Be a scientist for a day at our discover-it-yourself laboratory! Move through the stages of the Scientific Method guided by our facilitators, volunteers and, when available, guest scientists.
Stain a piece of chromatographic paper with coloured mixtures near one edge. “Stand” the paper upright, dipping the stained edge into some water. Each colour advances up the paper at a different speed, thereby separating out from the mixture!
Discover Tesla’s incredible Plasma ball - a clear glass device filled with noble gases with a high-voltage electrode at its centre! Place your fingertips on the ball (one at a time) and watch how the pretty glow of discharges appear to connect with them! It’s an electrifying spectacle at your fingertips.
How to get the most out of Scientist For a Day
You can enjoy Scientist For A Day on your own or with your family. We also welcome school groups. The exhibition is open to all visitors during the Science Centre's regular opening hours. However, the DIY Lab and its facilitators are only available at set sessions.
Morning session: 10.30 am – 12.30 pm
Afternoon session: 2.30 pm – 4.30 pm
For school-class or large group visits, other DIY Lab time slots can be pre-arranged through advanced booking only. More details are available here.
Accompanying adults are strongly advised to remain with their students or children to assist in and support their learning.
The Scientific Method
At school we learn about the ‘Scientific Method’ – use our lab to put it into practice.
The Scientific Method is a flexible process – 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 systematically engages one’s senses on an intriguing or enigmatic idea and uses our pre-knowledge, ingenuity and creativity to understand and resolve it – all in a methodical, analytical-logical manner.
Using the Scientific Method
Our facilitators will lead you through various simple but thought-provoking experiments using "inquiry-based" methods. This helps you to understand the scientific concepts underlying the experiments and familiarises you with the Scientific Method.
Steps of the Scientific Method:
- Observe a phenomenon
- Frame the problem/question(s)
- List the salient variables
- Hypothesise an explanation linking the relevant variables
- Design and conduct the experiment
- Collect data
- Discuss the results
- Conclude on your hypothesis
When in attendance, the DIY Lab facilitator(s) will set up some of the following experiments:
- 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 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 for other duties at short notice and the DIY Lab session will be suspended. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused by such instances. Updates will be provided at the Lab and/or through public announcements, when applicable.
- Each experiment usually requires not more than 10 minutes. You are welcome to stay and ask questions after the experiment is completed.
- You may join in any experiment at any time, on a first-come, first-served basis.
- You are free to learn at your own pace at the experiment stations and you are not obliged to complete any particular experiment or work through all the experiments on offer during that session.
- All interactions and activities, are conducted in English only.
- Not more than three or four experiments can be simultaneously set up in any one session. It is not possible to showcase all the experiments listed above at the same time in any one session. We seek your understanding and cooperation as we will not be able to accept requests for specific experiments.
- Our facilitators will receive one inquirer at a time, on a first-come, first-served basis, and will accommodate as many participants as possible.
- The Scientist For A Day Exhibition and its interactivity are also a "Public Learning Destination" of Children's University Singapore (CUS). CUS members must identify themselves to our facilitators before the start of their interaction. Once your learning activity is completed, please provide your CUS Passport for endorsement. Please note that such requests are only available during the daily sessions.
- Please respect our DIY Lab facilitators and our exhibition so that we can provide an enriching learning experience for all visitors.
- When there is more than one visitor in the Lab, our facilitators may answer your question(s) (perhaps, with more thinking questions), then move on to the next visitor's queries. Your understanding and co-operation are much appreciated, especially during the more crowded sessions.
- Abusive and disruptive visitors will be asked to leave the Lab. Please view the Science Centre's Service Charter.
- Please accompany your children at all times. Your presence adds to their learning experience and their safety.
More information and related programmes can be found here:
- Exhibit Highlights and Exhibition Layout
- Show Us Your Science