The importance of engineers in Singapore is not something to be understated, with a vast majority of the population of Singaporean students choosing to specialise in an engineering-related course in the later stages of their education cycle.
Science Centre Singapore wants not just to commemorate the work done by these people following this speciality, but also to encourage more people to join the field. Enter Future Makers, a new permanent exhibition in the scientific institution that just launched, celebrating the valuable contributions that engineers have given to the world that have shaped society for the better.
Associate Professor Lim Tit Meng, Chief Executive of Science Centre, opened the launch with an affirmation on how integral engineers have been to society; citing their curiosity and creative thinking traits as critical skills to possess in this current climate.
He further elaborates that the exhibition will house various stories of engineers around the globe, showcasing how their work has impacted the world. “We feature their stories in this exhibition to inspire our next generation; the young minds who will go on to take up the role of being future makers.” Professor Lim mused.
Joining him in celebrating the launch of Future Makers was Guest of Honour Mr Teo Chee Hean, Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security. He echoed the words of Professor Lim and gave shared stories of the work of various engineers that he has come across throughout the years.
These stories include meeting Grace Chia, Co-Founder of BeeX; her work in marine robotics being influential in developing cutting-edge technology to help support major companies like Keppel to design offshore structures and ice-breakers for the Arctic.
Also among the highlights was the work of those involved in the creation of Jewel Changi Airport; which houses engineering marvels like the Rain Vortex, the tallest indoor waterfall in the world, and the unique glass and steel rooftop that allows natural light to come through.
“There are many exciting challenges waiting for our young Singaporean engineers and scientists. To push the boundaries and contribute to a more exciting Singapore. I hope that many more will come forward to write their own exciting stories of challenge and change,” Mr Teo concluded.
Mr Teo was then invited to personally insert the socket that powered the facade of the Future Makers entrance, lighting up the sign in spectacular fashion upon him connecting the power.
Among the attractions at the exhibition include the Object Theatre which is the home of four robotic arms, each carrying large format screens. They each have their own unique personalities, working together to showcase the scope of engineering throughout the years.
The choreographed movement of the arms holding the screen adds a high-tech visual enhancement to the storytelling of the video; manoeuvring around not just to make the video appear bigger visually, but also to present it unusual but fascinating angles.
These robotic arms are the work of Andy Flessas, “the Robot Whisperer”, and his team of specialists-experts. Speaking to Andy, he likens the synchronised movements of the arms to art, which despite being mechanical, move around with grace and elegance while carrying these large television screens.
You can also tour around the aforementioned exhibitions, showcasing the work of various engineers. These exhibitions are all interactable, having elements of the engineering work that you can play around with.
You can find highlighted works such as the invention of the Foldscope by Manu Prakash; a portable optical microscope made using simple components and is also durable enough to withstand falls from great heights.
Five themed modules make up the exhibitions and each releases a set of secret codes upon solving the interactive features, which when combined, will unlock an escape room for people to access.
Inside the escape room, guests will have 20 minutes to repair and re-activate a crash spacecraft in order to prevent an impending alien invasion.
Rounding up the Future Makers exhibition is a Done-Rover Arena where guests can learn to fly drones and utilise drones. Friendly staff members are on-hand to help you as you navigate through a specially created indoor-outdoor space where a challenges landscape awaits.
For more details on the Future Makers exhibition, you can visit https://www.science.edu.sg/
Photos by Soloman Soh of the DANAMIC team.