Monthly Archives: May 2016

Tinkering in the early years

Implemented for the first year, Creative Curious Tinkers is a collaboration between Science Centre Singapore and the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) under the Innovation Guidance Programme (IGP). 30 pre schools participated in the programme with the intention of developing a tinkering corner, makerspace or maker curriculum in the school. .

As this was the first full day workshop that we have done, especially for teachers for the really oung ones, we had a nice challenge curating the right kind of activities. We decided to have plenty of reflections to complement the many hands on activities. Much of the inspiration for the reflections and sharing, as well as activity faciltiation came from the Innovative Learning Centre, led by Susan Crichton. The team had a chance to meet up with Susan last year when she was in Singapore and had several insights into the training of educators which we put in place. We were also very inspired by Maureen Carrol from the D. school and copied activities unabashedly from her book DesignEd.

Standup, have vertical surfaces, plenty of open ended activities, lots of movement and cross pollination – these are what make Making and Tinkering different from sit down programmes at school.  Making ties very closely to self directed learning, and it was important for the teachers to understand the role of the tinkering space to bring out the individual creativity of the student.

We had three activities – the Marshmallow Challenge, Squishy Circuits and the Marble Run. T

Where appropriate, we tied the activities to the kinderarten learning framework and the iTeach principles.  It was helpful to do this mapping, both for us, as the teachers, enabling them to look at Making and Tinkering beyond a Science Activity. Much of this also came out in the teachers’ mid curriculum implementation. We heard statements like “Tinkering is a totally different approach. That is what we realized as we put the programme together”, which was very heartening to hear.

We had a tinkering kit that we put together, as well as a relevant resource kit with starter activities. Another wonderful thing that we discovered was how willing teachers were to stretch their students. We had teachers enthusiastically jumping on activities like cardboard automata and paper circuits, which we had included in the activity list with some trepadition, due to the level of fine motor skills involved. But as far as we could observe, both from the teacher enthusiasm as well as the videos of the children that were shared with us, kids as young as five and six have no problems at all with these activities.

During the brainstorming session, teachersbrought up excellent concepts from what they have learnt and included ideas which they felt will be useful to help build the skills in a child.


We are really looking forward to the work by the teachers and to share what the preschoolers are tinkering.

There is so much for young children@MFSG2016

Are you a parent coming with a child to Maker Faire Singapore? At Maker Faire, we believe that making starts very young and from the home. So what can parents and children do at Maker Faire Singapore?


At thinkspace, our community partner Ground Up Initiative will be bringing the Kampung Spirit down to Maker Faire 2016! We will be showcasing a wide variety of activities, taking you on an enlightening journey through time and its various learning techniques. These activities range from old school activities such as calligraphy and making your own medieval catapults, to modern day activities such as electronics workshops and upcycling of recycled waste materials


Just next to the Ground up initiative is the space curated by our other community partners at the Playeum. A small version of their new exhibition Hideaways, Playeum’s space will feature a bug hotel that children can build and bring home, as well as a collaborative art installation.

Drop into the dark space to join the Science Educators from the Tinkering Studio at Science Centre. Families and children will be working together to explore light and shadows using everyday items. Learn also how you can create a light box at your own home.


At Labs Central, be delighted by what parents and children from the pre school market are getting upto. Learn about how you can introduce children to Science, Tchnology, Engineering, Art and Maths through the playmaker programme and chill out in the dreamspace dome created with cardboard

At the young makers zone, catch up with some of our maker families, Rasheeda Banu and Shafeefa, Anjali and Sophia Curic, Wee Yang and Yee Chern and other families who have taken the maker mindset into the home. What projects can young children come up with, how can you, as parents and educators encourage them and create a conducive makerspace at the home to encourage the young innovators?

And then drop in at the Imagin8ors and the strawbees booths where children can construct and make to their hearts content.


For parents with young kids, especially under 12, we are in the process of developing a special workshop on 26th June 10am to 1pm. Tinker and collaborate on an arcade game, bring your game to setup a booth at the Faire for a short period. A great chance to collaborate with your youn ones and learn together. Details coming soon.

