Science is an extremely important subject especially in this day and age, as Singapore moves towards a Smart Nation.
Current and upcoming technology is highly reliant on those well-trained in various aspects of science, such as physics, biology and computing. Because of this, science has always struck many as elusive, and something that only those ‘gifted’ in the subject can understand. Well, it isn’t.
Science touches us in the everyday, and is all about us and the things around us.
Growing up, I enjoyed science. I remember having my eyes glued to the television whenever The Magic School Bus was on, and conducting mini scientific experiments (like building my own volcano, tossing Mentos sweets into bottles of Coke) at home.
However, as I progressed into formal education, good scores for science tests avoided my report card like a plague, and the stress that came with mugging for examinations even got me disliking it in my secondary school days!
Now, of course, I realise that what little I remembered from my science lessons greatly help in explaining day-to-day phenomena that I would not otherwise be able to comprehend. From opening a tightly sealed jam jar by pouring hot water around the lid (thanks, expansion!), to relieving excruciating heartburns with an alkali-based antacid (thanks, chemistry!), I have found my interest for science again.
Science is not boring and irrelevant. And it is going to influence largely, if not propel our lives forward in the future.
Building Our Future Through Science
In a recent report on The Straits Times, the upcoming Singapore Science Festival (SSF) themed “Build Your Smart Future”, aims to nurture Singapore’s budding inventors and entrepreneurs of all ages. Jointly organised by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) and Science Centre Singapore, this festival runs from 15 July to 5 August at various locations.
According to a study by Professor Shirley Ho and Assistant Professor Juliana Chan from Nanyang Technological University (NTU), 75% of Singaporeans think that science and technology are playing a part in improving their lives.
However, the sample group was more interested in hearing from the Government about scientific policies (80%) than they were in hearing about science and technology from the scientific community (50%), revealing a need for bigger and better community outreach programmes by scientists.
one-north Festival Promises Something For Everyone
Planned to run from 2-6 August, the inaugural one-north Festival, organised by A*STAR and JTC , aims to bridge that gap and promote STEM disciplines in Singapore.
The festival brings together Research, Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise through a variety of activities led by scientists, innovators, creators and entrepreneurs that engage Singaporeans of various age groups and interests.
From 11am to 6pm on 5 and 6 August at Fusionopolis One & Biopolis, visitors can participate in a host of activities, including hands-on workshops, experiential demo booths, lab tours & open houses, as well as public talks Hear from the Experts segments and assorted public performances).
The health nuts among us may want to visit the festival to learn about Safe Foods, Allergies, Disease management and many other lifestyle topics at the many public talks. Learn how to create your own unique emoji to express your feelings, and find out how A*STAR researchers use computers to recognise the emotions behind images at our workshops.
Find out how games are created and more about career opportunities in game development in a tour of Games Solutions Centre, or hear from Canon experts on how to take the perfect wedding or travel photographs, and be the next homegrown National Geographic documentary photojournalist.
Also, catch a glimpse of labs and studios not usually open to the public.
Kids and adults can peer through microscopes, interact with robots and create their very own satellite models and grab a sneak peek into the daily lives of scientists & inventors at the 20 different labs and studio tours and open houses.
You could also visit Fox Studios for example, if you want to find out what goes on behind the scenes at television studios or express your inner broadcaster; or play inventor scientists at the many lab tours of A*STAR research institutes.
Experience the intersection between science and art by participating in activities including workshops and a mural painting led by students from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) and soak in the link between music and science and be entertained by performances by the Lasalle College of the Arts.
Explore over 30 exhibit booths featuring latest innovations and creations coming out of Singapore at Fusionopolis, Biopolis and around the one-north area. Innovators from A*STAR, universities, industry and beyond showcase the latest research and technology that will shape the world and transform our lives.
Hear from the Experts
Science-centric seminars are not as boring as they are usually made out to be in the movies, with scenes of students falling asleep as a deranged-looking professor fills the board with complicated equations like so.
One-north Festival’s Hear from the Experts sessions at the festival promises to be everything but irrelevant as they cover a range of topics that impact your day-to-day life, including those that every girls would be interested in (What’s In Your Shampoo?, Online Health Products: Staying Safe While You Surf) to those that will appeal to aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners (Artificial Intelligence: How will it transform our lives and businesses?, Consumer Service Revolution: How Tech Is Transforming The Way We Satisfy Consumer Needs), get an informative crash course in topics from the best and brightest in their fields.
one-north Festival Makes Science Fun Again
If the studies are right, Singaporeans are more than aware about the usefulness of science and technology in various aspects of our lives.
What’s left is to bridge the gap between the regular Singaporean, and those who work day in, day out in researching breakthroughs which can help improve our lives in significant ways.
Will this festival excite and engage us? Definitely.
Registration for sessions is free, places are limited. Sign up now for yourself & your family and friends at http://www.onenorthfestival.sg/.