Building The Future_TUM AsiaPicture: Beneficiaries – Asmaa’ & Zi Xuan with Prof. Herrmann, President of TUM

Building the Future is a project by TUM Asia in support of The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (STSPMF). It aims to inspire youths from disadvantaged families by showing them that the future is in their hands – their own future, as well as the world’s future.In 2013, two post-secondary students, under the STSPMF scheme, were given the opportunity of a lifetime – a visit to the Technische Universität München (TUM) campus in Germany, and to meet Nobel Laureates in person. We hope to have inspired these students by exposing them to the possibilities of being in the field of engineering, science and/or technology through interaction with those making a significant difference to how people in the world live.

By immersing them in the environment of the top engineering university in Germany, including sitting in on lectures, and visiting our laboratories, we hope to give them the experience of being at the top of their field.

In June 2015, TUM Asia sponsored another 2 post-secondary students to make this trip to Germany. To further inspire the 2 youths, they were given an unique opportunity to participate in a “project of their choice” in the laboratories at TUM. They were supervised by TUM professors during their projects, as they get a glimpse into the heart of innovation represented at the TUM. The third and final round of the project has been concluded. Find out more about the beneficiaries and their thoughts below.

Click to read about our coverage in The Straits Times:

“Teens get a feel of German research” July 3, 2015, The Straits Times:

Source: “110713 ST Inspired by a journey and a robot with feelings” © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission
Source: “She wants to learn about cancer” © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission
Source: “2 JC students try out lab work in German university” © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission


As part of TUM Asia’s 10th Anniversary celebrations, TUM Asia partnered The Straits Times’ School Pocket Money Fund to launch the “BUILDING THE FUTURE” project in December 2012. The Technische Universität München (TUM) is one of Germany’s leading universities, renowned for its contributions to the advancement of science & technology through research and innovation. As a premier institution who adheres strongly to the vision of our parent university in Germany, this project represents TUM Asia’s continual commitment towards the advancement of science and technology here in Singapore. 



Picture: Beneficiaries – Abigail & Elicia with the world-famous Parabola slides at the Mathematics and Informatics building of Technische Universität München (TUM)

“There were so many fascinating things at TUM (Technical University Munich). As my project, I studied how they filtrate water samples from the waste water plant and also how they dilute a substance. It was an eye opener and had definitely answered the questions that I have wondered whenever I looked at the different concentrations of acids in my school lab. I also managed my own experiment, where I obtained water samples from the river behind the lab and worked with them.

Overall, we were very captivated and intrigued by the inventions and experiments done at the university. It is really amazing how people can produce such things.

I loved the time I had with my host family and I learnt so much from this trip. I can sense myself being more independent and confident and I’m really glad that this trip had made me step out of my comfort zone to be a better individual. “

– Nur Elicia Nadya Binte Elvis Isyak, 18

“This learning journey for me started when I landed in Munich. I had a wonderful host family and I learnt so much from them in the week that I stayed in their home. As a city girl, I really fell in love with Germany’s never ending greenery and clear blue skies. On top of the abundance of nature, recycling is an integral part of their daily life. I saw how everyone plays a part in preserving the nature they had. This made me realize that more can be done in Singapore to reduce the effect of global warming and for us to protect the land we live in.

Besides the fun and amazing things we saw at TUM, the highlight for me was the time I spent in Professor Sieber’s lab group at the Faculty of Chemistry of TUM. In the past, I had always wondered how researchers could come up with solutions to solve various health problems. After having a first hand experience and doing the never-ending number of experiments, I realized the researchers had to go by trial and error, hoping for the best. I must say I really respect the scientists working behind the scenes to protect humankind now. Most of all, I now have a new found interest in lab work.”

– Abigail Sim, 18

Building The Future_Asmaa&ZiXuanPicture: Beneficiaries – Asmaa’ & Zi Xuan against the backdrop of Munich’s city skyline

“This entire week went by in a blink of an eye. I‘ve gained a lot of knowledge and rare experiences that I wouldn’t exchange with anything else in the world. It was an amazing adventure for me. When we visited the TUM campuses, I was truly amazed. Each campus had their unique characteristics. And for the Deutsche Museum, the amount of information within the museum is simply mind-blowing. We got to see the original diesel engine, 1st plane made from aluminum and many more. These are the real things which I could not have been experience in Singapore. And to be able to meet Nobel Laurates & observe them close up was a rare opportunity & I really appreciate it.”

– Ong Zi Xuan, 20

“The trip to Germany was very educating. I have benefited a lot from participating in this trip. I have also learnt to be more independent during this trip I was living alone without my family. However, my host family was kind & took great care of me, which I am very grateful for. Apart from having to learn to care of myself, I have learned some new things which are beyond my course of study. Such as nuclear research, food chemistry, as well as learning to fly an airplane!”

– Asmaa’ Widad Binte Hamdad, 19

Click here to read about Zi Xuan’s and Asmaa’s interview with TUM!

To find out more about the Building The Future project, you can contact us at

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