Sounds like a Bright Idea! 

By Aminah Hydar, Benjamin Wong and Chen Siyu of Broadrick Secondary School  Imagine waking up one day with limited electricity, reserved only for powering essential appliances at home, in schools and in offices. No more watching television, charging our phones and gadgets, using our computers, or even turning on the air-conditioner on a warm day. Seems unlikely? Well, if we are not careful about how we consume electricity,…

Robotics reassembled!

Calling out to all robot-lovers – we’ve got something right up your alley! The upcoming CRADLE S.M.A.R.T. gives you the opportunity to see robots come to life over a two-day camp at Science Centre. You’ll discover how actuators, electronics and computer algorithms activate robots, as well as you’ll get to assemble the robots from scratch, and…

Rainbow Culinary

If your child is refusing greens, this workshop might be the perfect one for you! Tired of mashing carrots or cutting celery into cube sizes to ensure that they stay hidden in your child’s food? Instead of forcing your child to eat something they dislike (aka vegetables), why not make them love it!  Join Science…

Wrack your brain!

Due to a wrong move, your lab assistant and you are plunged into an unfamiliar time zone and travel back in time. There is no time for you to waste. Think hard and act fast before your time runs out – you have to hit the time machine’s emergency button to return to the present….

Science needs to be championed – Global Study by 3M

Are Singaporeans scientifically literate? And how interested are Singaporeans in pursuing science-related careers? Science is all around us – from the digestive system that churns your breakfast after sunrise to the instant blackout when you flick the light switch before flopping into the bed for a good night rest. Though our country is gradually venturing…

Five Second Rule

Five second rule – true or not? When I drop food on the floor, an automatic five-second timer starts ticking in my head. In a swift motion, I picked the food up and pop it in my mouth before my Mom can stop me. “Five second rule!”, I shout before my mum can say anything….

Keep your dreams in control

I was left stranded in a vast ocean. I remembered thrashing around with my flimsy arms, struggling to keep my face above water levels. In between quick breaths, I yelled for help — but to no avail because there was simply no one. There was no end to the waters (ocean) and it is unlikely…

Why do we cry when sad?

Call me a weeper or crybaby — when I’m triggered by a wave of emotions, streams of salty tears roll down my face uncontrollably and turn me into a complete hot mess. It could be the grief over my appalling results. Or the sorrow of losing something precious to me. Or it could be the…

Are you afraid of the dark?

My favourite movie genre has got to be horror because I loved the thrill from being scared. But when darkness falls… I turn into a total scaredy-cat. My ears perk up at the tiniest sound; my pulse races and rings in my ears; my stomach churns whilst having wild thoughts. Despite being a young adult,…

Dust out!

What is the point of cleaning when dust accumulates so quickly? About four weeks ago, this question popped up in my mind while I was practicing the yearly cleaning ritual just before Chinese New Year. The house was spick and span after a long and dreary session but – lo and behold! – the dust…

Why so cirrus?

Why so cirrus? Today’s topic is about clouds – one of the many magnificent masterpieces created by Mother Nature! Ever look up to the sky and wonder about the existence of clouds? Then this page is where you get to appease your curiosity. Before I go on, some of you might be clueless to what…

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…

We need it like Oxygen…

DUN DUN DUUUUN!~ (dramatic sound effect) Imagine life without artificial light. without air-conditioning. without (gasp) the internet! That’d be a world without a screen to read this post with. No electronic spouse-like smart phone to give us company (all the way to the toilet). Robson Green’s extreme fishing TV show would forever remain a figment…

3D Printed Butterflies?

Nope, this is not a 3D printed butterfly. In fact, this is a beautiful Swift Peacock butterfly which can be found at Butterflies Up-Close (Hall D), Science Centre Singapore. So where can you find the 3D printed butterflies? Well, you can find them at Butterflies Up-Close this September school holidays. This is because of a 3D…

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…

Show your workings.

It was in a coffee shop in North Wales. Remote, beautiful, wild countryside, and an intelligent audience who were giving me a bit of a hard time. I had just given a talk on how medicines are evaluated as part of the effort to promote my book (I’m not going to plug it, you can…

Masters of Innovation

Hey there! Lately, my Marketing colleague – Jyotika has been sharing some amazing ads that belie human ingenuity and innovation. I thought I’ll share them with you because they segue quite nicely from my last post which was centered on a neat Innovation Challenge. Simply Sand-tacular  A little girl’s wish came true as a team of…

Tsunamis 101

Missed the Living with Risk Exhibition at the Science Centre? Curious about Tsunamis? Or do you simply want to find out a bit more about Nature’s Electrifying Phenomenons? Here’s some vital info that may well help you survive a tsunami, should you ever face one! First of all, WHAT is a TSUNAMI? A series of…

3D Printing

Life has been pretty interesting in the past few weeks. I met awesome people and found out lots of new things. One subject that particularly interested me was 3D printing. After watching a brief introduction on it online, I thought, life is going to get even more interesting now, with 3D printing being made available…

Artificial Creativity

I have all the photos I take on my phone uploaded automatically to my Google+ account for me to view and download. I use that auto-backup feature quite extensively, and every now and then, I notice slight tweaks and improvements, as is typical for any Google product. But I was surprised a couple of weeks…

Stormy Singapore?

