Science Centre Singapore gets $3.5 million in sponsorships for new science centre for children

KidsSTOP, which is slated to open in June, aims to arouse children's natural curiosity and let them explore and learn more about science through exhibits and programmes. Spanning 3,000 sq m, the centre will be located within SCS's omni-theatre building.

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Here is the press release from the Science Centre in full:

Science Centre Singapore (SCS) today received sponsorships of S$3.5 million from four local and international organisations for the development of Singapore's first science centre for children, KidsSTOP™, and its programmes. These organisations include Building and Construction Authority (BCA), Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), LEGO Education and Tote Board.

KidsSTOP™ aims to arouse and nurture children's natural curiosity by providing experiences that cater to their tendencies to explore and learn. Early childhood professionals and educators will play a central role in facilitating the enriching learning experiences, which are aligned to the Ministry of Education's emphasis on nurturing early learners. This underpins the importance of holistic development that is driven by the fact that children are curious, active and competent learners.

A/Prof Lim Tit Meng, Chief Executive, Science Centre Singapore, said, "Science is a subject of discovery, and is best learnt through hands-on exploration. We are very excited about the development of KidsSTOP™, a dedicated facility for younger children. It will tap on their natural curiosity at a critical stage of development as they discover the world and science around them through discovery and play.

Today, we are glad to have these partners on board to support us in our journey to create this one-of-a-kind edutainment centre and family destination. Their support will go a long way in sparking young children's imagination, curiosity and interest in science. "

The funds will go towards the development of activities and programmes for various KidsSTOP™ zones. Sponsorship monies from CAAS, BCA and LEGO Education will finance the Flight and Space Zone, Built Environment Zone and Robo Robo Club respectively. Tote Board's sponsorship will contribute to KidsSTOP™ and its related programmes in general.

A/Prof Lim also highlighted the different elements of KidsSTOP™ for the first time through an augmented reality presentation at the Cheque Presentation Ceremony this morning. The virtual walkthrough for KidsSTOP™ provided insight into the facility, which is designed around four themes - Imagine, Experience, Discover and Dream.

Key highlights include:

The Built Environment Zone is where young visitors can see how bridges are built safely, how buildings conserve energy and are friendly and accessible to all. They will also experience a mechanised crane used in modern construction.

The Dino Pit will allow children to conduct research as "paleontologists" as they search for bones and other dinosaur fossils from pre-historic times using tools such as brushes, chisels, and shovels.

Young ones can look forward to experimenting with and exploring the topics of flight and gravity at the Flight and Space Zone. At the "How Things Fly" display, they can even create their own unique flying machines and release them into wind tunnels.

At The Supermarket, children can indulge in role-play as supermarket cashiers or street vendors, while learning all about balanced meals and good nutrition.

The Big Dream Climber, a lofty nine-metre structure, will be hard to resist. This centrepiece and other unique climbing zones, including hanging doors, suspended leaves, flying fish and giant gears, will offer young visitors with numerous options to climb on and play with.

KidsSTOP™ sponsors also shared how the upcoming children's science centre would influence the next generation positively.

Mr Yap Ong Heng, Director-General, CAAS said, "Aviation and science are closely intertwined. One marvels at how an aircraft can fly, and it all boils down to the science of forces and motion.

This is what we hope the kids who visit the Flight and Space zone in KidsSTOP™ will learn through play. Our wish is that not only will our young be inspired to imagine, experience, discover and dream the wonders of flight, but also develop an interest in aviation and the opportunities it enables."

Sharing similar sentiments, Mr Lam Siew Wah, Deputy CEO (Industry Development), BCA said, "In the past, children spent more time outdoors and built things using different types of materials and in the process they figured how things work.

"Through this project, children can experience the fun of building, and imagine how science and technology can help create an exciting, interesting and sustainable built environment for people of all ages. BCA is pleased to be a partner in this meaningful project."

Commenting on the collaboration, Ms Tina Christensen, Vice President, LEGO Group, South East Asia, said: "Children learn by doing. They feel, think, touch, see and move as they employ creative problem solving skills.

The sponsorship by LEGO Education to KidsSTOP™ in terms of products, development of programmes and the setting up of a special lab to deliver educational programmes based on LEGO Education platforms serves to allow young visitors to learn naturally about the world around them.

The LEGO Soft Brick Set, for example, when used together with many of the other DUPLO sets sponsored by LEGO Education, will allow children to learn about basic structures, explore balancing, strength and stability as well solving problems through design."

Slated to open on June 5, KidsSTOP™ integrates the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education approach to promote knowledge acquisition. This is a process of inquiry-based activities for children to experience and contextualise problem-solving, and encourages learning through activity, play and exploration.