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Vagabond Kids: Singapore with Kids: Singapore Science Center

Friday, July 2, 2010

Singapore with Kids: Singapore Science Center

As you may recall, I mentioned that our summer plans had originally been geared towards the US. After nearly 12 years overseas, we planned on taking the kids home to bond with the grandparents and cousins for an extended trip. Well one gallbladder and a bout of severe pneumonia later, we are still in Asia.

We will be heading to the US next week, but we had a lot of bundled up kid energy and extra time so we are doing some "staycation" activities in Singapore and a side trip to Kuala Lumpur. The kids are sleeping away at the hotel now, so I thought I would take a quick minute to post about the Singapore Science Center. Tomorrow I will post about the Malaysian PETRONAS Science Center (Petrosains) in Kuala Lumpur by way of comparison.

The Singapore Science Center is actually the third most visited attraction in Singapore behind the zoo and the night safari. Not surprising really when you figure that the Singaporean focus on education and science. The kids have gone to the center a couple of times and always enjoyed the center and the water park and play area outside. This weekend was the first time I got the opportunity to check it out as well and we went to see the exhibit on Pixar animation.

The center itself is split into separate “galleries” each having multiple interactive displays and exhibits. We spent the bulk of our time in the Maxwell wing, looking at the exhibits on Climate Change and Microbes. After Declan’s stint in the hospital with pneumonia, the virus section was fascinating for him! There are also sections on the human genome, space, nanotechnology and math. The exhibits are designed to match portions of the Singapore educational system so while some exhibits are not interesting to a 7 and 8 year old as the intended audience is more for high school student, you couldn’t get them away from other exhibits (like the kinetic sculptures).

Growing up and getting to OMSI in Oregon as a kid I always enjoyed the hands on activities that were presented as part of the educational experience. It was just never that fun when I got back to school. I like the idea of teaching the cool stuff and funky side of science to get children engaged. The Singapore Science Centre could be a good day of fun. Bring your swimsuits and get in the water at the end, play and learning all wrapped up together and I love seeing the kids play with science and hey if I end up with a scientist or lab geek when these kids grow up… I think that would be alright by me!

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