Envisioning a Science Centre for the People: Formation of Steering Committee to Lead in its Conceptualisation & Development

Published Date: 12 November 2014 12:00 AM

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1.At the National Day Rally this year, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced the relocation and redevelopment of Science Centre Singapore. Over the past 37 years, the Science Centre has inspired and enriched many generations of Singaporeans through its exhibitions, events, and shows. The new Science Centre will be integrated with Jurong Lake Gardens and will be the “jewel” in Jurong. It will be a place to inspire a new generation of Singaporeans in discovering the wonders of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

2.The new Science Centre Steering Committee, chaired by Mr Koh Boon Hwee, Chairman of Credence Partners Pte Ltd and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Nanyang Technological University (NTU), will oversee three key areas of work, namely (i) programming, (ii) exhibitions, and (iii) infrastructural development of the new Science Centre. The Committee will also work closely with other government agencies, such as the National Parks Board, to integrate the new Science Centre with the Jurong Lake Gardens. To learn from the best, the Committee will also visit world-renowned science centres to tap on their experience.

3.Comprising members who are passionate about STEM and about promoting STEM to future generations of Singaporeans, the composition of the Committee members will ensure that specialised knowledge and valuable ideas from their respective fields can be tapped upon from the planning stages, implementation, to the completion of the new Science Centre. The list of members of the Committee is in Annex A. The Committee held its inaugural meeting today (12 November 2014).

4.Mr Koh noted the good work that Science Centre Singapore had done over the past 37 years, and reiterated that the new Science Centre must continue to inspire a passion in STEM. Mr Koh said: “Many people whom I have spoken to remember the Science Centre fondly, and can even name specific exhibits that have inspired them. The new Science Centre gives us an opportunity to do even more - to help our young learn through play and fun, to inculcate a love and wonder for science and technology amongst Singaporeans, and to kindle a passion for lifelong learning and inquiry.” Expressing enthusiasm over the new project, Ms Tan Yen Yen, Chairman of the Science Centre Board and member of the Committee, said: “This is a milestone in the history of Science Centre Singapore, and we are all very excited about it. There are so many possibilities that we could explore, including how we can integrate with the Jurong Lake Gardens and the different themes that the new Science Centre can cover. Even as we plan for the new Science Centre, we will continue to review and refresh the exhibits in the current Science Centre so that the public can continue to interact with science in a fun-filled, family-friendly environment.”

A Science Centre for the People

5.Recognising that the new Science Centre must continue to be a Science Centre for the people, members of the Committee will also serve as ambassadors for the project, and reach out to the public for ideas and suggestions to imagine and dream the new Science Centre.

6.Dr Juliana Chan, editor-in-chief of Asian Scientist Magazine, and member of the Committee said: “We must break the misperception of science as an esoteric, ivory-tower discipline. Science is all around us, and can be appreciated by everyone - male or female, young or old. The new Science Centre has an important role in bringing science to all Singaporeans. We thus look forward to hearing from the public, to understand what they want to see in the new Science Centre.”

7.Members of the public who have ideas for the new Science Centre can write in to MOE_NewSCS@moe.gov.sg. The Science Centre Steering Committee aims to finalise its recommendations by the second half of 2015.

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