For more structured workshops, try circuit stickers or Kodu Game programming. If you would like your child to pick up a craft, drop into the craft zone or try your hands on glass mosaics

So prepare for a great rollercoaster ride, you are never too young to start Making and Tinkering at Maker Faire Singapore!

For students at Maker Faire Singapore

Are you a student or a school group visiting Maker Faire Singapore? Or a teacher looking for opportunities that the Maker movement offers for Education? Then, here are a few highlights that you should not miss.


Labs Central If you are on a time crunch, Labs Central will give you the best overview of the maker ecosystem in Singapore. From hobby makers to crafters, communities, organizations and institutes, these carefully selected group of makers will give you a great introduction to how the maker movement can influence your thinking, right from the very young.

At the young makers area, schools and families will be sharing their interactive projects. We are seeing an increasing number of young makers over the last few years, something that really heartens us. Here, teachers can drop in to find out how schools are embracing the maker culture. Parents can drop by to chat with other parents on how they incorporate Making into their everyday activities.

Interested in the role of technology in the maker movement ? From arduinos to IoT, robotics  and VR, at the techzone, you can find out how these tools can be effectively employed for projects.

Join the many free workshops happening during the Faire. Recommended for students are the many workshops happening as part of the developer track (Register at

Scratch + Makey Makey Learn to use Makey Makey and Scratch while appreciating how technology helps in creating a caring and loving living environment.

Creating an Arduino Robot Want to learn and harness the power of Electronics and Microcontrollers to create your first robot? This is the right course for you as we explore the powers of microcontroller programming and shield add-ons to control motors and read sensor inputs.

Intro Crashcourse for Hobbyists Ever wanted to learn how to get started on building interesting Arduino projects? This workshop aims to introduce the key concepts of microcontroller programming and basic electronics. No prior knowledge is required.

Hope Technik workshop (Details coming soon)

HackAble by Engineering Good Engineering Good’s HackAble workshop aims to engage participants in a hands-on learning experience to build low-cost, DIY assistive devices for persons with disabilities, while raising awareness about disabilities and how technology can enable and empower those with disabilities. The workshop will respond to the needs of disability organisations, and products made through it will be given to these organisations after the event.
At Maker Faire, participants will have an opportunity to make an adapted computer mouse that is suitable for people with disabilities.
Scratch and Tofu Piano In this short workshop, learn how to use capacitive sensing to turn regular blocks of tofu into “piano keys” that play sounds when touched.

Registration for the developers track is open at

Digigirlz by Microsoft (Details coming soon)

Register at:




Weekend Ranger Leather

Life is full of the unexpected. Who would know that something we dread doing can turn into a hobby or a career. For TJ, it all started when he was in Basic Military Training. When most of his campmates, including himself, were struggling to get their boots shiny, he noticed that his buddy always had the brightest, shiniest boots without ever seeing him polishing them.

It definitely got him thinking and after much ‘interrogation’, he discovered that his buddy was a leather crafter and he knew just how to get his boots shiny in the quickest and shortest time possible. From there, they exchanged ideas and it was pretty much how his interest in leather crafting started.

representative photo

His girlfriend also played a part on why he decided to start on leather crafting. As quoted by TJ, “my girlfriend is a fan of leather, always popping into retail shops, picking up leather shoes off the shelves and smelling them (yes, I know that she has a problem)”. Instead of spending a huge amount of money buying leather products, he prefers making them as it allows for freedom, creativity and the ability to conform to any shape or any design that one wants.

First Handmade Leather Product

The first thing that he made was a mobile phone sleeve for his girlfriend. Slowly, he experimented further, making more leather items ranging from name card holders to backpacks.

It is never easy to learn. Even after about 6 years of crafting experience, TJ is still learning each day. Taking it slow as he feels that leather crafting is still like a hobby to him, he is definitely looking into making it a full-time business when the opportunity arises.