The other day, I took a short break in the Earth – Our Untamed Planet exhibition. I noticed a few things, but what really caught my attention was this image: This is part of an exhibit that describes how typhoons, tropical cyclones and hurricanes come about, and that they really are all the same thing, just…

Everyday Technology through an Electron Microscope

By Wulf Hofbauer Science Centre has a new scanning electron microscope (SEM), housed at the Centre for Research and Applied Learning in Science. In an SEM, electromagnetic fields are used to deflect a finely focused beam of electrons across a sample under investigation. There are multiple ways in which the sample can respond to this…

Mother Earth has caught the Flu

If Earth was a forty year old woman, how long would humans have lived on her? That’s one of the questions asked in the Science Corner of our website. Well, if Earth turned 40 years old today at noon, multicellular life would have appeared on her when she was fifteen, the Dinosaurs would have shown…

Don’t be fooled

In a previous post I wrote about how useful a scientifically informed worldview can be, and how I had realised – in discussing an unusual phenomenon on a slab of cheese – that the scientific understanding of the world that comes naturally to me is not necessarily shared by the people around me. There is nothing wrong…

The Physics of PopStick Domino – simplified

The recent PopStick Domino Mass Activity at the Science Centre was memorable for several reasons: We had about 300 people weaving popsicle sticks and cheering on the sluggish chain reaction; We probably beat the record for the stick bomb ‘explosion’ with the most human intervention; And we had a very supportive Guest of Honour providing…

All from a stroke of imagination!

My fascination with all things domino, has been rekindled, thanks to our recent, maiden attempt to unravel at one-go, a mesh of 13,000 popsicle sticks! While our ‘stick bomb’ proved less of a seamless chain-reaction and more of a start-stop affair, the magic of witnessing it ‘live’, certainly sparked a buzz—bringing back memories of Rube…

Cheese

A couple of months back, I made an intriguing observation on a slab of Emmentaler cheese: around one of the holes that this quintessential ‘Swiss cheese’ is known for, I noticed some veins or wrinkles radiating away from the edge of the hole. That set me thinking, because I had never seen those, and I…

How far away is a rainbow?

As a biologist, I am not an expert on rainbows, but I thought I knew how they work. A rainbow occurs when the sun is shining into rain, and each water droplet acts as a little spherical prism, splitting the sun’s white light into the colours of the rainbow in a process called refraction. The…

Convoluted insights

400 million years ago the Himalayas were at the bottom of an ocean. How do I know? Well, that ocean was home to tiny marine creatures. When those died, they became part of the sediment. Then, as the Indian and Asian tectonic plates collided, the sea floor was thrust up, forming what we today know…

The fly on the wall

The Science Centre offers some great opportunities to get in touch with nature. There are the obvious ones, like our monthly Nature Discovery Trails, or a visit to the Ecogarden. Then there are the more subtle ones, like watching the chicks hatch in the Discovery Zone. But the most memorable encounters with wildlife are the…

The Stop Motion Boom

Guest Post by Nick Berger, who is the co-author of the book, titled ‘The Klutz Book of Animation’ and who will be at Science Centre Singapore on 21, 22 and 23 November from 2-5pm to conduct a 3-hour workshop on stop motion animation. Stop motion animation is enjoying something of a renaissance on YouTube at…

A computer genius who changed our lives

Guest Post by Dr. Wulf Hofbauer, Scientist, Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, A*STAR. (Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect any official IMRE/A*STAR position.) After prolonged illness, a modern-times genius has passed away who broke new grounds in information technology and profoundly impacted the way we use computers. Dennis Ritchie was…

Science and Art | Two sides of the same coin

Guest Post by Dominic Fondé, Freelance artist An artist and a scientist are really not all that different. While a scientist runs experiments repeatedly in order to ascertain that the results will be the same every time and not simply due to chance, an artist will make dozens of sketches, perhaps take photographs or even…

Reflective Learning

Guest Post by Dr Tan Kok Siang, Lecturer at the National Institute of Education (NIE) In life, problems and crises do not present themselves at expected times (as in school examinations). There is also no fixed curriculum and no model answers to problems. However, we can prepare ourselves for such uncertain situations. One good way…

Singapore on the Hillside

We all know gravity is pulling us down towards the Earth. We usually assume that this means towards the centre of the planet, but that’s actually not the case. It would be the case if the Earth was a perfect sphere with uniform density, but our planet is a lot more interesting than that. Earth…

An Unquenchable Force | Tsunamis

While writing this article, my father sent me a chilling text message saying a 9.0-magnitude earthquake (according to the US Geological Survey) had just hit the Pacific Ocean near Northeastern Japan on March 11. Tsunami alerts were promptly sounded in 50 countries from Alaska to South America. However, nothing could adequately brace the people of…

The brave new world at the molecular level: Synthetic Biology

Written by A/Prof Lim Tit Meng, Chief Executive, Science Centre Singapore Last week I received an email from a teacher asking me to check out a competition called iGEM. I went to the website and found this descriptor: The International Genetically Engineered Machine competition (iGEM) is the premiere undergraduate Synthetic Biology competition. Student teams are given…

A Torrent from Hell

Tokyo will probably not forget 1923 in a hurry. The Hifukusho-Ato region of Tokyo was shaken to its foundation by a violent Great Kanto earthquake which ignited a large firestorm and produced a mammoth fire tornado that killed 38,000 people in just 15 minutes. That deadly statistic clearly casts no doubt on how dangerous fire…