Singapore -- (ACN Newswire) -- The Singapore Science Festival (SSF) is back for the fourteenth year, bringing back crowd favourites such as X-periment!, the Singapore Mini Maker Faire and the STAR Lecture, alongside several celebrity science performers and exciting new events. Opening tomorrow, the yearly celebration of everything science and technology, co-organised by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and the Singapore Science Centre, is set to continue rocking young minds and pushing further the buttons of curiosity.
This is in line with Singapore's increasingly broad-based approach towards the learning of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) subjects. A deep interest in STEM motivates thinking, curiosity and innovation, principles that will help the adults of tomorrow navigate and adapt to a rapidly changing world. With an aim to cultivate and groom the next generation of STEM practitioners in Singapore, SSF 2014 aims to bring STEM subjects to life through interesting and fun play, observation and hands-on experiences.
Introducing the Rock Star Scientists of Singapore Science Festival 2014
Differentiating itself from previous editions, this year's SSF will take on a fresh theme, You Can be a Rock Star with Science. The festival will celebrate scientists who are rock stars in their own right, making a difference to the world we live in, and changing the way we learn science.
These include Rhys Thomas, an entertainer from the UK who leverages Physics for his performances, as well as Dr. Alison Woollard from Britain's Royal Institution Christmas Lectures. Thomas' "Science Circus" show will feature interactive comedy and high level circus tricks, all based on the laws of Physics, while Dr. Woollard, a University Lecturer in Genetics from the Biochemistry Department at the University of Oxford, will be presenting the STAR Lecture on how cells grow, divide and die.
Local researchers such as Dr. Jonathan Loh from A*STAR's Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB), and Dr. Alexander Van Herk from A*STAR's Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences (ICES) will also be featured in the SSF events. Dr. Loh, who will be participating in this year's STAR Lecture, was part of the team that recently developed a method to generate stem cells from a single drop of finger-pricked blood which could lead to extensive stem cell banking for research and medical studies, while Dr. Van Herk will be demonstrating through chemistry the magic behind the beautiful colours in fireworks, how rocket fuel works, how a glow stick gives out light and how to light a sugar cube, among other tricks in the Spectacular Chemistry science show, another event of the SSF.
Professor Alfred Huan, Executive Director of the A*STAR Graduate Academy, said: "The SSF shows that science is not confined to the laboratory. The SSF events make science accessible to the public, and help both researchers and the population at large to better understand the role of science not only in everyday life, but in Singapore's economy and development. We want the public to enjoy interacting with the researchers and to appreciate the significance of the work they do, so that more will see that science is the way to the future."
Reaching Out to Singapore's Young
Daring to cross boundaries into the unconventional, this year's SSF promises to answer the age-old question, "Where do babies come from?" Sex Cells, a tongue-in-cheek musical targeted at youth, will help its audience to understand how life comes about scientifically through song, dance and funny characters such as the Champion Sperm and the Egg. This musical is specially written for the SSF 2014 by Associate Professor (A/P) Lim Tit Meng, Chief Executive, Science Centre Singapore, and will be presented by theatre group, theVoice,
Continuing the journey to educate young minds, the Singapore Science Festival will also present for the first time, Science Ahoy! This science voyage will take the young through a series of experiments across the various categories of science. Participants will get the chance to fill the shoes of a Chemist, a Food scientist, a geologist, a physicist and more as they solve problems on board the Science Ahoy! cruise.
Well-attended events from previous years such as the X-periment! Carnival, GeneFest and the Mini Makers Faire are set to return better than before. The X-periment! Carnival will once again provide an opportunity for both adults and kids to learn more about science through interactive, hands-on experiments set up by the universities, research institutes, polytechnics and companies. Carnival goers will get a chance to see how a heart works in the flesh through a 4D heart simulation at A*STAR's Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC) booth, as well as leverage a trash can as a weapon spitting air vortex shells to knock over foam cups and empty plastic bottles at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences' booth. This year, X-periment! will also feature performances by 'The Dancing Scientist', Jeffrey Vinokur from the USA. As the name implies, the Dancing Scientist boasts a juxtaposition of education and entertainment in his show, "So You Think You Can Do Science". SSF is extremely proud to be the first host for "So You Think You Can Do Science" in Asia.
