Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Maiden Visit to National Science Center, Kuala Lumpur

The very next day after our visit to the National Zoo, we went on to visit the National Science Centre (NSC). This is my first visit to NSC. Even though NSC is located at Bukit Kiara, which is about 10 minutes drive from my house, I have not been to this place. Until recently where I changed job and my current office is at Mont’ Kiara (adjacent to Bukit Kiara) that I have decided to visit NSC since I drive by this building on my way to work every day. You won’t be able to miss the building as it has a dome shape rooftop.

Upon entering NSC, you will be welcomed by  some small fish tanks where kids (and adults too) can put their hands into the water and let the fishes nimble on your fingers. Kids will definitely enjoy the close encounter with the fishes. Moving on further, you will come across a tunnel-like aquarium where you can see fishes swimming around you. It’s like the Aquaria KLCC, where you will be surrounded by various types of fishes, big and small, well, mostly BIG. As I have mentioned in my previous blog, I am hopeless when it comes to naming of fishes. Hence, I will skip the part of telling you what type of fishes you can find here :-)

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 I guess I can only name sting rays.. One of the only type of fish I can name ;-)

Though the tunnel is not very long ( I think less than 50 feet or so), it has many varieties of fishes for the visitors to awe at. After the marine exhibition, you will come across instruments run by air and water. The exhibits in NSC are very engaging in the sense that visitors get to experience themselves the items or instruments on display. One gets to play with the items being exhibit and learnt about the process which creates the phenomenon explained on the exhibits. I like the air harp. By running your fingers through the invisible “strings” on the harp, it generates musical cords like a real harp.

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The Air Harp with its “invisible” strings – nice ! 

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After playing with harp, I went to the next display behind the harp which is a orb which emits static charges when you place your palm on it. It’s like watching some sci-fi movie where you see flashes of colour lights

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 It’s like watching a sci-fi movie here

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Next, we entered an AV room which attracted lots of attention with its different music blaring around us. It’s a dark room with some colour light bulbs shining onto the floor. As you stand on any of the spots shined by the light bulbs onto the floor, the music will stop. The light is like some motion censor where it will cut off the music if it detects any thing blocking it’s light path. Clarisse took the opportunity to show off another of her “Bond girl” pose in the dark room !

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 The “Bond” pose

Apart from the scientific exhibits, there is also a play area for kids. Sort of like a mini playground at the concourse area of NSC.

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Row, row, row your boat..

The current main attraction at NSC is the Dinosaurs. I have a hard time explaining to Clarisse what a dinosaur is since she’s only 2.5 years old. *Phew! Sweating!* Seeing a gigantic T-Rex swinging its head left and right is definitely overwhelming for a kid like her. She’s curious to know what this creature is.

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 See me ROAR !!

As it was about mid-day when we finished with all the exhibits at the ground floor, we quickly moved to the upper floor to look at the other remaining exhibits. The 1st floor houses the remaining dinosaur exhibits. Inside a dimly-litted area, there are around 10 dinosaurs on display in various pose and positions. The ferocious T-Rex is seen eating its prey, Tricerotop guarding its eggs, Stegosaurus doing dunno what ~.~. The information of each dinosaur makes it an interesting stop at each of these extinct giant being. There are also some facts and figures pasted on the wall to further highlight the superiority of each dinosaur.

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The mean machines of the past !

Overall, I think the displays in NSC can be further improved as some of the exhibits are not functioning properly or if they have a guide to explain the science behind the displays would be great. Given it being a big exhibition area, the floor space can be better utilised too with better segmentation of various exhibits. I find that floor space is not properly divided into pathways where visitors can follow a route to the exhibits. Currently, there are many pathways and at times, one may miss out certain part of the centre. At least this visit to NSC has satisfied my curiosity of this building which I pass by everyday to work :-)

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