Now, how did my son’s head get separated from his body and now served on a platter with fruits? Where the heck are his other body parts? Amazing isn’t it ? This and many more are the things we experienced at Philippine Science Centrum.
Last Saturday afternoon, my wife, Tina while still on duty in the O.R. agreed to my suggestion of going to this educational place for our son, Gabby. After receiving her confirmation via SMS, we met up after her work near our place; we all hurriedly grabbed a bite at McDonald’s and off we went to Marikina Riverbanks where Philippine Science Centrum is located.
I recall joining field trips during my elementary years back in the 80s when one of those itineraries we visited was Science Centrum somewhere in Pasay (or was it in Manila?). But just last week, I found out that PSC is already in Marikina (or is it only a branch?).
So what else did we see in the exhibit ? …Don’t you wish to have 3 colored shadows ?
There’s that LASER HARP or a wonderful string instrument less the strings!
In this Laser Harp, each laser is focused and concentrated to sensors (photocells). These are connected to a computer and corresponds to a specific note. When the harp is tapped and lasers are blocked by a visitor’s hand, the sensors send signals to the ’microcontoller-synthesizer’ to play the corresponding note.
Another interesting we’ve seen was a demonstration of how tsunami can occur.
With just press of a button, an ocean-calamity can be simulated.
This is the saddest part… Visitors can also view actual clips from that scary incident in Thailand and other parts affected.
Moving on…to OUTER SPACE! C’mmon, fly with us to the moon
This greeted us at the entrance to SPACE GALLERY of the centurm…
The rings to simulate rotation outside our planet were tied up allowing no one to use it that day. I’m not complaining for I don’t think we’ll permit Gabby to stand on those ‘roller-blade-like-shoes’ which I consider septic. The staffs of the PSC should spray antiseptic to each exhibits at least after a day’s work so as to prevent transmission of diseases. Good thing we always bring alcohol and Gabby always keeps an alco-gel at hand.
But the part where anyone can check his weight on other planets by stepping on a scale is cool!
There’s this monitor where one can peek through and take a photo of his face; then with a press of button, the picture will be shown in the face part of an astronaut model for few minutes.
This one is called ARCHIMEDES’ SCREW…
In Archimedes’ Screw : As the visitor rotates the wheel and at each turn of the screw, the open lower end scoops up a volume of water. The water becomes trapped in the air pockets between the screw thread. By continously turning the screw, water slides up the length of the screw and pours into a reservoir.
Do you want to enclose yourself in a giant soap bubble?
or witness how a miniature SOLAR CAR can rotate around an axis ?
Would you like to know if you can run faster than Elma Muros ?
or try to move a skeleton by being a stationary cyclist too?
Everyone not only kids, should know and practice this for Mother Earth’s sake. Press the button to identify biodegradables from those that we have to recycle, reduce, reuse.
Other than those hands-on-interactive exhibits, there are also giant posters for good read
PLASMA SPHERE !
Have you ever heard of a SYMMETROSCOPE ?
SYMMETROSCOPE : What’s going on ? The drawings on the disk are parts of a circular object. As a drawing fits a corner formed by the sides of the tube, this drawing is reflected by the three mirrors. The reflections bounce back and forth. This is why you can see many reflections of a whole circular object- a slice of a pizza becomes a whole pizza!
BTW, we arrived at Science Centrum last Saturday with only few kids and a pair of parents and after few minutes, the children and teachers from schools came in troops for their field trip. Their visit was guided by the staffs who explained everything inside the building. And since we came as walk-in, we had all the time to enjoy each exhibit.
Gabby’s educational field trip was initially scheduled last October but since the country was devastated by two great typhoons (who could forget Pepeng and Ondoy?), it was moved to January 15, 2009. Tina and I decided to come as it will serve also as Family Day of their preschool. Although we’ve been to the itineraries up North, we’re still excited to ride a bus again with Kindergarten kids, their parents and teachers.
We didn’t join during Gabby’s Nursery year so this will be his first field trip ever! And of course we’ll take you there with this site next year.
So how did my son’s head get separated from his body ?
The direction was : Ask the visitor/friend to go inside the exhibit and position his/her head above the opening. Then stand 2 meters from the exhibit and face the visitor/friend. How does he/she look?
What’s going on? You can see the head on top of the platter because it is the only part of the body uncovered. The table footings have grooves that clip the mirror’s edges so that you hardly notice that the front side of the table are actually mirrors. The mirrors reflect the side walls and flooring. This gives an illusion that the head -the only visible part is separated from the body.
There are so many framed optical illusions in Philippine Science Centrum but this one I found special
My wife and I were only disappointed on the poor maintenance of the facilities. This type of educational place should be given utmost importance by the local and national governments and be supported by NGOs. It has so many potentials to be at par with similar museums and exhibit areas abroad but without much-deserved improvements, it may not be seen by the next generations. Sayang lang kasi it’s worth the visit.
The entrance, if I may state, is at the far end of the E-Com building making it difficult to locate unless you’ve asked via phone of its landmarks like Figaro, 711 and Mang Inasal restaurant.
If you must know, I won first place in our school’s Science fair on my fourth grade. My exhibit then was as simple as soil erosion. Perhaps more than those box with soil and bean sprouts and a box of only soil, what made me win was my explanation of the relevance of the subject.
Thanks for reading! It’s almost midnight as I post this and I have to doze off for my lecture series at work tomorrow.
Philippine Science Centrum, E-Com Building, Riverbanks, Marikina City.
Admission for walk-in : PhP 100. For more details, go visit their website here (enjoy the animated intro!)