Bringing science to life for all

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 19 Oct 2013

Fire away: Walker demonstrates the combustion power of ethanol with his simple, home-made cannon at the launch of the Petrosains Science Festival 2013.

KUALA LUMPUR: Sir Isaac Newton stumbled upon the concept of gravity when an apple fell on his head. His discovery also showed that science is all around us.

The Petrosains Science Festival 2013 at Suria KLCC from Oct 22-27 takes a leaf from that page of history to remind us that science is not just for textbooks.

The inaugural festival, the first of its kind here on this scale and scope, aims to prove that scientific knowledge is for everyone and not only for boffins.

“We want to make science approachable for everybody and show how it is enhancing our lives,” said Tengku Nasariah Tengku Syed Ibrahim, chief executive officer of Petrosains, at the launch of the event on Thursday.

The festival will include much more than static displays, and in line with its theme of Bringing Science Alive, it promises interactive fun for all age groups.

“It will allow people to understand scientific principles by explaining these in simple terms,” said Anita Azrina, acting senior general manager of group corporate affairs at Petronas.

Presenter Dr Graham Walker demonstrated the festival’s key components of discovery, play and innovation during the launch, by showing the combustive properties of ethanol via a simple homemade cannon.

“Science has soul and creativity. The festival will show how beautiful it is and how much fun it can be,” he said during the launch at Petrosains, The Discovery Centre, at Suria KLCC.

Highlights of the festival will include Walker’s presentation on energy and artist Yusuf Gajah’s workshop on batik drawing and painting.

Also, Angkasawan Malaysia Mejar (Dr) Faiz Khaleed will be on hand to debunk myths about gravity while fitness buffs can check out fitness celebrity Kevin Zahri’s talk on proper diet and the secrets to a healthy lifestyle.

Foodies, meanwhile, are advised to attend the presentation on edible science by Datuk Fazley Yaakob, the first Masterchef Celebrity Malaysia.

Festival goers will also get to see an actual human brain and a dissected cow’s eye, learn how music and movies can be made on an iPad, and find out how ice-cream can be made without using a refrigerator.

At the talks, workshops, science shows, games and performances, the visitors will be able to interact with many of the exhibits.

The six-day festival – supported by the Education Ministry and the Science, Techno­logy and Innovation Ministry – dovetails with the Government’s national science education agenda to raise scientific literacy.

This includes getting more students to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses to help the nation achieve its target of attaining developed nation status by 2020.

“This is about the effective use of science in a modern world, where everyone needs to be science literate in their daily lives,” Tengku Nasariah said, pointing out that this is in line with the festival’s other aim – to create a sense of wonder.

Key partners for the festival include Petronas, Google Malaysia, Telekom Malaysia, The Star and NovaSpectra which specialises in advanced imaging/sensors and information technology solutions.

Petrosains Science Festival 2013 will be held at Petrosains, as well as at Suria KLCC’s Centre Court and Esplanade.

Festival hours at Petrosains, The Discovery Centre, are from 9.30am to 5.30pm on weekdays and until 8.30pm from Friday to Sunday.

Activities at Suria KLCC’s Centre Court are from 10am to 10pm daily while the fun at the Esplanade lasts from 4pm to 7pm.

Visitors get to enjoy the weekend activities at Suria KLCC’s Centre Court and Esplanade for free.

At Petrosains, the admission fee is RM3 for adults and youths, and free for children under 12. Normal admission fees apply for entry into Petrosains, The Discovery Centre.

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