Scientist For A Day
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 or implicitly, 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 scientific knowledge.Back To Top
General Information for All Visitors
The Scientist For A Day Exhibition is usually open to all visitors during the Science Centre's regular operating hours. Please note that our DIY Lab – and its facilitator(s) – will only be open during the following daily periods:
For school-class or large groups' visits, other DIY Lab time slots can be pre-arranged through advanced booking only. See below for more details.
Please note that the following:
- Access to the exhibition may be restricted during DIY Lab classes and/or other special events.
- Under certain circumstances, our DIY Lab facilitator(s) may be called away on short notice. At such times, the DIY Lab session will be suspended.
We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused by such instances. Updates will be provided on the on-site poster-sign and/or through public announcements, when applicable.
When in attendance, the DIY 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 & the Van de Graaff Generator
- Microscopes (USB &/o optical)
- Newton’s Cradle &/o Maxwell Wheel
- Convection Demonstrator
- Crooke’s Radiometer
- Optics Demonstrator
- Bimetallic Strip Application
- 4-Colour Map Problem
- Giant Plasma Ball
Please note that it is NOT possible to showcase all the experiments listed above in any one session. Not more than 3 or 4 experiments are usually put up in any session - usually depending on the number of facilitators available. No visitor request for particular experiment(s) will be accepted.
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 requests are only available during the daily sessions.
Each of the above 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", ie first-come, first-served for all visitors. Neither are you obligated to finish any particular experiment or work through all the experiments on offer during that session. It is free-&-easy for your learning pleasure.
Please note that all interactions, activities, etc, are conducted in English only.
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- Please respect our DIY Lab facilitators and our exhibition. They are there to enhance your learning experience. Our method of interaction is provided one inquirer at a time, on a first-come, first-served basis to as many visitors as can be accommodated sequentially. Our facilitators may answer your question(s) (perhaps, with more thinking questions), then move on to the next visitor's queries. No "monopolising" our facilitator by any particular visitor, please! Your understanding and co-operation are much appreciated - especially during the more crowded sessions. Abusive/disruptive visitors will be asked to leave the area. Please view the Science Centre's Service Charter
- Please accompany your children at all times. This adds to their learning experience, and their safety as well.
- Please do not request for or demand that a particular experiment be brought out and shown. We cannot accommodate such ad hoc requests.
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 following ways.Accompanying adults are very strongly requested to remain with
their students or children to assist in and augment their learning.
#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.
- Singapore school groups may pre-select one of the following experiments using our Online Booking System (OBS).
- Tour and other groups must book through our Marketing Department. We shall then contact you to finalise your choice of experiment.
You may choose one of the following experiments for your group's session.
- Timing with a Pendulum
How did Galileo measure the time of fall in his Tower of Pisa experiments? He didn't have smartphones with stopwatches!
- Hooke's Law on Bungee Jumping
If you start a bungee jumping business with only one bungee cord, how can it cater to all the different sizes and weights of your customers?
- Follow the Bouncing Ball
Watch the bouncing ball rise and fall, and rise and ... Why does it always follow such a pattern? What are the controlling factors?
- Parallel & Series Circuits
So which is brighter/better: bulbs in parallel or bulbs in series?
- Centre of Gravity Balancing Act
Learn about Centre of Gravity (CG), how to find the CG of any body, and ideas on equilibrium and stability. Where is the CG of a tightrope/high-wire walker/funambulist? How does it help in balancing?
Your DIY Lab Session Facilitated Activities
- A summary tour of selected exhibits (~15 minutes)
An introduction to the scientific method
- A briefing-demonstration of your pre-selected experiment (~15 minutes)
Realising your observational skills
- Conducting your experiment - with facilitation (~60 minutes)
- Discussing and Concluding (~15 minutes)
Which is better/clearer: an incorrect hypothesis or a not-wrong hypothesis?
Terms & Conditions
- Please note that all interactions and handouts are in English only.
- Each DIY Lab session is 90-120 minutes long.
- AM Session: The earliest starting time is 10am. The latest starting time is 11am.
- PM Session: The earliest starting time is 2pm. The latest starting time is 3:30pm.
- Each DIY Lab session can only take a maximum of 25-30 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 (<30 students) is at the DIY Lab, the other group(s) can be engaged in other enrichment activities throughout the Science Centre. Please check Online Booking System (OBS) or with School Services on our many enrichment programmes and gallery pathways and their availability. This also means that 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 subgroups, please consider dividing your cohort up in order to come on different days.)
Advanced Booking Required
- 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.
- Science Centre Members (schools) must make their bookings through our Online Booking System (OBS). All terms and conditions are as per the stipulations of using the OBS. You may request any date and time of day (within the limits noted in T&C above). OBS will send an initial "confirmation" or receipt/acknowledgment of your booking request. Final confirmation will depend on facilitator availability as well as other priority uses of the exhibition space. Our facilitators may also contact you for more information on your students and your requirements.
- Groups from private schools, overseas schools, companies or tour agencies can contact our Marketing Department to place their bookings. Please give us a minimum two-week advanced request. Please note that additional per pax charges may apply in addition to course fees and admission rates.
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#2 : Visiting the Science Centre
You and your students are most welcome to visit the Science Centre to utilise its facilities. Such visits are considered "walk-in", "free & easy", self-directed programmes – ie they are treated the same as our daily public visitors. NO exhibition- or activity- or programme-related worksheet, or any requests for such and other amenities, will be provided or entertained. (This is generally due to our staff having been assigned specific duty-locations from which they may not vacate or change.)
To optimise your time at the Science Centre, teachers/tutors/trainers are encouraged to preview our exhibitions to create your own teaching/learning resources for such visits. Your pre-visiting also provides the opportunity to see the Scientist For A Day facilities in particular, and speak with our facilitators about your more specific needs, if any. However, please note that we may not be able to provide for your requirements.
Although advanced booking (by Science Centre Members) is not required, we highly recommend that you pre-register your visit. For example, you may book various Gallery Pathway Programmes via our online portal, 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. You wouldn't want to arrive to find that the venue is inaccessible as it is being used for a special event!
Groups from private schools, overseas schools, companies or tour agencies can contact Marketing to place their bookings. Please note that additional per pax charges may apply in addition to admission rates. Please note that any specific request to visit Scientist For A Day should be made at least two (2) weeks in advance.
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