THE opening of the Penang Tech Dome at Komtar on Saturday is set to take Penang into a new era of global learning with the primary objective of nurturing budding whiz kids.
“The RM28mil centre will be a catalyst to transform learning of science and technology.
“We are embarking on collaboration programmes with pools of people such as the Young Scientist Network (YSN) and tie-ups with companies including Microsoft, Sony and Finisar,” said Penang Tech Centre director and steering committee chairman Datuk Wong Siew Hai.
YSN is a non-profit organisation created and run by a group of graduate students.
“For starters, the dome will be the home for the newly formed Astronomical Society of Penang, which will be a breeding ground for amateur astronomers to explore the wonders of the Malaysian night sky.”
Wong said the society had its roots in the Astronomy Club of Universiti Sains Malaysia, which was formed in 1986, and the observatory in Tech Dome would house the largest telescope in the state.
On tie-ups with companies, Wong said the centre would act as a gateway for technology exhibitions, conferences, talks and also training for young entrepreneurs.
Wong said the place would be for interactive exhibits to provoke the inquisitive minds of kids.
“Companies can harness the availability of space there and at the same time, sponsor programmes for kids,” he added.
The basic concept of the Tech Dome is to get kids interested in science by providing hands-on experience when they interact with certain high techno- logy machines at the centre.
The exhibition area will be divided into five main zones highlighting robotics, electronics, computing, health, life sciences and lighting. There will also be a children’s discovery area with basic science.