Putting the fun into finding-out at Singapore Science Centre
Hong Kong’s Studio Cassells was behind a new engineering exhibition for kids. Lead designer Lucy Cant takes us on a tour of the project
So what was your brief?
The project brief from Science Centre Singapore was to create an exhibition to elevate the work of engineers and to promote engineering as a career pathway for young Sinaporeans.
We partnered with Story Inc from New Zealand and came up with the concept ‘Future Makers’ which ended up being selected for development and production by the Science Centre.
Describe the exhibition.
Our aim was to illustrate the engineering problem-solving process and show how this process can be applied to many different industries.
In the main exhibition area, visitors ‘meet’ historic and contemporary engineers and learn about the engineering challenges behind the invention of mega structures, rockets, medicine, food and fashion. Kids can complete challenge interactives at each station, which enables them to collect codes and take part in the final stage of the exhibition – the alien-themed escape room.
How did you give engineering a fun spin?
To give an engaging introduction to the topic, we created a Robot Theatre. On the stage, four, high-tech, video-screen wielding robotic arms, each with their own distinct personality, give a synchronised performance explaining the history and scope of engineering.
Throughout the main exhibition, by completing the challenge interactives I mentioned above, visitors are continually learning. And as a fun finale, they have 20-minutes using engineering concepts to repair and re-activate a crashed spacecraft in the escape room to prevent an impending invasion.
How long did the project take to implement?
From concept through to completion, it took around one-and-a-half years.
And what do visitors think?
We did go along to the exhibition after its opening and it was pretty cool to see visitors enjoying the interactives in the main exhibition. The Robot Theatre in particular has had lots of very positive feedback.
What can kids expect to learn from the experience?
I think children will be surprised by just how many different fields of engineering that there are. There are the more well-known areas such as civil and mechanical engineering, but there’s also materials, food, fashion, textiles and bioengineering.
I hope that kids take away with them that at the heart of engineering is a problem solving process, which is something we all naturally do.
What’s your next project?
We’re currently working with the same project team, Story Inc, and again for the Science Centre Singapore. We’re in the early development stages of a new exhibition looking at smart technology – watch this space!
Future Makers is a permanent exhibition at Singapore Science Centre, Level 2, Hall G, 15 Science Centre Road, Singapore 609081. Open daily 10am-6pm (closed on Monday). Nearest MRT stop is Jurong East Station.