identified problems and possible solutions to the topic area that they chose. Examples of topics chosen are design, health and hygiene, school culture, environmentalism, resource management, use of classrooms and public spaces and occupational safety within IMU. They were given around three days to brainstorm ideas and solutions, the next full day to plan and organise their poster presentation, and the last day of the week, Friday to present their projects at IMU Driveway. Commenting on process of the project, FiS student, Liau Kah Sin said, “In the Cross Boundary Week, I have improved my communication skill. We learn how to converge and diverge ideas whih was a great experience. We even get to know each other more through Cross Boundary Studies.”
Another student, Shamir Das mentioned:This subject provided us with the opportunity to interact with the seniors, other lecturers and for the lucky few, our Dean himself. I personally feel that each one of us have successfully integrated our lifestyle in accordance with the Campus’ rules and guidelines. Whenever anyone says Cross Boundary Studies, we will reflect on the bonds of different frequencies that were developed and fond and precious memories of the best week in our Semester.
For Semester 2 students, under IMU Cares, they were required to identify problems and brainstorm ideas and solution for two orphanages – Kanak-Kanak Sayang (KKS) and Pusat Penjagaan Kanak-Kanak Cacat Taman Megah (PPKKCTM). To identify problems, visit to the homes is a must. Visits were arranged to both the homes on 27 May and 3 June. During the visits, students spent around two hours at each home, talking to the person-in-charge of the homes, interviewing them on the needs of the homes and later on discussed among their group mates on problems identified. Later, they met the kids and had some lovely bonding time with them. One of the kid, nicknamed “Nightingale” even sang for them. After the visit, working in groups, students tried their best to identify appropriate solutions to the problem observed. Some focused on improving the facilities of the homes, while some looking at the well-being of the kids at the homes. As an English proverb said “many hands make light work”, some groups decided to work together to organise a food bazaar to raise funds and another few groups decided on having a charity movie screening. Varieties of food are served during the food bazaar, for example fried mushroom, smoothies, cupcake, burger, curry noodle, cheesesticks, etc. A student, Kesshmita Paranjothi said, “As we were put in groups, it was very important that we worked well with one another in order to complete the tasks given. We learned how to accept the different opinions of other members. Also, I believe we were given the opportunity to enhance our leadership skills during the bazaar.” With more than RM3,000 collected in total, students then purchased some electrical appliances and necessary items for the homes. Several ceiling fans, water heater, milk bottles, microwave oven, catridge ink, vacuum cleaner, bookshelf, playing mat were among the items added to the homes. Happy faces (especially of FiS students and the kids of the homes) were seen when the gifts were received by the homes.
Students presented their findings during the poster exhibition.
One of the students, Sharon Chong mentioned: In the space of that week, students were in the heights of glory and euphoria as well as in the depths of despair and fatigue. The invaluable contributions from the programme have instilled in us a more caring and responsible outlook. We learnt discipline, self-reliance, communication skills and positive thinking.
All in all, the students had an enjoyable and fruitful time learning to work as a team, trying to solve ‘problems’. This is a wonderful experience that the students will carry with them throughout their lives.