Secondary School Students Develop STEM Solutions for the East in Inaugural Schools Challenge Singapore

28 Jan 2019

Global non-profit organization Junior Achievement (JA), in collaboration with the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and leading global financial services firm J.P. Morgan, today launched the Schools Challenge Singapore – a program that empowers secondary school students with science, technology, engineering and mathematical (STEM) skills as they develop innovative solutions for real problems faced by the eastern community in Singapore.

Students from Ping Yi Secondary School brainstorming ideas alongside mentors from J.P. Morgan and SUTD at the J.P. Morgan Schools Challenge Singapore launch at Our Tampines Hub, January 26, 2019

Over the next four months, 100 lower secondary school students (aged 13-14) from five local schools in Tampines, Pasir Ris and Bedok will be working in teams of four to take on the challenge of improving the quality of living in the East using the STEM principles learned from the classroom and workshops throughout the program. Students will be paired with mentors from SUTD and J.P. Morgan who will support them through the sessions. The students will present their solutions to a panel of judges in May.

“The Schools Challenge Singapore is a STEM-focused social innovation program designed to provide secondary students early exposure to career opportunities in STEM-related sectors by engaging them in a learning journey. The program aims to empower young people with innovative, problem-solving, and techno-preneurial mindsets via a unique design innovation experience,” said Ng Hau Yee, Executive Director of JA Singapore.

As Singapore moves towards becoming a Smart Nation, demand for STEM graduates is growing. A recent study by the International Labour Organization reported that about 40 percent of Singapore companies cite lack of highly-skilled STEM workers as one of the biggest threats facing their company up to 2025.

(left to right) Mr Michael See Chern Siong, Teacher, Ministry of Education Singapore (Smart Nation & Digital Government Office); Mr Lawrence Pak Yew Hock, Director, Construction Productivity and Mechanical & Electrical Department, Building Quality Group, HDB; Mr Raymond Wong, Treasurer, JA Singapore; Ms Julienne Loh, Vice Chairman, JA Singapore; Professor Kristin L. Wood, Associate Provost of Graduate Studies, Co-director of the SUTD-MIT IDC; Mr Edmund Lee, Senior Country Officer, J.P. Morgan Singapore; Ms Ng Hau Yee, Director, JA Singapore; Mr Kelvin Thong, Group Constituency Director, Tampines GRC; Patrick Liew, Chairperson, JA Singapore at the J.P. Morgan Schools Challenge Singapore launch at Our Tampines Hub, January 26, 2019

“Through the Schools Challenge Singapore, students will have the opportunity to explore STEM, design and innovation in new and exciting ways. Skill sets will be developed, working collaboratively in teams, to create and implement ideas that make a difference in people’s lives and make a better world by design,” said Kristin L. Wood, Co-Director of SUTD-MIT International Design Centre.

“The Schools Challenge will enable students to learn more about and be actively engaged in the community. This partnership enhances the Tampines Kindness Movement. The latter celebrates, encourages, and inspires kindness through small acts of kindness to our family, neighbors and the environment. We look forward to building an even stronger spirit of kindness through the Schools Challenge,” said Desmond Choo, Mayor, Northeast District and Adviser to Tampines Grassroots Organisations.

The Schools Challenge is a global initiative founded by J.P. Morgan and launched in 2016 with students in the UK and France, and has since expanded to Italy, Hong Kong, Germany and Brazil. This is the first time that the Schools Challenge is being implemented in Singapore, in collaboration with JA Singapore and SUTD.

Students from Loyang View Secondary School at the J.P. Morgan Schools Challenge Singapore launch at Our Tampines Hub, January 26, 2019. Loyang View is one of five secondary schools participating in the challenge

Last year, teams of students in London, Paris, Milan and Hong Kong created prototypes to make roads safer in Paris, reduce air pollution in London, reduce waste in Milan and improve home safety among the elderly in Hong Kong.

“At J.P. Morgan, we believe that addressing the need for widely shared prosperity – and, more specifically, providing opportunities for young people to succeed economically – is essential. Moreover, helping young people develop the skills they need to compete in a rapidly changing labour market is a powerful strategy to get there. We recognize the importance of STEM education in the 21st century as well as giving the youth opportunities to apply what they learn in the classroom to inspire them to pursue careers in the high-growth STEM sectors.” said Edmund Lee, senior country officer of J.P. Morgan Singapore.

List of local schools
Loyang View Secondary School
Pasir Ris Secondary School
Ping Yi Secondary School
Tampines Secondary School
Tanjong Katong Girls’ School

About JA Singapore

About JA Singapore
JA Singapore is part of the JA Asia Pacific network. Home to 60% of the world’s youth, JA Asia Pacific aims to empower young people to benefit from the region’s economic development and to create a positive impact in their lives and communities. The 17 members JA Asia Pacific network is powered by over 46,000 volunteers and mentors from all sectors of society, reaching more than 789,000 students around the region. Each year, the global JA network of over 465,000 volunteers serves more than 10 million students in over 100 countries.

JA Asia Pacific is a member of JA Worldwide, one of the world’s largest youth-serving NGOs dedicated to preparing young people for employment and entrepreneurship. For 100 years, JA has delivered hands-on, experiential learning in work readiness, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship. We create pathways for employability, job creation, and financial success.

About the Singapore University of Technology and Design

About the Singapore University of Technology and Design
The Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) is Singapore’s fourth public university, and one of the first universities in the world to incorporate the art and science of design and technology into a transdisciplinary, human-centric curriculum. SUTD seeks to advance knowledge and nurture technically-grounded leaders and innovators to serve societal needs. SUTD also recently topped a list of emerging engineering schools in the world in a study conducted by MIT.

A research-intensive university, SUTD is distinguished by its unique East and West academic programmes which incorporate elements of innovation, entrepreneurship, design thinking and local and international industry collaborations. SUTD’s key focus areas are Healthcare, Cities and Aviation, supported by capabilities in Artificial Intelligence/Data Science and Digital Manufacturing. Multiple post-graduate opportunities are available. In addition, skill-based professional education and training courses are also available at SUTD Academy.

About the SUTD-MIT International Design Centre

About the SUTD-MIT International Design Centre
The SUTD-MIT International Design Centre (IDC) is a world premier scholarly hub for technologically-grounded design. IDC faculty, researchers and students study and advance the design process and design science, and develop new tools and methods for design practice and education to address the strategic needs of Singapore and the global community.

About J.P. Morgan

About J.P. Morgan
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.6 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of customers in the United States and many of the world's most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at

​About Tampines Group Representation Constituency

About Tampines Group Representation Constituency
Tampines Group Representation Constituency (GRC) has five constituencies within its boundaries, namely Tampines Central, Tampines Changkat, Tampines East, Tampines North and Tampines West. The vision is to make Tampines truly our best home - where we live, work, play, bring up our children and grow old in peace, comfort and harmony. The strategy is to develop Tampines as a community under the five core areas - Learning . Green . Active . Caring . Creative and the desired outcome is with the hope that we will develop a greater sense of belonging, build stronger ties, lead a more enriching life and stay healthy. Together we can make Tampines, Our Best Home.

About Housing & Development Board

About Housing & Development Board
The Housing & Development Board (HDB) is the statutory board of the Ministry of National Development responsible for public housing in Singapore. Today, as many as 82% of Singaporeans live in public housing provided by the HDB.