August Observation @ Ecogarden, Science Centre Singapore

I was inspired by a post on Facebook to make my way down to our Science Centre Ecogarden after a heavy rain one Friday (22 August) to see what insects I might spot. It was in the evening just before 6pm and I headed straight to a row of potted plants right in front of…

The botak Lyssa zampa

Almost three years ago, I blogged about Lyssa zampa, the tropical swallowtail moth. I had forgotten about this post, until we suddenly started getting a flurry of comments in the last few days, reporting sightings from all over Singapore. Obviously, 2014 is a bumper season for this impressive lepidopteran, and it seems unnecessary to add…

Is it a Black Rustic?

My house seems to be a magnet for insects. Beetles, praying mantises, moths, dragonflies. This is on top of the usual ones that you might find. The latest was a black moth sighted on a pipe on the night of 22 January. It might look a bit like a cockroach from far because of the…

Furry Worry

By Ng Mei Bao who is a Senior Science Educator at Science Centre Singapore. A very interesting find outside a friend’s house led to this search and discovery of a seemingly common animal in Singapore, yet many of us have barely had the chance to catch a glimpse of this beautiful creature in action. Featured here…

Today’s Discovery – Shake it, pupa, shake it!

I like to make discoveries – making an observation and figuring out something I didn’t know before. Quite often, this happens in our Ecogarden. Like today, when I checked on the Atlas Moth pupae that have caused quite a stir among some of our staff here at the Science Centre. All those remaining caterpillars still roaming…

Hear hear!

Sound is one of the important senses of human beings. Try covering your ears while watching a movie, or while someone is talking to you. Without it, while we can still function partially, the world will become seemingly still because of the silence. You probably know that besides being heard, sound can also be felt…

A day with nature at the Jurong Lake Park

It was an long day ahead for me on the 29 Sep 2012, but I woke up with much enthusiasm looking forward to all the activities of the day. In the morning, Science Centre Singapore had our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activity which was held at the Jurong Lake Park. We went on a nature…

An hour with… the Rubber Pavilion

Individual Science Centre exhibits usually get no more than a few minutes of attention, but spending a whole hour near one can be interesting… Singapore has had rubber trees since 1881, and you can learn all about the history, cultivation, harvesting and processing of this versatile natural resource at the Rubber Centenary Monument in the…

An hour with… the Double Gravity Well

Individual Science Centre exhibits usually get no more than a few minutes of attention, but spending a whole hour near one can be interesting… The Gravity Well is a classic and very popular exhibit, probably found in every science centre. We have a few of them as well, some of them set up as donation…

Ants and their pheromones (Part 2)

Recently I blogged about my observation of ants’ behaviours when sprayed by a homemade ant repellent solution of vinegar and water. You can read the last blog here. The solution has been useful for me at home, so I have more or less been diligently using it. Apparently, it works best (at repelling the ants)…

An hour with… the Earthquake Simulator

Individual Science Centre exhibits usually get no more than a few minutes of attention, but spending a whole hour near one can be interesting… The ‘Shake House’ earthquake simulator is tucked away in the back of the ‘Earth: Our Untamed Planet‘ exhibition. It is a room furnished like a kitchen with a sofa and coffee table….

Ants and their pheromones (Part 1)

Ants infestation is sometimes a problem in my house. I am sure many of you are nodding in agreement. If you can live with it, great. Normally I don’t really mind them crawling around under the dish drainer or towards the rubbish bin which we will dispose of by the end of the day. What I…

An hour with… Audio Kinetica – the Ball Machine

Individual Science Centre exhibits usually get no more than a few minutes of attention, but spending a whole hour near one can be interesting… Audio Kinetica is a large glass box, inside of which a number of balls (I counted eighteen) are rolling around on wire tracks, knocking on bells, pushing levers, cascading over xylophones…

A revisit of the caterpillar

You might have read our blog posts sometimes in July about this caterpillar that appeared in our office. 1. I spy with my little eye… 2. Nature is everywhere indeed! Or you might have just seen the picture or video post on our “Science It” Facebook page. In the composition picture above, we showed the…

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…

Nature is everywhere

I had an intriguing five minutes this morning. Like every morning, I was washing the dishes after breakfast when I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, a movement on the kitchen wall above the sink. Expecting the usual ant or small moth or fly, I had a closer look, but couldn’t find anything….

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…