Bell and I made a trip to the Science Centre Singapore. It had been years since either of us visited the Science Centre. I remember visiting the Science Centre a few times as a kid and having fun playing with the interactive exhibits.
I arrived early and saw that the Science Centre looked different from what I remembered. I guessed it had gone through some renovation to update its looks modern times. I don’t mind it but I wondered what’s up with the two horns sticking upwards. I thought it looked kind of ugly and didn’t seem to serve any purpose. At least McDonald’s was still around so I headed there for breakfast.
I was surprised to find that the McDonald’s was packed. I went up to the counter to place my order and found that to my horrors, the McDonald’s outlet at Science Centre did not serve breakfast. They went straight to the lunch menu from the time they opened. So instead of a sausage muffin (which I was really looking forward to), I settled for a fish fillet.
As I ate my fish fillet, I kept seeing an endless stream of people entering the Science Centre. Bell and I had planned to visit the Science Centre in the morning in hope that there would be less people. Guess looked like we were wrong. I mentally braced myself for the crowd. I wondered if I should warn Bell but decided against it. She would find out soon enough when she arrived.
Outside the Science Centre were two outdoor areas which people could visit without having to pay the entrance fee.
On the right was the Kinetic Garden which had various exhibits demonstrating the inter-relationships between different forms of energy.
On the left was Waterworks where children could play with water.
Once Bell arrived, we joined the long queue to buy tickets. Luckily the queue moved rather fast and we soon bought our tickets (one for entry and one for the Human Body Experience exhibit).
The first area, right after the entrance, was The Mind’s Eye which was about optical illusion.
The optical illusion exhibits were interesting and we spent quite a bit of time in this area. This area was also pretty crowded and sometimes we had to wait a while for the person in front of us to finish viewing the exhibit.
On the right was one of exhibits found in this area. It used a cone-shaped mirror to reveal a picture of a horse. Without the mirror, it looked like some sort of weird abstract art.
However, there were one or two exhibits where no matter how hard we tried, we were unable to see what we were supposed to see.
Since it was almost time, we went to the atrium to watch the Tesla Coil demonstration. It was packed with people as young and old all came to take a look. As we waited for the show to start, we heard an announcement asking people who had pacemakers to leave to atrium. Suddenly I had an ominous feeling.
The host fired up the Tesla Coil shoot off lightning bolts of electricity. The sound of those 3.5 million volts of electricity was surprisingly loud. The volunteers in the audience held up the fluorescent tubes which lighted up despite not being connected to any wire. The host explained that this was due to the electric field generated by the Tesla Coil.
For the last demonstration, the host asked a volunteer to sit inside a metal cage. Then he fired up the Tesla Coil which sent bolts of electricity striking the cage. The electricity traveled down the metal cage, leaving the man sitting inside unharmed. The host said that it is how we could protect ourselves when there is a lightning storm – by hiding in a metal
birdcage enclosure, like a car.
The crowd dispersed after the demonstration ended. I was quite happy to get some elbow room back, but Bell was happier. She said that a kid kept pushing against her throughout the whole demonstration so she did not enjoy the show as much as she would have.
We next wandered around the Marine Alcove exhibit. There were some tanks containing live fish but of course not as diverse as an aquarium.
Next we went to the paid exhibition Human Body Experience. Our tickets gave us two entries each but once was quite enough. First we climbed in through the mouth. The tongue was covered in the rubber material that covered tracks so it wasn’t difficult to climb up the tongue. However both Bell and I felt that the entrance was not very big and if you have mobility issues, this exhibit is probably not for you.
At the top of the tongue, we took a slide down the throat to the larynx. It was very dark and I had to use flash.
Next were the lungs. There were loud inhaling and exhaling noises in this room, sort of like Darth Vader but less sinister.
Next room was full of tubes representing veins. The tubes stretched all across the corridor so we had to find our way through the maze. The part was quite dark and so I had to use the flash again.
Next room contained a massive heart on the wall. It was a dark room with blue and red strobe lighting. There was a loud thumping sound, stimulating the heartbeat. I find the combination of the loud thumping and the strobe lighting unbearable and quickly continued on to the next room.
The next room was about viruses and antibodies. We walked through a tunnel covered in shiny orbs. We saw someone pressed on the orbs to get them lighted up. It looked pretty but the lights only lasted a few seconds.
We saw a large model of the kidneys. The kidneys were filled with air but other then that, there did not seem to be any way to interact with them.
At the end of a long corridor was the projected image of the guy at the entrance, talking about the human body. We didn’t stay to listen. As we walked closer, I could see that the face was projected onto a 3D model of a head, to give it some 3D-ness I guess?
Another maze we had to walk through. This time it was made up of neurons instead of veins.
I don’t remember what this room was supposed to represent, probably some part of the digestive system. The floor was very soft and there was just enough room for us to crawl on all fours to get to the other side of the room.
Next room was the stomach as the walls were greenish, as if covered in bile. However, it was so dark that had I not used the flash, we wouldn’t know that the walls were colored. Walking on the bridge seemed to triggered a sensor which caused the walls to turn and mist to spray from the openings in the wall. Bell and I looked suspiciously at the mist. I wondered if the mist was supposed to stimulate bile?
After the stomach, we walked through the big and small intestines, passing through openings that looked suspiciously like a part of the female anatomy. Although after thinking about it, I felt it was more likely openings separating the stomach and intestines because we were supposed to be in the intestines.
After walking through the intestines (which thankfully involved no more crawling) and came out through the anus, accompanied with the loud sound of a fart. The sound caused a few kids standing near the exit to
We felt quite tired after the Human Body Experience. Even though we tried to tour the rest of the exhibits, our hearts were not into it and we stopped to rest quite a few times.
Before we left the Science Centre, we visited the garden. There was nobody in the garden because the weather is so hot that everybody stayed indoors. So it was very peaceful. There were some sheds which function as science labs but they were all closed.
Mostly I wasn’t very interested in the exhibits at the Science Centre. I had fun at some of them but most were not very interesting to me. Bell and I actually left halfway through a video show because we were bored. I couldn’t help feeling a bit disappointed as I remembered that I had a lot of fun at the Science Centre when I was a kid. It didn’t seem as interesting now that I’ve grown up.
When I recounted this to a friend a few days later, she comforted me by saying that it meant that now I know more than I did so that’s why it was no longer as interesting to me. Perhaps she is right as I recalled the kids seemed to enjoyed themselves.