The National Science Experiment (NSE) is an island-wide outdoor science experiment carried out by Singapore students. Themed “Step Out for Science”, students get to track their carbon footprint, travel mobility patterns, amount of time they spend indoors and outdoors, and more.

The experiment involves Singapore students carrying a specially designed sensor, named the SENSG, to collect data on their daily travel as well as data from the environment. This data is transferred wirelessly to a central online portal from which these students (and their teachers) can log in to view the results, including the aggregated data of students from all over Singapore who are taking part.

Through this experiment, students learn about the Internet of Things and Big Data as the portal will provide the knowledge and tools to teach them to read and analyse the information, create graphs, interpret visualisations, and compare trends. Teachers will also be able to leverage the data to develop interesting physics lessons and teach concepts such as humidity, linear kinematics and pendulum motion through hypotheses testing and hands-on experiments.

The NSE is organised by the National Research Foundation Singapore, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Singapore University of Technology and Design, Science Centre Singapore, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore Land Authority and OneMap Singapore, to excite young Singaporeans in science and technology.

Technology sponsors of NSE include A*STAR’s Institute of High Performance Computing, the Government Technology Agency of Singapore, Wireless@SG, NVIDIA, SAP, Dassault Systèmes, Skyhook and National Supercomputing Centre Singapore. The logistics sponsor of NSE is Singapore Post.

About NSE Big Data Challenge 2017

NSE Big Data Challenge 2017 is themed Sustainable Urban Living. Each team gets to design their own experiment, and study their impact on the world around us and how to live sustainably.  They will look into one of five sub-themes: physical comfort, mobility, neighbourhoods, health & well-being, and arts, culture & heritage. Data will be collected and analysed using the SENSg device, and teams will draw conclusions that can aid in public policy in Singapore. Mentors will also be available to guide teams from JCs, polytechnics and ITEs.

About NSE 2016

The theme for NSE 2016 is “Step Up for Science”.  Challenges for NSE 2016 relate to students’ daily step count and number of stairs climbed, time spent indoors and outdoors, travel mode (commuting via walking, cycling, riding in a bus or train, or travelling in a car) and Geo-mood tagging. Close to 20,000 students from Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and polytechnics will also participate in the experiment for the first time.

Highlights of NSE 2016 include the NSE Big Data Challenge where students come up with innovative applications of data collected during their experiments, and the Geo-mood tagging feature which will allow students to associate places with their well-being at a particular time.

About NSE 2015

NSE’s theme for 2015 is “Step Out for Science” and the challenges for students will relate to their daily step count, amount of time they spend outdoors, as well as their travel carbon footprint over two to three days.

The whole project for 2015 will take place from September to November, and it aims to reach out to over 250,000 young Singaporean students. At the end of the experiment, a series of data visualisations will be produced for exhibition at Science Centre’s newly re-opened digital planetarium. This exhibition will showcase how each student’s individual efforts contribute towards a national map of our youths’ travel patterns and Singapore’s urban outdoor environment.