A Second Chance



(This composition is inspired by abridged news articles on crime from The Straits Times’ NewEd App which Is used at Yen’s Academy to Inspire writing and knowledge of current affairs)

Alex is a fatty!  Alex is a pig!”  All of Alex’s classmates started their sing-song chant as soon as he walked into the classroom.  Fighting back tears, Alex wondered why he was so unlucky.  He was constantly being bullied in school for being chubby, and at home, his father was cruel and mean and insisted that Alex follow in his criminal footsteps. 

When Alex entered Secondary School, he fell in with the wrong crowd.  He was tired of being bullied and decided to become a bully instead.  He started sniffing glue almost daily, and began to gamble with his new-found gangster buddies.  He even consumed drugs such as Ketamine and Erimin 5 to blank out and forget the cares of the world. 

In no time at all, Alex was playing truant almost every day and learnt all there was to learn about crime.  Shortly after, he dropped out of school and indulged in a life of crime.

Alex was feeling confident of his latest mission – to rob the Singapore National Bank.  He was cleverly disguised as a smartly-dressed security guard.  No one suspected that he was actually a criminal mastermind.  What a brilliant disguise!

Unknown to Alex, however, the bank vault was surrounded by state-of-the-art invisible sensors.  With an arrogant smirk on his craggy face, Alex thought smugly to himself, “Ah, I can just waltz into the bank.“ 

PRRRRRRRRRRRRNGGGG!  As soon as Alex had crossed the threshold, he triggered the security alarms.  The incessant shrill ringing of the high-pitched sirens pierced his ears and his heart filled with dread.  He looked up and found himself surrounded by the REAL security guards of the bank. 

Before Alex could blink, he was handcuffed and pushed roughly into the back of a police car.  “This is just a bad dream,” Alex whispered to himself.  He shut his eyes and saw his life flash before him.  When he opened his eyes again, he was behind bars.  Alas, it was not a dream at all. 

Life in prison jolted Alex and he resolved to turn over a new leaf.  He decided to learn some new skills so that he would not return to his old life of crime once he was released.  He signed up for some cooking courses and learnt coding in Prison School.  He practised daily and became a Master Chef and an expert coder.  He also spent his free time reading many self-help books and worked hard at becoming a better person.  Although seven years crawled by slowly, finally, the day came when Alex was released.

Alex went back to his father and refused to commit any more crimes. 

“I am walking the straight path now!” he declared proudly. 

“I can’t believe I kidnapped a useless fool like you,” his father grumbled and threw his hands up in disgust.

Alex froze with horror when he heard his father’s kidnapping confession.  Reeling with turmoil, he walked away from his kidnapper and set out to track down his real family. 

After months of searching high and low for his family, Alex was ready to give up.  He had left no stone unturned but Lady Luck was not on his side.  Just as he was about to close the chapter on reuniting with his real family, the shrill ringing of the telephone jolted him out of his reverie. 

“Alex!  We’ve found your family!” Sherlock Sam, Singapore’s best detective, announced with a whoop of delight.  Tears of joy ran unchecked down Alex’s ruddy cheeks.  

“Thank you for a second chance,” Alex whispered.  “Thank you.”

Digital Learning at Yens Academy

Digital Learning is reshaping education, and we at Yen’s are integrating technology into our classes to create a FUN and ENGAGING learning experience for all our students. 2020 is going to be an exciting Academic Year as we add NewsEd and Kahoot! to our growing basket of Teaching Tools

Breaking News:

Yen’s Academy is proud to announce that our English Department is officially implementing NewsEd by The Straits Times as a part of its curriculum!

NewsEd is a new award-winning app by the Straits Times that is used by a niche pool of just 22 MOE Primary & Secondary schools and Junior Colleges. Yen’s Academy is proud to be one of a handful of private learning centres to swim with the best.

We can’t wait to dive into news centric learning with our students! Get ready for some BIG FUN splashes!

Our students can look forward to QUIZZES thanks to Kahoot!, Kahoot! is the latest in our treasure of digital tools to make learning FUN for our kids. By using Kahoot!, our English, Math and Science tutors are able to test their students effectively in an EXCITING and COMPETITIVE way!

KooBits is all about engaging the digital kids and that is why Yen’s uses KooBits in our Math classes! It is FUN and interactive and helps our tutors track the progress of our students based on learning objectives. What an innovative way to make Math FUN again!

We have been the first tuition centre to use KooBits in an engaging way regularly for our lessons and homework since 2018 and will continue to blaze ahead, Join us for the interactive Math ride!

