As part of its mission to educate young ones on marine life and how they can play a part in conserving the environment, KidsSTOP, at Science Centre Singapore has unveiled its virtual ocean with sea creatures in 3D form! The exhibit, known as “Oceans’ Buddies” is the first of its kind here in Singapore.
Senior Minister of State, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, Dr Amy Khor, graced the official launch of the exhibit yesterday afternoon. Ever heard of the acronym STEM? It stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. I learnt that one of Oceans’ Buddies’ missions is to spark an interest among children in these fields. Judging by the kids’ reactions to the exhibit yesterday, I dare say it has worked!
Oceans’ Buddies employs immersive technology, created by I-One Group (a homegrown firm) to improve learning and play experiences for little ones. What’s the main highlight here? It’s an aesthetically stunning virtual ocean floor that is projected onto a massive wall! And guess what? Kids can watch their personalised sea critters come alive on the screen as their works of art take on a 3-dimensional form!
When you get to the Oceans’ Buddies exhibit, let your little one seat himself at a little table where there will be materials provided for him to get hands on. Let him choose his choice of sea creature printed on a white piece of paper. What next? Colour away! Choose from the wide range of coloured pens provided and create your masterpiece! Once your tot is done, bring his work of art over to the scanning station to get it scanned.
Following that, wait patiently till you see your child’s creation (literally) swimming around in the virtual ocean projected on the wall! The mere sight of seeing their very own creation come to life on the screen is enough to make the little ones squeal in delight! (trust me on this – I saw a bunch of preschoolers do just that at the launch yesterday)
Complementing the brand new Oceans’ Buddies exhibit is the wall mural that has been designed around the theme of conservation. It depicts how a polluted ocean can trap and suffocate marine life, which are meant to be our friends. The ultimate aim of this exhibit is to educate kids that seemingly harmless littering has grave consequences that harm helpless sea creatures. Hence, the title Oceans’ Buddies. Children are encouraged to be a friend of the oceans!
Kids being kids, tend to side with their friends and want to protect their friends. Likewise, it is believed that they will protect the oceans if the oceans are also their buddies! The Science Centre believes that children can easily understand such a concept as it is a typical social norm at that tender age.
Mr Clarence Sirisena, Deputy Chief Executive, Science Centre Board, said, “With this new exhibit, KidsSTOP aims to engage preschoolers and lower primary school children on the need to protect and preserve ecosystems. Reinforcing the significance of recycling, reducing and reusing from an early age will also help to shape their thinking and actions for the future.”
Head down to the Oceans’ Buddies exhibit for a fun-filled time with your child! It’s a great way to bond with your little one while both of you colour in a sea critter together! Experiencing the Oceans’ Buddies exhibit is part of the admission fee to the Science Centre. Visit the KidsSTOP website for more information.
Images courtesy of Science Centre Singapore.