New Science Centre to be ready around 2025

Visitors drilling into rocks to uncover fossils in a hands-on activity at the DinoQuest exhibition in Science Centre Singapore yesterday. The exhibition, which uses digital technology such as holograms, will be open to the public from next Saturday t
Visitors drilling into rocks to uncover fossils in a hands-on activity at the DinoQuest exhibition in Science Centre Singapore yesterday. The exhibition, which uses digital technology such as holograms, will be open to the public from next Saturday to Aug 31.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

More exhibitions, labs, outdoor activities planned in larger facility

The new Science Centre at Jurong Lake Gardens, slated to be ready around 2025, will be larger to house more exhibitions and laboratories for visitors to conduct experiments and create new inventions.

Leveraging the waterfront location, it will also have more outdoor programmes for visitors to explore nature and science within the green space.

To be located next to Chinese Garden MRT station, the new centre is envisioned to be the "edutainment institution" within the upcoming Jurong Lake District and next to a 7ha tourism development, which will include a hotel, attractions, eateries and shops.

"As we wind down the focus on exams in schools, we are ramping up inquiry-based and applied learning in schools. The new Science Centre will be the biggest applied-learning classroom," said Education Minister Ong Ye Kung, who visited Science Centre Singapore yesterday for the official opening of a 2,000 sq m exhibition on Australia's polar dinosaurs.

To provide more opportunities for hands-on activities, exhibition galleries, labs and workshop spaces will be integrated into one big space. "Hands-on experience already exists in the current Science Centre, at the Tinkering Studio. In the new Science Centre, almost the whole centre will be a big Tinkering Studio. The learning is brought to life immediately," said Mr Ong.

While the current studio hosts workshops and conducts activities for children, the new centre will allow a student, among other things, to conduct experiments to analyse DNA right after visiting an exhibition on the subject.

Mr Ong added: "Thanks to the Internet of Things... if they were studying water quality in Jurong Lake or experimenting with how plants grow with certain nutrients, they can continue to monitor the progress of those projects in school."

 

The new centre will also have a space for technology companies to test prototypes or for creators to use a 3D printer.

For these plans to take shape, the Science Centre board yesterday awarded a multi-disciplinary consultancy tender to a team led by local architect firm Architects 61, which has proposed the design for the new Science Centre. The detailed design is expected to be ready by next year.

The existing Science Centre will continue to run until around 2025, before it is repurposed for other uses.

In total, 24 teams responded to the Science Centre board's call for tender last October.

Architects 61, in collaboration with Zaha Hadid, another architect company, submitted the "best proposal which reflected the boldness of scientific endeavour and future focused Stem aspirations", said the Science Centre and the Ministry of Education in a joint statement.

The Science Centre's latest exhibition on polar dinosaurs, called DinoQuest, will be open to the public from next Saturday to Aug 31. Marking its world premiere at the Science Centre, the roving exhibition, which uses digital technology such as holograms, will travel to other parts of the world after August.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 25, 2019, with the headline 'New Science Centre to be ready around 2025'. Print Edition | Subscribe