GeneFest returns again this year, giving participants the chance to be trainee doctors for a day in a 'medical academy'. As part of their training, participants will not only learn what real doctors do when diagnosing heart disease, diabetes and fractures, they will even get the chance to try out blood analysis and bacteria plating, among other activities.
To encourage the growing trend and celebration of the Do-It-Yourself culture, SSF will present for the third year running, the Singapore Mini Maker Faire, a showcase of people and the work that they love doing at two different places - UTown at NUS and the Senja Cashew Community Centre. The Faire will feature cardboard sculptor Bartholomew Ting's 3D cardboard dinosaur sculptures which have been exhibited at several locations across Singapore. Besides these sculptures, the Faire will also feature home-made robots and spark machines.
Partners Help Bring Science to the Masses
Joining A*STAR and the Science Centre Singapore in their aim to bring science to everyone are over 50 partners which includes tourist attractions, education institutions and local community groups. This year, the SSF partners will be offering a number of partner initiatives that take participants behind the scenes.
One exclusive initiative is Be a Panda Researcher by the River Safari, where participants will get to experience taking care of the River Safari's treasured pandas. From identifying panda tracks, to examining panda poo and paw prints, the Be a Panda Researcher programme promises to help participants understand the bears and their habits. The South East Asia (S.E.A.) Aquarium has also specially organised six Feeding Frenzy Trails during the period of SSF, where participants will be able to get a private viewing of the aquarium before opening hours. Participants will follow the S.E.A. Aquarium's Marine Guides to prepare food for the aquarium's inhabitants and perhaps even get to feed the fishes in their different habitats. The Be a Panda Researcher programme and the Feeding Frenzy Trail are just two of several partner events, activities and exhibitions that help to extend the experience of the Singapore Science Festival.
"An interest in science and education played a major role in changing my life. As such, igniting the spark of interest in science and technology is a topic close to my heart. At the same time, I'm a strong believer that the future of Singapore is very much dependent on its citizens embracing STEM at all levels. This year's SSF revamps the way we look at scientists today - whether they are celebrities, citizen scientists, budding scientists or established ones - and reinforces the fact that science is fun and fulfilling," said A/P Lim.
The Singapore Science Festival 2014 opens tomorrow, and will run till 3 August.
About Singapore Science Festival
The Singapore Science Festival is an annual celebration of the latest scientific innovations, new technologies, and cutting-edge research, and engineering, making them relatable and relevant to everyday life. There will be a range of exciting hands-on activities, events, workshops, and guest performances lined up all over Singapore from 18 July to 3 August.
The 2014 edition of the festival aims to rebrand scientists, engineers and technologists, with the theme 'Not all rock stars play the guitar. With science, you can be a rock star too'.
Previously known as the National Science Month, the festival is jointly organised by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and the Science Centre Singapore. For more information, please visit us at http://www.sciencefest.sg or look us up on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/singaporesciencefest
About the Organisers of the Singapore Science Festival
About the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is Singapore's lead public sector agency that fosters world-class scientific research and talent to drive economic growth and transform Singapore into a vibrant knowledge-based and innovation driven economy.
In line with its mission-oriented mandate, A*STAR spearheads research and development in fields that are essential to growing Singapore's manufacturing sector and catalysing new growth industries. A*STAR supports these economic clusters by providing intellectual, human and industrial capital to its partners in industry.
A*STAR oversees 18 biomedical sciences and physical sciences and engineering research entities, located in Biopolis and Fusionopolis, as well as their vicinity. These two R&D hubs house a bustling and diverse community of local and international research scientists and engineers from A*STAR's research entities as well as a growing number of corporate laboratories. For more information on A*STAR, please visit www.a-star.edu.sg.
About Science Centre Singapore
Science Centre Singapore is a non-formal educational institution and a leading regional Science Centre. A custodian of creativity and innovation, the Centre has captured the evolution of scientific developments through unique and relevant exhibitions and shows. The Centre houses 14 exhibition galleries with more than 1,000 exhibits, another 30,000 sq metres of outdoor exhibition space showcasing the Waterworks exhibition, Ecogarden and Kinetic Garden as well as the Omni-Theatre - Singapore's only dome-shaped, 5-storey high IMAX theatre.
The Centre and its partners have played a pivotal role in transforming the way students and the public interact with and learn about science & technology. Together with the Omni-Theatre and Snow City, it has engaged and enriched more than 29.5 million students and visitors since 1977.
