Probably the World’s Largest Harmonograph

This is just a quick update on our Prototyping the Harmonograph post of a couple of weeks ago. We since installed the PWLH (Probably the World’s Largest Harmonograph) in the gallery, and it has been up and swinging since the start of the Festival of Numbers on 11 March. Why do we call it “probably…

Prototyping the Harmonograph

These days, I rarely go behind the scenes in our workshops here at the Science Centre, but for the upcoming harmonograph installation at our Festival of Numbers I got the opportunity to do just that. A harmonograph is a pendulum-driven drawing machine that combines two or more harmonic movements to produce beautiful patterns of graceful…

The joy of discovery

Two weeks ago I made a mathematical discovery. I am not a mathematician, but I enjoy fiddling with numbers and spreadsheets, and I had been playing around with a Galton Board simulation for an animated Chinese New Year greeting card I was designing. This card involved chickens laying eggs onto a Galton Board with ten…

How to make more engineers

There were at least two men named Phidias in ancient Greece – one was a sculptor, painter and architect, and the other was the father of Archimedes the scientist. That’s what I learnt from this video here: The video is actually about ‘Science Capital’, a concept that describes the sum of exposures a person has to…

14 March is Science Centre Day

Free SCS Tickets for the first 58 visitors on 14 March 2015! Read on for details… Many of the 3000 or so Science Centres worldwide are marking 14 March 2015 as the inaugural World Science Centre Day, an opportunity to highlight the role that Science Centres play in engaging everyone with science and technology. You…

Several Hours of Code

The Hour of Code is a global initiative intended to demystify code (ie computer programming) and show that anybody can learn the basics. The idea is to get kids (or anyone, really) to do at least one hour of coding,  in a fun and relaxed way that many won’t even recognise as coding. This provides them with an…

A surprising twist

When you work in a science centre, you tend to become quite familiar with all these interesting phenomena one gets to experience in a good hands-on exhibition. So when we make a new discovery, we tend to get all the more excited. That happened to me when I visited the Exploratorium in San Francisco a…

Where were you half a billion years ago?

Insects are everywhere and, as far as we humans are concerned, they always have been and always will be. We, as a species, have been around for about 200,000 years. The first members of the primates – the taxonomic order we belong to – emerged around 80 million years ago. And the first vertebrates to leave the sea…

Slowing down time can help

Most science centre professionals will agree that the best way of experiencing a phenomenon is to observe the real thing, or better yet, get hands-on with it. That’s what science centres are all about. A good example is the Science Centre Singapore’s Strobe Fountain exhibit that demonstrates the stroboscopic effect with real water droplets, right…