Students who are doing CIP@Science Center, do post here your reflections to share with your peers on your experience while doing CIP at Science Center.

10th March 2010,
We went for the Science Center Volunteer Induction Programme which was held at 3pm, registration at the visitor center. The brief was concise and to the point. There are several roles that we can do as a volunteer; student explainer, lab facilitator, research assistant, volunteer at the Observatory (friday nites only). In particular, for student explainer, there are two possible shift, morning and afternoon. If we chose to work both shifts, a $5 McDonalds voucher will be given for lunch. Basically, after the briefing, we just need to email the coordinator on what role we wanted to do and the date and time at which we are coming down. Thereafter, if its alright with them, they will reply via email and confirm the shift. Once we have served 20h, Science Center will issue a certificate. Apparently, we can serve in more than one role.

During the briefing, the coordinator also briefed all volunteers that when carrying out their duty, they should display proper attitude, i

21st March 2010
All students taking up the project for CIP should also go to ISP and register the project. See the email for details.

10th April 2010
Reflections by Chong Jin Jian 10S7F / Li Anjie 10S7D

We (Chong Jin Jian and Li Anjie) went to science center for the first time to do CIP.

Morning was basically setting up a booth to help children make their own thaumatrope. We let them draw or color in premade templates, then attached it to a straw for them. It's a very simple optical illusion and was part of the Disney exhibition going on at the Science center.

In the afternoon, we did explanation work and demonstrated plate spinning.
We chose to do the explanation and demo on plate spinning.
external image AC032644l.jpg
Source: (Not me in the picture)
(Can be bought at the science center shop at the cheap price of around $12++)

It was quite a fun and interesting experience as we managed to master the cool (but rather useless) skill of plate spinning,
unlike our peers from ACS (they were cheating by manually spinning the plates...).
We even managed to come up with a few stunts (i.e. plate juggling, passing, alternating hands etc.) to WOW the onlookers.

Jin Jian:
I also enjoyed the experience of teaching the small kids and other members of the public on how to spin the plates,
seeing how much they are amused and excited about these scientific phenomenons (although it was the first time in my life holding the hands of so many people in one day).

From this experience, I have learned that many daily experiences can be explained by scientific principles, and things that we have come to accept as "its just happens to be like that" are actually based on many scientific theories.
I have also learned some skills on how to effectively communicate with people from different age groups, to 5+ year old kids to 30+ parents, and also with people of different nationalities.
In addition, I have observed that the passion for science is actually still prevalent in Singapore, with the large number of people visiting the Science Center and looking at the exhibits. It is also good to see many parents bringing their young kids to the Science Center to let them gain exposure to science at a young age, nurturing their interest in science.

In general, the experience of doing CIP at Science Center is definitely very fun and enriching, and I would encourage all to give it a try.

It's a rather fun way to spend your day, I suppose. Interacting with little children took quite a lot of patience. And the sheer number and variety of visitors was surprising, I never knew so many people visit the science center every week. Though in my humble opinion, there wasn't much real science involved so much as a number of interesting and fascinating scientific phenomenon on display to generate interest in little children rather than to actually teach science. The plate spinning was an example of that. But helping to promote interest in the sciences is always a worthy goal, if only to attract new talents to the field.

We have also tried out this cool "thing" called the gyro-ring.
external image ss18.jpg (Not me in the picture)
(Can be bought at the science center shop at the cheap price of about $10++)

The small rings will vibrate in their own positions and will not drop to the bottom of the large ring as long as you keep spinning the large ring.
It works by the theory of resonance, with the small rings and the large ring vibrating at the same frequency, allowing the rings to stay in their position midair and continue spinning.

17th March
- Jin Jian and Anjie
We did another full day shift. Morning consisted of us interacting with children, helping them make their own twirlers (those little propeller things that fly when you give them a twirl.) Basically we let them draw on their own strips of paper and helped them to bend it a little and attach it to straws. To pass time, we also drew some of them ourselves and passed these out:
We also walked around and did some work as student explainers. Though there wasn't much need for that, as most people could read the description that's written next to the exhibits. It mostly consisted of ushering visitors to ongoing shows.

Afternoon was more plate spinning and gyroscoping. As with before, we attracted a rather sizable crowd, though our efforts to teach them how do do the same were mostly unsuccessful, but a few persisted and managed to get it.

I volunteered for service as a student volunteer on 20 April, the first shift (11am to 1pm). Arriving there, I was hoping to be able to interact with young inquisitive minds wanting to learn about science and wanted to be able to be the facilitator in their pursuit of learning of science. I was slightly disappointed to find out that I would instead be doing administrative work. Eventually they passed me and another volunteer for the day a stack of paper with patterns on them and a cutting board/machine. The idea was simple: the students were supposed to cut along the lines of the pattern. Then, after fixing on a paperclip and dropping the device, it would spin around and float gracefully down like a helicopter.

We also had to cut up strips of chromatogram paper for the students.
By the time we were settled in and we figured out how to work the machine, it was already 11.30am. We decided that I would use the cutting machine to cut up the helicopters while the other volunteer would cut the chromatogram. After things got into a routine, I eventually settled into a monotonous pattern and worked out that cutting up to five sheets of paper at a time helped to quicken up the process. It was not long before we finished the cutting and it was already 1pm. The other volunteer received $5 MacDonald’s vouchers and was to return to work at 2pm, a lunch break of 1 hour. Other than the MacDonald’s there, there was Sakura, a Korean restaurant and more for her to choose. There were at least 4 food courts at the nearby Jurong East Central, a few minutes’ walk away. She would probably be doing some ushering or explaining later on. All these made me consider volunteering for 2 shifts next time.