Applied Science Academy: Shaping Tomorrow’s Scientists at Sekolah Pelita Harapan

As an after-school program, the Applied Science Academy (ASA) at Sekolah Pelita Harapan (SPH) Lippo Village offers a promising research experience for aspiring young scientists.

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Open for Grade 10-12 students interested in science, engineering and programming, this program allows students to conduct various research experiments guided by qualified mentors with full laboratory access to the school’s facility as well as its partner institutions.

A Breakthrough Initiative

As a research-based program, the Applied Science Academy is a breakthrough initiative allowing students to engage in highly interdisciplinary fields, which serves as a stepping stone for future scientists who want to pursue science as their university major. ASA Director Dr. Eden Steven believes research-based learning builds character, determination, time management skills, as well as independent learning skills. There are bound to be failures in research and being able to learn from one’s mistakes and failures is truly the beginning of success, as from these experiments, great discoveries emerge.

An Academy for Problem-Solvers

Dr. Eden Steven reveals the goal of the Applied Science Academy at SPH Lippo Village is to be at the forefront of investing in the empowerment of our younger generations starting from high school levels by providing an authentic research environment in areas students are passionate about. This makes the Academy one of the best places for students to hone their skills and passion with fellow aspiring researchers, where each of them gets to work with mentors from different areas of research, namely biotechnology, advanced physics, robotics, data science, pharmacy, alternative energy and many more. The exposure of the various scientific fields allows this maturing generation to be future problem-solvers, making such learning experience an investment for a better future.

The Academy currently has 29 students enrolled in the program with 37 alumni continuing their studies in various fields at universities across the United States, the United Kingdom, Hongkong, South Korea and more.

More Than a Student Club

Built for students with a passion for research, the ASA is more than an after-school activity. It is a place for students to begin building their research portfolio. Those starting as early as Grade 10 will undergo an additional application process in order to be enrolled in the program and their portfolio will demonstrate the experiences gained from working and networking with research groups in universities and other research institutions, in addition to obtaining pre-college or college-level specialized skill sets and knowledge. The synergy between the ASA and the IB program and its philosophy renders the ASA more than just relevant, as it supplements the courses students take in their MYP and DP courses at SPH. Students get to exercise writing and publish scientific papers, which would be very beneficial as it prepares them for university in the coming years. Students can experience what it takes to develop real systems and applications, participate in national and international conferences or competitions and most importantly practice and improve effective learning and planning habits.

concrete results

To measure progress, ASA students are required to present their research findings and results at the end of the semester, in addition to an annual exhibition to the public. To date, the ASA has showcased 44 research results in two public exhibitions attended by distinguished guests from governmental institutions and national research institutions, in addition to one international scientific article publications, four conference paper publications, one pre-print and six international conference presentations ( one of which won the best poster presentation award). The ASA was further involved in multiple competitions, awards and an application deployment in the Google Play Store called UkurJarak by Nathan Wangidjaja, which was developed to raise awareness of the importance of physical distancing during the rise of COVID-19. ASA students continue to develop more application programs aimed at improving the accessibility of public spaces for the visually impaired, addressing young people’s mental health, amplifying plastic recycling efforts and more. Senior students whose focus is on life sciences and engineering are working to get their manuscripts published, while new students conduct experiments to discover new things. The list can really go on and mentors are excited and pleased to work with such a driven community of young scientists who are developing ready-to-use products to help solve problems in sport, food and waste management industries.

Stepping into University

Looking back on his time at the Academy, Jason, a 2021 SPH graduate who is now attending Boston College on a four-year full-tuition scholarship shared, “It is not an overstatement to say that my experiences working at the Applied Science Academy have shaped who I am today. I was fortunate to have contributed to various projects ranging from vacuum chamber control systems to AI vision tracking systems, all of which shoved me into the deep end of the pool—in a good way. My entire college application was centered upon my research/teaching activities at the ASA and as a STEM major, the expertise I gained through the ASA allowed me to pursue college-level research as a first-semester freshman. If you play your cards right, you’ll gain as much academic/industry experience through the ASA as you will study abroad as an undergraduate.”

Whether they end up taking science in university, the Applied Science Academy at SPH Lippo Village is an avenue for students to explore their scientific curiosities and engage in hands-on experiments, while taking advantage of experts’ guidance and access to high-tech laboratories. It keeps students accountable for their research, as not only do they have the freedom to conduct research on anything, but they also need to present their findings to their peers and the public at the end of it all. The ASA equips future young scientists with the right mindset and skills to be successful in various scientific disciplines. The fruit of their labor will not go unnoticed.


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