'Lose' your senses at science centre's new interactive exhibition on ageing

Senior guide Ho Jin Yong, 69, with a guest at the launch of the science centre's latest exhibition, Dialogue With Time - Embrace Ageing, yesterday. She had 4kg weights strapped to her legs, part of a game to simulate the muscle aches that older peopl
Senior guide Ho Jin Yong, 69, with a guest at the launch of the science centre's latest exhibition, Dialogue With Time - Embrace Ageing, yesterday. She had 4kg weights strapped to her legs, part of a game to simulate the muscle aches that older people get as they walk.ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

An interactive exhibition on the effects of growing old is open to the public at the Science Centre Singapore from today.

Called Dialogue With Time - Embrace Ageing, the latest permanent exhibition there was launched by Science Centre Singapore and the Ministry of Health yesterday. It is also supported by the Ministry of Education.

The exhibition sees ageing-related challenges brought to the fore, encouraging empathy and preparedness for the inevitable process, said the centre.

In a first for the science centre, senior guides will take visitors on tours through the exhibition. There are 32 senior guides in all, between the ages of 65 and 85.

Mr Ho Jin Yong, 69, a retired engineer from the Ministry of Defence (Mindef), is one of the exhibition's senior guides. "As a guide... we get to share our stories with younger people and try to get them to think ahead. In fact, that's one of the best things about this job," he said.

The exhibition has three zones - the Science of Ageing, Dialogue with Time, and Science and Technology. Key highlights include Dialogue Rooms, where visitors get to engage in discussions with the senior guides about happy ageing.

In the Yellow Room, visitors can take their pick from many games to simulate the loss of senses as people age. In the Pink Room next door, inspiring stories of five active senior citizens are featured as short videos, where they talk about topics such as re-employment and finding love online.

  • 32

  • Number of senior guides, aged between 65 and 85, at the exhibition.

GUIDING YOUNGER PEOPLE

As a guide... we get to share our stories with younger people and try to get them to think ahead. In fact, that's one of the best things about this job.

SENIOR GUIDE HO JIN YONG, 69, a retired engineer from Mindef.

"I think (the exhibition) helps us know that we can age gracefully, instead of worrying about growing old. It's especially good for the young ones, to learn how to take it positively," said Mrs Rosylnn Ng, 42, a housewife who visited the exhibition with her three children yesterday.

Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong, who spoke at the launch, said: "Through the exhibition... we hope that visitors of all ages can come to better understand and appreciate that ageing is... part and parcel of life, and, in fact, starts from the day we are born."

Mr Gan said that together with the science centre, the Ministry of Health hopes to have 10,000 school students visit the exhibition annually.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 11, 2017, with the headline ''Lose' your senses at science centre's new interactive exhibition on ageing'. Print Edition | Subscribe