River turns into classroom for lessons on waterways

A new initiative from the PUB will help kids learn about waterways at Singapore's first "River Classroom".

At Sungei Ulu Pandan in Clementi, students can discover how the river is filtered by plants that get rid of pollutants while absorbing nutrients in the water.

It boasts a community deck that gets youngsters closer to the water safely, and a 600m path where they can observe a new sedimentation basin, floating wetland, and a channel planted with vegetation that removes large pieces of sediment.

The project will be opened officially this Sunday.

It is part of the PUB's ABC Waters programme, started in 2006, which aims to provide "active, beautiful and clean" waterways.

PUB engineer Mak Ming Foong said it will "allow people to get closer to the water".

She added: "Before we decided on the location, we studied the entire waterway together with the surroundings to understand the site characteristics, the user's pattern and if there is potential for educational value."

Students from Queensway Secondary will perform weekly patrols in the area and conduct biodiversity audit checks.

The School of Science and Technology (SST) has been holding its own lessons in the area since January. "This programme forces everyone to get out and do a project," said SST science research teacher Tan Hoe Teck.

The nearby Van Kleef Centre, which carries out research into freshwater management, also plans to arrange public walkabouts to highlight the unique features of the ABC learning trail.

Mr Jun-ichi Inada, managing director of landscape consultants Win International, helped design the area. He said: "Teachers use outdoor classrooms as part of the educational programme to make children understand."

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