The last time I visited the Science Centre Singapore (SCS) was in the early 1990s, way back when I was still single and was in Singapore with my girlfriends to watch ‘The Phantom of The Opera’. The SCS made quite an impact on me at the time that I made a note to myself to take my children there one day. That opportunity finally came some three weeks ago, when our family went to Singapore to join K and family, who were in Southeast Asia for their summer holidays. (I know, I know. I’ve been delinquent and haven’t been blogging in a more timely manner. Sorry!)
The SCS is conveniently located in Jurong East, easily accessible from Malaysia via the less-congested Second Link. [NB: The main bridge that connects Singapore and Malaysia is called ‘Causeway’ and is almost always congested.]
Apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks SCS is a cool place to visit; SCS’ website says that it is the 3rd most visited attraction in Singapore. (The Singapore Zoological Gardens hogs the top spot, followed closely by Night Safari.)
As soon as we arrived, the children immediately got all psyched up. Who wouldn’t? What with this huge moving dinosaur model welcoming visitors at the entrance!
Photo from http://couchpootato.blogspot.com/
Most of the displays are interactive and we wasted no time to trying everything that could be poked, prodded, peeked into, spun, opened, and fiddled with.
Unfortunately, there were three busloads of schoolchildren that day. One huge group of those children swarmed into the Sounds section and in the ensuing confusion, Twin2 went missing. Trying to keep calm, I looked around the Sounds exhibition hall, looking into the Recording Studio, the ‘barbershop’, the Echo Tube. Nada. Exasperated, I walked into the SCS’s office, right next to the entrance. I stepped into the office just as they were announcing a ‘lost boy in a yellow shirt’ — Twin2! He jumped into my arms and bawled. He was still crying his heart out when we rejoined his father and his siblings. Fortunately, the electricity demonstration was just starting and the loud zap of electricity within the enclosed area made him forget his troubles.
Speaking of the Echo Tube, that’s just got to be my favourite interactive display at SCS. It’s, as the name suggests, a long tube where you can talk, sing or yodel anything and hear it echo. I had a blast channeling my inner Little Mermaid and singing the song that Ariel sang just before the evil Sea Witch took her voice away. I also creeped the twins out by making scary ghost sounds into the Echo Tube. I can be such a kid sometimes!
The Robotics section was small but it had a robotic arm on display that looked so lifelike…and moved. (I have a video of it somewhere. Once I find it, I’ll upload it here.) Naturally, the twins just had to have their photo taken with a small model of Wall-E…
When us, adults, we started to feel tired, we took a break in the Science Centre’s library, located on the first floor. There was a small section for small children, complete with rubber mat, age-appropriate books, and some puzzles. The bigger children made a beeline for the computers that announced ‘Free Internet’. At a corner, I saw a console for signing up for free WiFi, which had a four-hour limit within the Science Centre’s grounds, a very pleasant bonus indeed.
Finally, we made our way to Nanotechnology, wandered around the exhibits until we found the lift to the highlight of the Science Centre — a hall where the floor lights up with every step you make. It was pure, unadulterated awesomeness to the max!
SCS is an exciting, educational yet inexpensive way to spend one whole day — or at the very least, half a day — in Singapore with your children. Or to indulge the inquisitive child in you. I’d pick SCS over Night Safari any day because you end up spending more time at the queues rather than the shows at Night Safari.
A McDonald’s outlet is located near at the entrance of SCS, right behind the dinosaur model that I mentioned earlier. There’s also a cafeteria within SCS’ premises.
Admission fees cost S$9 for adults and S$5.00 for children between 3 and 16 years old. IMAX movies are charged separately. A package ticket is available for entry to both the SCS, the adjoining Snow City, and IMAX. Click here for more information on admission charges and here to see SCS’s opening hours and location map.
Given the dim lighting condition of most of the SCS, for DSLR camera owners, I suggest bringing along a fast lens like the inexpensive Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D prime lens for flash-free pics.
Science Centre Singapore
15 Science Centre Road
Tel: (65) 6425-2500
Fax: (65) 6565-9533