LAST week, the BUZZ team had the opportunity to embark on a thrilling scientific journey at the renowned National Science Centre, also commonly known as Pusat Sains Negara, the ultimate destination for science enthusiasts. Thus, in this edition we are going to share our experiences as we delve into the captivating world of the National Science Center, uncovering its hidden treasures and remarkable exhibits. So prepare to have an exhilarating mad science adventure!
Established in November 1996 by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the National Science Centre is a science hub that offers a diverse range of interactive exhibits and mind-blowing experiments, making it a haven for curious minds of all ages. Located on a sprawling 8-hectare hill in Bukit Kiara, this place is truly a remarkable destination for kids and families, providing ample opportunities to discover and learn something new throughout the day.
At the National Science Centre, you’ll find a wide array of exhibition materials categorized into various themes. The centre’s overall concept aims to connect science with values, the environment, and different aspects of life, showcasing how knowledge can be applied in our everyday lives.
As soon as we stepped foot inside, we were greeted by a mesmerizing display of scientific wonders. There were numerous sections – and we cannot deny that each exhibition deserves its own spotlight – but the ones we are going to highlight are the Obscura XR Exhibition and the Dinosaur Encounter Exhibition.
Let’s begin with the Obscura XR exhibition, which opened to the public on Oct 11, 2022. This experience embraces the concept of Edutainment (Educational Entertainment), combining digital science art and kinesthetic intelligence. It offers a creative and interactive approach to science learning, making it both fun and stimulating.
By integrating kinesthetic intelligence with cutting-edge digital technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and 3D mapping, this exhibition enhances visual skills and deepens the understanding of the importance and benefits of science, technology, and innovation.
The Obskura XR exhibition is divided into 2 main zones which are Zone A: Digital Park and Zone B: Fantasy World. Both of these zones contain seven different walk-throughs. This exhibition is specifically located on level 2 and it targets various age groups starting from children to adults.
To be more specific, Zone A features the Rainbow Slide, Blue Tour, and Metro Techno while Zone B is home to the Polygon Portal, Repel Attacks, Ripple of the Jungle, and Climbing Challenge.
Despite the fact that it may initially appear to be somewhat complicated, once one is immersed in the experience, everything becomes clear. During our tour, it was evident that everyone, including the children, was enjoying themselves immensely.
The atmosphere was filled with joy and excitement as visitors embraced the interactive exhibits and actively engaged with the learning opportunities provided.
At the Digital Park, we had the opportunity to engage in a multitude of enjoyable and interactive games. One of the highlights was the Rainbow Slide, where we experienced the thrill of sliding down while being immersed in vibrant colored lights.
What made it even more exciting was that the slide would track our movements as we descended. These exhibits not only provided endless fun, but also stimulated our senses, enhanced motor skills, and ignited creativity through engaging and immersive physical activities. It was an exhilarating experience that left a lasting impression.
In addition, we had the privilege of joining a Blue Tour, which allowed us to delve into the depths of the ocean floor and discover its breathtaking marine life.
Through a remarkable 360° digital display, we embarked on an immersive ocean adventure, witnessing the vibrant ecosystem and its diverse array of creatures.
From the mesmerizing cycles of life on the reef to the captivating sea creatures that inhabit it, the experience was truly captivating and guaranteed to enthrall everyone. It was an extraordinary opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of our ocean’s wonders and appreciate the remarkable beauty of marine life.
Then, at Metro Techno, the emphasis is on unleashing creativity and imagination through the combination of learning and colouring different types of land, air, and water vehicles. This experience undoubtedly ranks among the most remarkable things we encountered there. By scanning our drawings, which we coloured ourselves, we were able to witness the enchanting transformation of our artwork into a 3-D image of the vehicle. To our amazement, the vehicle came to life and moved within the digital city world displayed on a projected screen. It was truly an awe-inspiring and immersive experience.