Partners and Technology Platforms

3D Printing

About 3D printing

3D printing is the creation of a 3D object from a digital file. Successive layers of a melted material are added according to the digital design until the object is created. Each layer is a thinly sliced horizontal cross section of the final object.

The process starts with 3D modelling. You can start with a free 3D
Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software such as TinkerCAD.
TinkerCAD is browser-based so no installation is needed. After you
have designed a model, you need a slicing software to divide
the design into the many thin layers. There are free 3D slicing
software such as Slic3r and CURA or paid slicers like Simplify3D.
These software output into the G-code file format which 3D printers
understand. There are also free 3D models contributed
by people online, such as Thingiverse. You can download 3D models that
you like and use TinkerCAD to modify them.

You can use different materials for printing. The most common is PLA
or Polylactic Acid, a type of plastic biodegradable
material from renewable sources. Other materials include ABS, PETG,
TPU and composite materials such as carbon fiber.
They come in the form of a thin filament wound on a spool.

Things to note about 3D printing for beginners: 

• An entry level 3D printer is around S$200 and some industrial ones can cost tens or even hundreds of thousand dollars. Some come already assembled but many entry level ones require self-assembly and it takes some skill and practice to do so.

• The cost of 3D filaments depend on the type of materials. A kilogram of PLA generally cost around S$25. A small 3D-printed object uses less than $1 of the filament. Hence, 3D printing is very affordable.

• The surface area and the maximum reachable height will determine
the size of the 3D object you can print. For larger objects, you can design them to be printed in parts to be combined together by other means.

• There are many ways a 3D print can fail. Sometimes the print surface is not levelled, resulting in prints becoming warped. There could be errors in the design or splicing process. Some designs are not possible to be printed especially as one layer has to be printed over another and if the bottom layer is not structured strongly enough to support the new layer, the print cannot be done. Once a print
fails midway, the whole print usually has to be stopped and discarded.

• 3D printing technology today is quite slow, mainly because the process requires materials to be melted and then printed layer by layer, being cooled as materials are ejected out to form the desired design. Printing a 12 cm-tall 3D dog can take around 15 hours. So one needs patience in 3D printing.

• Most basic printers only allow one filament to be loaded, so the
print will be in a single colour. It is possible to design such that the print will pause at a certain stage and one can manually change the filament to print a different colour. It does take patience to be there to physically change the filament.

Written by Harel Yee. Harel started 3D printing as a hobby after his
A-levels and has since designed, printed and sold over a thousand 3D prints in one year. He has also assembled and sold 10 printers.

Beautiful number patterns

Today is India’s National Mathematics Day, in honour of the great Indian Mathematician, Srinivasa Ramanujam (1887-1920) on his birthdate.

Ramanujam did not receive formal training in pure Math but he sought out beautiful patterns in Math. He lived in colonial India, son of a clerk and housewife. He eventually got invited to Cambridge university where he amazed the world with his many unconventional and original ideas. He lived only a short life, dying of illness at 32 years old but he made substantial contributions to many fields in Math including solving problems previously considered unsolvable. His life was made into the movie, “The man who knew infinity”, an inspiring show of a man’s quest to uncover the beauty of nature through Math. Here are some patterns by Ramanujam. Can you find other interesting number patterns?

1 x 8 + 1 = 9

12 x 8 + 2 = 98

123 x 8 + 3 = 987

1234 x 8 + 4 = 9876

12345 x 8 + 5 = 98765

123456 x 8 + 6 = 987654

1234567 x 8 + 7 = 9876543

12345678 x 8 + 8 = 98765432

123456789 x 8 + 9 = 987654321

1 x 9 + 2 = 11

12 x 9 + 3 = 111

123 x 9 + 4 = 1111

1234 x 9 + 5 = 11111

12345 x 9 + 6 = 111111

123456 x 9 + 7 = 1111111

1234567 x 9 + 8 = 11111111

12345678 x 9 + 9 = 111111111

123456789 x 9 +10= 1111111111

9 x 9 + 7 = 88

98 x 9 + 6 = 888

987 x 9 + 5 = 8888

9876 x 9 + 4 = 88888

98765 x 9 + 3 = 888888

987654 x 9 + 2 = 8888888

9876543 x 9 + 1 = 88888888

98765432 x 9 + 0 = 888888888

And look at this symmetry :

1 x 1 = 1

11 x 11 = 121

111 x 111 = 12321

1111 x 1111 = 1234321

11111 x 11111 = 123454321

111111 x 111111 = 12345654321

1111111 x 1111111 = 1234567654321

11111111 x 11111111 = 123456787654321

111111111 x 111111111 = 12345678987654321

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