With all that fictional characters that children enjoy these days, it is important that children also learn that there is a lot more to life than just their beloved fictional characters and toys.
Disney (who hasn’t seen the Frozen craze?!), Despicable Me from Universal Pictures, Sky Blue Studios creating Rio and Ice Age. And of course, dear old Pixar who brought us Toy Story, Ratatouille, A Bug’s Life, The Incredibles, Monsters Inc, Cars, Brave, Up, etc have successfully entertained people of all ages. All these characters being birthed from the wonders of computer science and animation technology.
Whilst fictional entertainment is a great way for us to unwind, one cannot fault the benefit of educational activities for our children. Science is indeed an amazing, wonderful thing. It continues to evolve, grow, making new discoveries and developments daily. And what better way for children to learn than being hands-on and having fun whilst learning and discovering new things.
Here are Top 5 Science Activities For Kids :
1. National Planetarium Kuala Lumpur
Our National Planetarium is dedicated to all things related to science and astronomy. Located on a hill to the east of the Lake Gardens, the noticeable blue dome is hard to miss. Although it’s not as an impressive or high-tech like the planetarium in New York or London, it is still an enjoyable and educational place for children to visit to learn about the planet and universe.
The main entrance depicts a teleport chamber which leads to a series of halls containing two planetariums that have interactive exhibits – interactive computers, hands-on experiments, a Space Theatre, the Space Ball (a cool human sized gyroscopic device that spins around but if you get motion sickness, perhaps give it a miss!), a UV-lit lift called Galeri Pemandangan (Observation Gallery) which takes you to the Viewing Gallery and so on. If you’ve not been there yet, it merits a visit.
There is also something special brewing this month. The National Planetarium together with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) and the National Space Agency (ANGKASA) have combined organising efforts with the Ministry of Education (MOE) and University of Malaya (UM) in organising the Rocket Launching Technology Challenge, which takes place on the 6th – 8th September 2014.
It is a national water rocket competition and this year, it sees its 12th year since its start in 2003. It is also an advanced science education program for supporting conventional secondary school curriculum in the country. See here for more information on the Rocket Launching Technology Challenge.
Opening hours: Mondays closed. 10:00am – 5:00pm Tuesday till Sunday
Address: Lot 54, Jalan Perdana, Tasik Perdana, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2273 7277
Admission fee: Main exhibition hall is free. Ticket prices apply for the Space Ball and the Space Theatre.
2. National Science Centre (Pusat Sains Negara)
The concept of the National Science Center was first conceived in the early 1980’s and it finally was officially opened in 1996. The main aim of the science centre is to promote greater understanding and interest in science and technology. Situated atop a hill on 8 hectares of landscaped grounds at Bukit Damansara, its geodesic dome is a landmark for many and can easily be seen whilst driving past, so it’s not difficult to find.
There are several themes in the exhibition galleries – an environmental odyssey, pathways to discovery, future world and thinking machines. There’s also a Science Show, Let’s Xperiment – an activity corner for hands on activities supervised by the centre’s facilitators, Kid’s Discovery Place which is specially catered for younger children age 4 -6 and the Nature Secrets’ which houses a variety of science activities and programmes about the secrets of nature.
Catering to both adults and children alike, it’s a good day out for the family. Other facilities include a cafeteria, multimedia library, lecture hall and multi-purpose hall. See here for further information and regular updates on activities at the centre.
Opening hours: 09:00am – 5:00pm, Mondays till Thursdays. Fridays closed. 09:00am – 5:00pm Saturdays & Sundays.
Address: Persiaran Bukit Kiara, Bukit Damansara, 50490 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2089 3400
Admission fee: RM6 for adults, RM3 for children (age 6 – 12 years old) & senior citizens.
3. Petrosains, The Discovery Centre
Located in Suria KLCC on the fourth floor of the Petronas Twin Towers, Petrosains is a 7,000 sqm interactive science discovery centre that is dedicated to the field of petroleum science and aims to present science and technology in a fun and entertaining way. Arranged in an easy to get around museum style concept with a collection of everything from the space age to fossils.
It’s a great entertaining place to learn more about scientific issues and it has a host of interesting activities for children. Petrosains is divided into 11 main interactive showcases, which can be visited in any order. Popular with both locals and tourists, as well as expatriate families, this is place to come for a great time of educational fun.
On the 15th till 21st of September 2014, the Petrosains Science Festival Kuala Lumpur (aka #PetrosainsFest) will be making its comeback. Back by popular demand since its successful launch last year, this year’s theme is “Music, Art and Science”. The aim of the festival is help raise awareness on the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education. Its vision is also to awaken interest and passion in science, wonder of discovery and introducing the pleasures of life-long learning to the general public. It was visited by over 40,000 people last year and the organisers promise a bigger and better festival this year round. Don’t miss out! See here for more details.
Opening hours: Mondays closed. 09:30am – 5:30pm Tuesdays till Fridays. 09:30am – 6:30pm Saturdays, Sundays & public holidays.
Address: Level 4, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan.
Tel: 03-2331 8181
Admission fee: See this link for ticket prices to Petrosains.
4. Dinoscovery by Dinosaurs Live!
Travel back in time to discover the Mesozoic era by experiencing this fantastic exhibition with over 17 life-size dinosaurs. Besides learning about the climate conditions, evolution of these extinct creatures, there’s also a 10m race to challenge a Gallimimus, a 5m wall to scale in order to steal a Pteranodon’s nest (how cool is that?!), a hunt for relics in the Dino Quest.
This one-of-a-kind educational exhibit is stretched over 13,000 square feet and if you’re a Paleontology fan, you’ll like this exhibit. The exhibit runs till September 2015 so there is plenty of time to check it out.
Opening hours: Daily, 10:00am – 10:00pm
Address: Level 4, Avenue K, 156, Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan.
Tel: 03-2181 7218
Admission fee: See this link for ticket purchases.
5. Mother Nature Science Learning Center
This is a little different from the others mentioned here. Although they are not an exhibition nor are they a gallery or a museum/science centre, we placed the center on this list because of the range of science based activities they have for children, both educationally and for the services they offer.
Originally established in Taiwan in 1984, Mother Nature Science specialises in educational yet entertaining programmes for children age 5 – 12. The programme is used in several countries, including being taught in 68 primary schools in London, England. Malaysia currently has two centers, one in Penang and the other in Bandar Puteri Puchong, which opened this year.
The center has regular after school programmes, called the After School Science Club specifically for children age 1 – 6. The club allows children to engage in practical experiments, watch scientific demonstrations and to participate in enquiry-based discussions. The children also get to take home their handmade projects, e.g. model rockets, periscopes, etc. This center aims to encourage imaginative learning, allowing the children to see that science can indeed be interesting, thought evoking, fun and that science is an avenue of creation and exploration.
Besides having after school programmes, the center also has facilities where you can host a Science Party for your child’s next birthday. They set up a laboratory full of interactive demonstrations and fun activities. Your child will have the best science themed birthday party ever!
Then, they have the Science Holiday Camps, where instructors will ensure that the children learn with an action packed educational programme with hands-on activities exploring science through various themes and topics. Each day at the Science Holiday Camp will be filled of science experiments that the children make and the best part is, the children get to take their proud achievements home to show you.
Address: No 4-2, Jalan Puteri 1/1, Bandar Puteri Puchong, 47100 Selangor
Tel: 013- 2669623 and 013-3999623