A glimpse of pre-school lessons of tomorrow through fun and games at Future of Us exhibit

Students from Ichiban Montessori Preschool with Miss Sim Ann, Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth.
Students from Ichiban Montessori Preschool with Miss Sim Ann, Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth.ST PHOTO: TAMARA CRAIU

SINGAPORE - Dancing with a robot, building toy cars and aircraft out of recycled materials, and taking part in simple chemistry experiments are some of the activities pre-schoolers here could engage in during class time in the future.

These ideas were showcased at the Early Childhood Development Agency's (ECDA's) Learning Pod space in Gardens by the Bay for the Future of Us exhibition, which envisions what daily life in Singapore will be like in the years to come.

From Monday to March 2, some 2,000 children from over 50 pre-schools will be visiting the Learning Pod. There, they will get to catch dry ice bubble experiments in action, propel balloon aicraft from a "wind table" and dance along with Pepper the Robot, which can reply questions, recognise faces and make sense of a person's emotions.

Besides pre-schoolers, Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth and Finance, also visited the Learning Pod on Monday to get a peak into how pre-schools of the future might be teaching kids.

Ms Rachel Manykam, the principal of My First Skool at Jurong Point, said that the robot at the exhibition - which visited the pre-school earlier - helped several otherwise quiet pre-schoolers to open up and ask the robot questions.

On the Learning Pod, Mr Gene Tan, creative director of the Future of Us, said that since the exhibition is about possibilities, one way to show that is "through play".

"So, working with ECDA, we came up with a series of programmes to get pre-schoolers to imagine the future in exciting and innovative ways."