Discovering Science out of school


BY GAVIN GOMEZ

Discover how an oil rig works, where else, but at the Petrosains Discovery Centre.

THE Petrosains Discovery Centre at KLCC has a string of interesting events to keep visitors enthralled this school holidays. 

This year, the activities have been broken down according to age groups. Activities for pre-schoolers are on every day from Nov 11 to Jan 2 at 11.30am, 12.30pm, 3.30pm and 4.30pm. Among the items lined up for the younger visitors are Blooming Flower, Lever Crocodile, Marshmallow Catapult and Origami. 

For upper primary to upper secondary students, 30-minute workshops will be held twice a day, at 12pm and 4pm at the centre. Learn how to make a Cosmic Clown by applying the concept of a bop bag and “Prof Slimey” – which is essentially an exercise in exploring the characteristics of polymer to create slime. A sure-fire hit would be the volcano-making workshop where participants will be employing vinegar and baking powder to create their own explosive models.  

There are also activities for the entire family where visitors can learn how to make their own kaleidoscope, creative folder boxes and a birthday binary bracelet. Face-painting on Saturdays and balloon sculpting on Sundays are regular events at the centre.  

For those of you not keen on getting down and dirty, opt to watch some movies and films instead. At last count, there were more than 15 shows lined up for screening. For details, call the centre at 03-2331 8181. 

The entrance fee is RM12 for adults, RM7 for youth aged 12-17 and RM4 for children between the ages of five and 12. A 50% discount applies to senior citizens. 

A tip for first timers to the centre – the last admission is an-hour-and-a-half before closing so it's best to get there early. It's also best to spend at least two-and-a-half hours at the centre, so plan enough time for this in between other activities.  

National Science Centre 

Another venue to make fresh discoveries on Science is the National Science Centre (Tel: 03-2092 1150) at Bukit Kiara. The centre was opened in 1996 to promote a greater understanding and interest in science and technology. 

Particularly impressive is its aquarium that seems to “engulf” visitors as they enter the exhibition area. A host of activities waits the public and children will be entertained by the fun and enthusiastic staff there.  

The centre is open from 10am to 5pm every day except Fridays when it is closed. Admission is RM6 for adults and RM3 for children. 

Discovery Learning Labs (DLL), in collaboration with the Science Centre, will feature a five-day Kids Invent Toys camp where children are challenged to apply their creativity to invent and build the prototype for a new toy, develop a business plan to market the toy and design a website to advertise their new invention. 

Conducted by Toy Factory President Dr Ed Sobey, who is also the creator of Kids Invent Toys, the programme is aimed at fostering creative thinking among primary school children, while developing entrepreneurial skills. The camp is open to eight to 13-year-olds and will be held from Dec 13 to 17 from 9am to 4.30pm. 

Amazing Body Adventure 

This journey through the human body is spread out over 5,000 sq m of Mid Valley’s exhibition centre, with separate chambers fully equipped with jumbo-sized body parts, sound and lighting systems, screens and educational panels. 

The journey begins at the mouth where teeth, tongue and tonsils are on full display, complete with sound effects.  

There is also a tour through the throat leading on to the lungs, liver, and the heart, where visitors will see how our wonderful internal pump works.  

Children will also get an idea of how the urinary system works through a four-metre statue of a boy passing urine. 

Other sections of the exhibition include sliding through the small and large intestines, a pair of inflatable buttocks as well as learning about the functions of the muscles, bones and blood vessels. 

At the Mother Hall, visitors can see the growth of a foetus from its formation right through to childbirth. Learning sessions also come in the form of a 3-D theatre, educational videos, motion capture play station hall and interactive activities.  

Entrance fees are RM30 (adult), RM25 (for children aged between three and 16 years) and RM100 (package price for two adults and two children). Exhibition ends Nov 21.  

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