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Scientist For A Day

Location:

  • Hall A @ Science Centre

Typical time required:

  • 30 min (minimum)

Information on this page:


For more information and related programmes:


What is the Scientific Method? All our students (and those in international schools as well) are taught facets of the Scientific Method – but almost always indirectly, through questions such as “… She set up the following experiment. … What is/are her ‘control’ variable(s)? … What is she testing? … What’s wrong with her setup? … What can she say about her results? …” Very academic, ‘hypothetical’!

The Scientific Method is a flexible process: some define it as a set of principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses. It is a systematic way of pursuing a curiosity, or, of engaging one’s senses (observations) on an intrigue or an enigma and using pre-knowledge, ingenuity and creativity to understand and resolve it – all in a carefully thought-out, methodical, analytical-logical manner.

Scientist for a Day is a highly interactive, thinking-required exhibition with a novel, open-to-all Discover-It-Yourself Laboratory or DIY Lab, staffed by our science educator-facilitator(s), volunteers and interns, and, when available, guest scientists. It is called Scientist For A Day because you – the visitor – get to learn the Scientific Method by interacting with the exhibits – sometimes, simply observing what happens – then noticing and defining problems (asking questions) based on what has been observed, and then raising various explanations or hypotheses. You are then invited into our open-concept DIY Lab where our facilitators lead you through various simple but thought-provoking experiments using "inquiry-based" guidance. This will not only allow you to understand or think about the scientific concepts underlying the experiments, but will also familiarise you with the scientific method as you carry out your experiment(s). Participation is of course voluntary but what you will gain ...

While the Scientist For A Day exhibition can be enjoyed by families and individuals, it can also be used as a group or (school) class enrichment activity. With the national emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), and the many (exam/test) questions based on the scientific method, this exhibition offers the opportunity for students and the general public to be that “scientist” for a day to understand the workings and growth of science.

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General Information for All Visitors

The Scientist For A Day Exhibition is open to all visitors during the Science Centre's regular operating hours. Please note that our DIY Lab facilitator(s) will only be present during the following daily periods:

from 1030   to   1230
from 1430   to   1630

(For school-class or large groups' visits, other time slots can be pre-arranged through advanced booking only via School Services. See below for more details.)

Please note that under certain circumstances, our DIY Lab facilitator(s) may be called away on short notice. We apologise for any inconvenience caused by such instances.

When in attendance, the lab facilitator(s) will set up some of the below-listed experiments for visitors to practise the scientific method and test their understanding of various scientific principles.

  • Static Electricity & Van de Graaff Generator
  • Magnets
  • Microscopes (USB &/o optical)
  • Newton’s Cradle & Maxwell Wheel
  • Convection Demonstrator
  • Crooke’s Radiometer
  • Optics Demonstrator
  • Bimetallic Strip Application
  • 4-Colour Map Problem
  • Giant Plasma Ball
  • ...

The Scientist For A Day Exhibition and its interactivity are also a "Public Learning Destination" of Children's University Singapore (CUS). CUS members should identify themselves to our facilitators before the start of their interaction. Once your learning activity is completed, please produce your CUS Passport for endorsement. Please note that such interaction is only available during the daily sessions.

A short guided tour is also periodically, conditionally offered. The tour introduces and highlights particular exhibits in the exhibition. A tour schedule-gathering sign will be placed at the entrance of the exhibition on those days when tours are conducted. Due to various constraints, tours will not be conducted when there are ongoing DIY Lab sessions, or under other circumstances.

When available,
  • The tour is usually conducted at 11:30am and at 3:30pm.
  • Each tour is between 20 and 25 minutes long.
  • Each tour can cater up to a maximum of 20 persons only, first-come, first-served.
    Due to the smaller, more enclosed exhibition area, bigger groups cannot be accommodated.

Each of the above laid-out experiments should not require more than 10 minutes to interact with. You are most welcome to stay and ask more questions. Visitors may join in any experiment at any time - depending on current "occupancy". Neither are you obligated to finish any particular experiment or work through all the experiments on offer on that day. It is free-&-easy for your learning pleasure.

Please note that all interactions, activities, tours are conducted in English only.Back To Top


Information for School or Large Groups

Let your students practise the Scientific Method hands-on!

You and your students may use our Scientist For A Day Exhibition and/or its DIY Lab in the 3 following ways.

See you then.

#1 : DIY Lab Session(s)

Your students will carry out a simple experiment using the Scientific Method: observe a phenomenon, frame the problem/question(s), list the salient variables, hypothesise an explanation linking the relevant variables, design their experiment, collect data, discuss their results, and conclude on their hypotheses. You may pre-select one of the following experiments and advise us on the level (Primary/Secondary/JC/others) and the learning objectives/outcomes for your session(s).

  • Simple Pendulum: What (How) did Galileo do (it)?
  • Hooke’s Law: Bungee-Jumping anyone?
  • Bouncing Balls: Follow the bouncing ball, ...
  • Basic Circuits: Brighter in series or in parallel?

DIY Lab Session Activities

  1. A summary tour of selected exhibits (~15 minutes)
  2. A briefing-demonstration of your pre-selected experiment (~15 minutes)
  3. Students conduct the experiment - with facilitation (~60 minutes)
  4. Discussion and summary (~15 minutes)

OPTIONAL Exhibit Worksheet

On confirmation of your DIY Lab session, and by additional request only, ...
a worksheet with questions specific to this Exhibition and all its exhibits can also be provided. This worksheet can be used to reinforce your students' learning of the scientific method by interacting with and answering the questions on each exhibit. Please note that such exhibit-worksheet activities ...

