Native wildlife and next odds: This teacher rescues animals and upcycles waste

Mathematics trainer Kuah Ee Qiang’s childhood really like for wildlife documentaries now displays in his eco-aware technique to instructing, generating bowls from outdated newspapers, and rescuing the world’s most trafficked mammal — the Sunda pangolin.
By Sabrina Lee

You would count on this a lot more from an art trainer than a Arithmetic just one, but Mr Kuah Ee Qiang likes turning newspapers into bowls. And espresso sachets into baskets. The surprises really do not finish there. The Maths instructor is also an eco-warrior and animal advocate. 

How did this Maths teacher at CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ University establish these types of a enthusiasm for nature?

“When I was about 10 yrs outdated, my grandfather and I would invest hours watching animal documentaries together,” claims Mr Kuah, who shares how he began to recognize that in order to guard and protect animals, he experienced to first just take care of the surroundings. “My finest aspiration is to see a world in which humans and animals can coexist in harmony.”

A person of aware consumption, Mr Kuah is not taken in by the alluring strategies of on-line vendors who supply time-confined income to tempt shoppers into getting more than they will need. Instead, he asks himself regardless of whether he really requires the merchandise just before producing a order. 
Mr Kuah also employs inventive methods to upcycle items that would otherwise be thrown absent. For things that can’t be refused (declaring ‘no’ to totally free things that gets to be instant waste), decreased or reused, he turns to recycling, depositing them into the blue recycling bins found in his HDB estate.

To dispose of e-waste and textiles, he can make his way to Metropolis Square Mall, where the ALBA E-Waste 3-in-1 Bin and Greensquare Textile Recycling bin offer sustainable answers.

These initiatives are just the tip of the iceberg for the routines he engages in as portion of his passion for the ecosystem.

Turning trash into finding out alternatives via his CCA

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From headlines to attractive containers for miscellaneous things: Pupils learn how to turn previous newspapers into bowls with Mr Kuah’s upcycling tutorials on YouTube.

As the teacher-in-cost of the school’s Environmentally friendly Club Co-Curricular Exercise (CCA), Mr Kuah guides his college students in the art of upcycling, a notion that was to start with launched to him by a fellow instructor. “I experienced no idea what it was at the time,” he recollects, “But just after trying to make my initial upcycle item making use of newspaper, I was hooked.” When asked about his most cherished generation, he proudly cites the initially upcycled item he designed — his newspaper bowl.

The method of making a newspaper bowl consists of rolling newspapers into skinny sticks, which are then joined and flattened to form a circle right before staying pushed out to consider the shape of a bowl. To guarantee its toughness, a layer of white glue is used as the closing move in the course of action. 

Mr Kuah started off chronicling his upcycling techniques on video clip in the aftermath of the 2nd lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic in June of 2021. He proceeded to set up his possess channel on YouTube and uploaded his movies showcasing his creations.

His tutorial videos meticulously element each and every action of the transformative procedure. His most preferred movie — a basket fashioned out of utilised beverage cartons — has gained an outstanding 16,000 sights.  

When CCAs were being shifted on line, pupils have been in a position to peruse and decide their most popular upcycling tutorial. “It grew to become ever more tough for me to teach my Environmentally friendly Club college students about upcycling, so the videos served a ton.”
The allure of Mr Kuah’s upcycling follow caught on as numerous of his Inexperienced Club learners have embraced it as a private pastime. “They share their creations with me, and I check out to refine their subsequent endeavours with constructive suggestions,” he divulges, having accrued a specific evaluate of proficiency in his craft.

Spreading the zeal to tackle climate alter

In accordance to him, the college students look to uncover his zeal for environmentalism fairly endearing, remarking with amusement that they understand him to be this “offbeat” pedagogue who are not able to stop harping on about conserving the planet.

There are the news updates and stories he shares regularly on the state of the planet’s climate with his pupils, all the even though spurring them to adopt much more ecologically sustainable behaviours.
These discussions on how environmental problems are inexorably intertwined with a variety of fields of review will create analytical skills in them, he feels.

“Students will get a improved viewpoint of serious-earth difficulties and examine the problems and worries that 1 will experience fixing this sort of troubles.” It is also his hope that as a result of this wider lens, his pupils will come to be empathetic in direction of some others who reside in distinctive components of the globe who are suffering thanks to the consequences of local weather adjust. 

Instructor by day, animal rescuer by heart

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Mr Kuah lends a encouraging hand (with gloves, of training course) to furry friends like this colugo.

Through the weekends and faculty holiday seasons, Mr Kuah metamorphoses into a veritable hero of a distinct stripe: that of an animal rescuer. 

10 a long time ago, when a colleague prolonged an invitation to volunteer with the Animal Issues Study and Education Culture (ACRES), Mr Kuah acknowledged gladly, and they attended the wildlife rescue teaching programme with each other. “Initially, I was hesitant about handling animals, fearful of creating harm for the duration of the rescue method. Nevertheless, as time went by, my expertise grew,” he suggests. Mr Kuah has due to the fact rescued different animals, such as birds, reptiles, and mammals like the crested goshawk, noticed wooden owl, paradise tree snake, reticulated python, civet, and colugo. 

But his most unforgettable rescue was a Sunda pangolin, the most trafficked mammal in the earth because of to large demand for their scales and claws in common medication. 

“I acquired the call for the duration of the day, which is rare contemplating pangolins are shy, elusive and nocturnal creatures,” he describes. “I suspect it was strolling all over, ventured into a smaller drain, and acquired trapped,” claims Mr Kuah.

His rescue initiatives do not stop just after his change with ACRES finishes. He has rescued a couple of bats inside of college grounds these earlier several years. “When bats accidentally land on the ground they do not have the toughness to fly off like birds do,” he shares, “So they need extra assist to place them on the bark of a tree so that they can fly off at evening.” 

What about a bug in the classroom? First, Mr Kuah addresses his ears right until the learners halt screaming, he then carefully picks up the insect and releases it exterior. If he comes about to know the species, he will share pleasurable info about it with his learners. 

Foreseeable future options to protected a sustainable long term

Mr Kuah hopes to just take his pupils on an abroad subject excursion to Sweden a person working day – not for Maths but for the sustainability lead to. “The region invests heavily on the utilization of reusable strength this kind of as wind, bioenergy, photo voltaic, hydropower and several more,” he states. 

Back again on household turf, he is searching to organise an yearly upcycling competitors so that all faculties in Singapore will have the chance to find out extra about upcycling. To get the ball rolling, he intends to share his upcycling videos with as lots of schools as possible so that the students can profit from it. 

“As Singapore evolves into a ‘City in Nature’, a critical part of the 2030 Green Plan, I feel that every person can do their portion to assure that this vision will become a actuality.”

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