This year, the Centre launched an 'I Love Science Centre' campaign to share our love for science with everyone and demonstrate the many things to love about the Science Centre. The Science Centre, Omni-Theatre and Snow City received 1.26 million visitors for FY2012/2013. For more information, please visit www.science.edu.sg.
List of Organisations Involved in SSF2014
We would like to thank the following organisations for their involvement in the Singapore Science Festival 2014:
1. A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research) http://www.a-star.edu.sg/
2. ArtScience Museum http://www.marinabaysands.com/singapore-museum/
3. Biomedical Engineering Society http://www.bes.org.sg/
4. Bioinformatics Institute http://www.bii.a-star.edu.sg/
5. Dassault Systemes http://www.3ds.com/
6. Data Storage Institute http://www.dsi.a-star.edu.sg/
7. Economic Development Board http://www.edb.gov.sg/content/edb/en.html?cmpid=edb_en33
8. Genome Institute of Singapore http://www.gis.a-star.edu.sg
9. Haw Par Leisure (Underwater World) http://www.underwaterworld.com.sg
10. Institute for Infocomm Research http://www.i2r.a-star.edu.sg/
11. Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology http://www.ibn.a-star.edu.sg/
12. Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences http://www.ices.a-star.edu.sg/
13. Institute of High Performance Computing http://www.ihpc.a-star.edu.sg/
14. Institute of Medical Biology http://www.imb.a-star.edu.sg/
15. Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology http://www.imcb.a-star.edu.sg/
16. Institute of Microelectronics http://www.ime.a-star.edu.sg/
17. Institute of Materials Research and Engineering http://www.imre.a-star.edu.sg/
18. Institute of Engineers Singapore http://www.ies.org.sg/#&panel1-1
19. KidsSTOP http://www.kidsstop.edu.sg/
20. Maritime Experiential Museum http://bit.ly/1qh07ak
21. Marine Life Park http://www.rwsentosa.com/language/enUS/Homepage/ThingsToDo/MarineLifePark
22. MediaCorp Press http://www.mediacorp.sg/en/
23. Ministry of Education http://www.moe.gov.sg/
24. National Environment Agency http://app2.nea.gov.sg/
25. National Heritage Board http://www.nhb.gov.sg/
26. National Library Board http://www.nlb.gov.sg
27. National Metrology Centre http://www.nmc.a-star.edu.sg/
28. National Parks Board https://www.nparks.gov.sg/cms/
29. Nanyang Technological University http://www.ntu.edu.sg/Pages/home.aspx
30. National University of Singapore http://www.nus.edu.sg/
31. People's Association http://www.pa.gov.sg/
32. PUB http://www.pub.gov.sg/Pages/default.aspx
33. Republic Polytechnic http://www.rp.edu.sg/
34. Resorts World Sentosa http://www.rwsentosa.com/
35. S.E.A. Aquarium http://bit.ly/1sqrsGZ
36. Science Centre Singapore http://www.science.edu.sg/Pages/SCBHome.aspx
37. Singapore Academy of Young Engineers and Scientists (SAYES) http://sayes.science.edu.sg/
38. Singapore Association for the Advancement of Science http://bit.ly/1n9pCbt
39. Singapore Bioimaging Consortium http://www.sbic.a-star.edu.sg/
40. Singapore Discovery Centre http://www.sdc.com.sg/
41. Singapore National Academy of Science http://snas.org.sg/
42. Singapore Immunology Network http://www.sign.a-star.edu.sg/
43. Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences http://www.sics.a-star.edu.sg/
44. Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology http://www.simtech.a-star.edu.sg/
45. Singapore Institute of Technology http://www.singaporetech.edu.sg/
46. Singapore Polytechnic http://www.sp.edu.sg/wps/portal/vp-spws
47. Singapore Tourism Board https://app.stb.gov.sg/asp/index.asp
48. Singapore University of Technology and Design http://www.sutd.edu.sg/
49. Temasek Polytechnic http://www.tp.edu.sg/main/index.asp
50. Universal Studios Singapore http://www.rwsentosa.com/Homepage/ThingsToDo/UniversalStudiosSingapore
51. Urban Redevelopment Authority http://www.ura.gov.sg/
52. Wildlife Reserves Singapore http://www.wrs.com.sg/
Science Centre Singapore
+65 6425 2372
Agency for Science, Technology and Research
+65 6826 6395
Ogilvy Public Relations
+65 9093 3787