Sparks of Inspiration

By Yen

One of the rare privileges of working in Science Centre is the fact that you often chance on groups of children in awe of some science experiments or science exhibits here.

Today, after trying to figure out how to break down complex defence science into an interesting article for kids, I walked past the Fire Tornado Exhibit at 3pm. The huge group of kids gathered for show time made me stop, watch and smile. It made me take lots of photos again…

I’ve no idea why this kiddo on the right is looking at me instead of the fire tornado, but he’s such a cutie!

Do you see how excited the kids were? Only after their teachers gave them the clearance, did they come forward to touch the sides of the ‘giant lamp’ . I have to say, both the show presenter and the teachers did a great job in rousing the kids’ interests and allowed them to experience such a memorable show.

The Science Centre’s Fire Tornado rises some 6 metres and the flame spirals for about 3 mins. The exhibit was created by Dr Tsai Her Mann, then a Fellow at the Science Centre, back in September 2010. The show is scheduled from Tuesdays to Sundays at 3pm. It was inspired by nature, where a large fire can cause a strong updraft and winds converging from different directions, forming a whirl that pulls the fire into the sky. The most recent one that I can think of is the fire tornado caught on camera near Alice Springs, Australia this September. That was a 30-metre high fire tornado.

In reality, fire tornados are seldom caught on camera and few humans witness them first-hand.

We hope the kids and all visitors to the Centre will enjoy this and continue to be inspired by the forces of nature, just as how the kids’ genuine curiosity and laughter inspired me!

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Kiat Teng says:

    Hey nice blog, Yen!

    Agree indeed that seeing these kids and their reactions to the exhibits always bring on a smile on the face.

    Aren’t we all privileged to see them often here in the Science Centre? 🙂

    1. Jovan says:

      Absolutely agree, Kiat Teng!

      Always a joy to see their expression whenever an exhibit or activity amazes them =D

  2. Kiat Teng says:

    Yeah! 🙂

  3. Wulf says:

    While the kids undoubtedly enjoy our exhibits, it would be nice to also see more adults taking an active interest (beyond chaperoning their offspring around). Even in many “simple” exhibits, a lot of thought-provoking science can be discovered for those who take the time to look a bit closer or think a bit deeper.

    Somehow, something seems to kill the natural curiosity and desire to understand our world in many once they mature into adulthood. A society that relies so much on science & technology as ours, yet overall does not bother to understand it, may become vulnerable and blindly dependent on a select group of companies and other “know-how providers”, some of which may have non-altruistic interests.

    A democratic society needs competent and thinking citizens to make informed decisions. Let’s hope the awe and interest for science carries over into adulthood for more of our young.

    Plus, science can be lots of fun.

  4. Andy Giger says:

    I’m hoping that the natural curiosity of adults doesn’t get killed, but just suppressed – so there’s hope that we can still release it. As kids, it’s our job to discover and learn things, so we are unhampered in our exploration of the world. But as adults – and especially parents, it seems – it’s our job to know and explain. So could it be that, while we adults may be amazed by something we just discovered, showing that too openly would expose our ignorance, hence we try not to appear to awed?

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