Science wonderland A discovery centre for all ages

The "Singing T-Rex" that will greet you at the doorstep of the Geotime Diorama at Petrosains.

The "Singing T-Rex" that will greet you at the doorstep of the Geotime Diorama at Petrosains.

I still remember stepping into Petrosains in KLCC during a school outing more than 10 years ago.

It was a playground for not only children but also adults to discover science and technology in the petroleum industry.

The centre, located in the Petronas Twin Towers in the heart of the city, occupies level 4 and 5 of both Tower 1 and Tower 2.

It covers a total exhibit area of more than 70,000 sq ft which is more than enough to work your mind and legs.

To enter, you will need go on the “Dark Ride” which is shaped like an oil drop.

It will take about four minutes as it takes you through the rainforest of Malaysia, the mountain peak, the sea and lastly Malaysia’s transformation.

Once you reach the end of the ride, the “Ride the Hurricane” tube will greet you.

Upon entering, the door closes and simulated wind will start to blow and eventually reach more than 100km per hour.

I wasn’t so keen on this ride since I normally feel uneasy in small spaces but it was a good experience and children will enjoy it for sure.

A volcano in the middle of the Geotime Diorama area in Petrosains.
A volcano in the middle of the Geotime Diorama area in Petrosains.

After that ride, you will enter Petrojaya, a cartoon village where technology meets wayang kulit.

To make it more fun, they have included a story revolving around Sri Rama, who is the good prince, and Rawana, who is the bad king.

Sri Rama tries to save Petrojaya from Rawana who wants to use his magic stick to steal all of the village’s petroleum and as you walk into the village, more of the plot is revealed.

The story is to explain the importance of petroleum in the modern world with a little traditional Malaysian twist.

In between stations, do catch the mini science shows along the way. One of them showed the candle burning experiment to give audiences a better understanding of a candle needing oxygen from the air to continue burning.

Another one was the balancing fork, where with just a simple experiment of using two forks and a toothpick and balancing it on a finger or the edge of a table, the concept of “centre of mass” is explained.

The next station is the Geotime Diorama which brings one back in time to about 200 million years ago when dinosaurs ruled.

You will be greeted by the “Singing T-Rex” who will sing in Bahasa Melayu and English. It was a favourite among children who would purposely step in and out to listen to it sing again.

In this area, visitors will learn more about earthquakes, fossils and petroleum.

The personal highlight for me was the replica of an offshore oil platform in the science discovery centre, something that I still remember from my first visit here.

The yellow pipes and steel platforms depict what it is like to be in an oil rig and the different roles people play to keep it running.

Children were seen enjoying going through the Emergency Offshore Escape Chute and Sliding Tube.

Meanwhile the adults were seen enjoying the F1 car simulator, which was located at the SPEED exhibit area. There was a long queue, so I did not get the chance to give it a try.

The admission fee ranged from RM5 to RM15 for Malaysians and from RM15 to RM25 for non-Malaysians.

Admission is free for Malaysian and non-Malaysian children aged two years and below.

The centre is open from 9.30am to 5.30pm (last admission at 4pm) from Tuesdays to Fridays and 9.30am to 6.30pm (last admission at 5pm) on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. Petrosains is closed on Mondays.

It is open on all public holidays except Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Hari Raya Aidiladha.