Moving on to the Fantasy World zone, we embarked on an enchanting journey along an infinity path adorned with magical landscapes, flora, and fauna. The immersive experience ended up with a simulated downpour, transporting us into a world of wonder.
What made it even more extraordinary was that this magical atmosphere could be activated by simply raising our voices.
The application of science in digital technology has paved the way for the creation of interactive visual displays that awaken visitors’ dreams, emotions, and fascinations. The interaction with virtual images showcasing the unique atmosphere of Malaysia’s biodiversity instills a sense of appreciation for the delicate balance of nature and raises awareness among all.
The Ripple of the Jungle exhibition provided us with an opportunity to engage with digital animals in a playful and interactive manner. Additionally, there were interactive props that stimulated learning and deepened our understanding of forest ecosystems and the importance of sustainable nature conservation.
Furthermore, the Climbing Challenge exhibit captured the attention of numerous enthusiastic children who eagerly participated in this immersive physical climbing activity, combining motion detection and graphics through augmented reality (AR) applications.
It required a combination of hand-eye coordination, agility, balance, core strength, mental alertness, and concentration. It was a delightful and engaging experience that pushed physical and mental abilities to new heights.
Then, we finally made way for the Dinosaur Encounter exhibition, and it too has an edutainment concept that offers a fun learning experience where visitors have the opportunity to travel back to the amazing prehistoric life of dinosaurs.
The exhibition features a collection of nine life-sized dinosaur species that truly enthrall visitors. Among them are the Tyrannosaurus, Spinosaurus, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Brachiosaurus, Ankylosaurus, Pachycephalosaurus, Velociraptor, and Pterosaur. These animatronic dinosaurs are equipped with sophisticated mechanisms that allow them to move realistically, follow their natural cycles, and even emit their own distinct voice sounds.
The exhibition is divided into two main zones: Zone A - Edutainment Walk Through, and Zone B - Dinosaur Adventure AR Technology. In Zone A, visitors can encounter the mesmerising Animatronic Realistic Dinosaurs, explore an infographic detailing how dinosaurs went extinct, and marvel at Dinosaur Fossils.
On the other hand, Zone B offers interactive experiences such as The Bone to Live and Walking with Dinosaurs, which utilise augmented reality (AR) technology to create an immersive adventure with these prehistoric creatures.
All of this exhibition provides affordable ticket prices that cater to individuals of all age groups. Adults (13 years and above) can enjoy the exhibition for just RM15, while Children (4-12 years) have a ticket price of RM12. Secondary school groups, including teachers, can access the exhibition for RM8, and primary school/preschool groups, also with accompanying teachers, can enter for RM6.
Seniors (55 years and above) have a ticket price of RM5. Children aged 3 years and under, as well as individuals with disabilities (OKU), are granted free entry.
It is wonderful that such a place exists in our nation, and that this National Science Centre is also accessible in the Northern Region as well. In 2006, the science centre made a significant milestone by establishing its first branch in Alor Setar, Kedah, occupying a 5-acre site in the Gunung Keriang district of Alor Setar, Kedah. This expansion brings the wonders of science and learning closer to the residents of the Northern Region.
It is truly remarkable to have such an exceptional institution as the National Science Centre in our country, and it is even more delightful to know that it is accessible in the Northern Region as well. In 2006, the science center achieved a significant milestone by establishing its first branch in Alor Setar, Kedah. Situated on a 5-acre site in the Gunung Keriang district, this expansion brings the wonders of science and the opportunities for learning closer to the residents of the Northern Region.
In conclusion, the interactive exhibits were the standout features of our visit, offering us an opportunity to delve into a wide range of scientific concepts in an enjoyable and captivating manner. From the basics of physics and chemistry to the wonders of biology, there was something to pique the interest of every visitor.
It was truly inspiring to witness fellow guests enthusiastically engaging in experiments, conducting their own explorations, and unraveling the wonders of science firsthand. The experience left us with a deep appreciation for the power of interactive learning and the endless possibilities that scientific exploration holds.