  • are self-guided - no facilitator(s) will attend/assist;
  • are not and CANNOT be part of your DIY Lab session, ie this exhibit-worksheet activity cannot be carried out concurrently with your DIY Lab session.
  • This exhibit-worksheet activity will generally be disallowed if there is an ongoing DIY Lab session (by another group, for example). This is because of over-crowding and noise within the exhibition area, making the DIY Lab session learning difficult.)

Terms & Conditions

  • Please note that all interactions and handouts are in English only.
  • Each DIY Lab session is 90-120 minutes long. The earliest starting time is 9am, and a session must end by 5pm.
  • Each DIY Lab session can only take a maximum of 25 students.
  • Bigger classes/groups will needed to be divided into smaller groups, and "rotated" sequentially through consecutive DIY Lab sessions.
  • That is, while one group is at the DIY Lab, the other group(s) can be engaged in other enrichment activities throughout the Science Centre. Please check online or with School Services on our many enrichment programmes and gallery pathways and their availability.
  • Large groups will likely need longer stays at the Science Centre in order to rotate all the smaller groups through their DIY Lab sessions. (To avoid putting unnecessary time pressure on some of the smaller groups, please consider dividing your large group to come on different days.)

Advanced Booking

  • MANDATORY – on a first-come, first-served basis. NO "walk-in" groups/requests will be entertained. We cannot cancel or reassign facilitators from pre-announced public interaction sessions to accommodate such impromptu requests.
  • Your request must be received at least 1 calendar week (7 days) before your proposed visit date. You may request any date and time of day (within the above-noted limits) but confirmation will depend on facilitator(s) availability as well as other reservations or uses of the exhibition space.
  • DIY Lab sessions CANNOT be booked through the Science Centre's online booking system.
  • Please download, print, fill in the booking form. Please enter "SFAD - DIY Lab Session" for the Course Title. Add your selected experiment, if possible. Then fax the completed form to 65616361, or, scan and email it to School Services.
  • Various fees/charges may be applicable for different categories of groups. Please inquire with School Services.
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#2 : Visiting the Scientist For A Day Exhibition Only

You and your students may visit our Scientist For A Day Exhibition under our Gallery Pathway Programmes. It is a "free & easy", self-guided programme. A worksheet is provided by our Educational Programmes Division. (Note that this worksheet is not the same as the exhibit-worksheet mentioned above in the DIY Lab programme.)

Gallery Pathway Activities

  1. Gallery Pathway worksheets (in English only) for the programme(s) you pre-book are usually collected at the Science Centre's Main Entrance, ie when you arrive at the Science Centre.
  2. Your visit is self-guided so you and your students are then free to organise yourselves to visit the Exhibition(s) at your own time and pace.
  3. Your students may also interact with Scientist For A Day facilitator(s) and the experiments on offer (if available) as part of our daily general public visitors. That is, NO facilitator(s) will be assigned to assist your Gallery Pathway group, in any capacity.
  4. In extraordinary circumstances, access to the exhibition by your group may be restricted if there is an ongoing DIY Lab session.

For large school groups (more than 1 typical class), it is recommended that you book other Gallery Pathway programmes (based on other exhibitions, activities/events, etc) or other enrichment programmes so that your visiting cohort can be divided into smaller groups, each engaged in a different programme/activity/area, then "rotated" sequentially through the various programmes you have booked. This will prevent overcrowding within any particular exhibition or venue. It also optimises your time at the Science Centre - for multiple learning objectives and experiences. Please check online or with School Services on our many enrichment programmes and gallery pathways and their availability.

Advanced Booking

  • MANDATORY – on a first-come, first-served basis. NO "walk-in" groups/requests will be entertained. We cannot cancel or reassign facilitators from pre-announced public interaction sessions to accommodate such impromptu requests.
  • Please note that due to space constraint, any pre-booked DIY Lab session will have precedence over your chosen date of Gallery Pathway visit, ie you may have to choose to visit on another day if there is an existing pre-booked DIY Lab session.
  • Make your reservation(s) through the Science Centre's online booking system.
  • If unable to access online, please download, print, fill in the booking form. Please enter "Scientist For A Day - Gallery Pathway" for the Course Title. Please fax the completed form to 65616361, or, scan and email it to School Services.
  • Various fees/charges may be applicable for different categories of groups. Please inquire with School Services.
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#3 : Visiting the Science Centre

You and your students are most welcome to visit the Science Centre to utilise any of its facilities. Such vists are considered "walk-in", "free & easy", self-directed programmes – just like any of our daily public visitors. NO exhibition- or activity- or programme-related worksheet, or any requests for other amenities, will be provided or entertained. (This is generally due to our staff having been assigned specific duty-location from which they may not vacate.) To optimise your time at the Science Centre, teachers are encouraged to preview our exhibitions to create their own teaching/learning resources for such visits.

Booking

Although advanced booking is not strictly required, it is highly recommended that you pre-register your visit. For example, you may book online various Gallery Pathway Programmes, or, just inform our School Services of your intended visit. As it is important for us to ensure no overcrowding or other factors affecting your students' (and other visitors') learning experience, foreknowledge of your visit also gives us the opportunity to inform you of any special circumstances or concurrent events that may enhance your visit.

Various fees/charges may be applicable for different categories of groups. Please inquire with School Services.
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