While working on project pieces, he makes it a point to be attentive in designing and drawing out templates as leather is something which is not cheap to make a mistake on. It usually takes him about an hour for simpler projects but up to about 3 weeks or more if the projects are complicated ones, such as a backpack.

If you want to learn to be a leather crafter like TJ, or even exchange ideas with him, head over to Maker Faire Singapore 2016 at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) on 25th and 26th June to take a look at his design piece!

Post your Maker Faire Singapore photos with official Hashtag: #sgmakerfaire


Istana Open House 2016

It was truly an eye-opening experience to be present at the Istana’s Open House. Having a wide variety of pop-up makerspaces set-up to engage families and their children in a hands-on learning experience of creating and building on their own makes the moment even more  treasured. It was a heart-warming experience to see so many children and their parents enjoying themselves in the activities that they do, which is in conjunction with our theme, ‘Happy City’.

The event was a collaboration between the Life Long Learning Institute, Science Centre Singapore, the Workforce Development Agency (WDA), community partners which includes Imagin8ors, Ground-Up Initiative (GUI) and local makers Elda Webb, Annabel Tan, Adrian Curic and Bart Ting, to propose a fulfilling parent-child tinkering session to experience learning through Making. Both parent and child were encouraged to build and make on their own elements of a vision of a future Singapore, which can then be placed on a 6m by 6m city map of Singapore.



It was nice to see everyone enjoying themselves at the various pop-up spaces.

Children were encouraged to play around and have fun with what they make at the ‘Cars’ and ‘Planes and Boats’ pop-up space. Participants were given resources like foam boards, foam sheets, wooden dowels, balloons, vibromotors and straws to create on their own. As for ‘Boats’,  the really young kids had a great time splashing in a mini wading pool and blowing their boats.

What can be more alluring than flying balloons? Balloons with wings, of course. And so when we ran out of wing materials halfway through the day, the team improvised wildly and tore up all the flyers to make plane wings.

Annabel, a Maker herself facilitated participants in making ‘people-like’ creation using polymer clay. And then we had to chase them to place their people on the map, because, the people were obviously too pretty and everyone wanted to bring them home.

Here at ‘Buildings’,  volunteers from the Ground Up Initiative created buildings using various sizes of wooden blocks and also artificial grass.

As for ‘Circuits’, the participants were encouraged to make something out of colourful dough or a cut-out using foam sheets and construction papers which they can then form a circuit with LEDs, crocodile clips, copper tapes and batteries respectively. Decorative items like googly eyes, feathers and pipe cleaners were also provided for them to be open in their creation. Some of our favorites – Giant squids and Sea Dragonous Giganticus Maximus in the oceans of Singapore. And then someone had to make a Jurassic park to house these giant beasts!

Plant lovers were especially attracted to the ‘Nature’ pop-up space as it not only allowed them to make their own planter but they are able to choose which plants they prefer as there were a few types of plants provided for them to choose.


As evening set in, a giant cardboard lion rose out of the tent, giving its blessings to the makers in the space. Inspired by the lion, families got together to make their own picnic tables and chairs using cardboard blockies.


Through it all, it was a really fun-filled event and we hope to see everyone filled with excitement again in our next event!

The president himself dropped by at the makerspace and added the finishing touches to the model of the Istana. We were very heartened to see both Mr and Mrs Tan confidently using the glue gun to attach pillars and the Singapore flag to the Istana, which indeed looked beautiful presiding over the Singapore map.





Funbiestudios @ Maker Faire Singapore

Come by to see and learn about 3D Modelling, 3D Printing and Post-Processing of 3D Printing with the following: + Live Demonstration of 3D Printers + Showcase of 3D Designs used in various Designs, Crafts, Miniatures, Props and more



Nicotech @ Maker Faire SG


Nico-Tech is a community of Japanese technology geeks and developers with backgrounds in otaku culture (anime, manga, games, etc.) who gather at the video website Nico Nico Douga and share their creations with each other. They often develop intricate yet seemingly pointless gadgets, robots, and contraptions, with fun as the sole reason. Activity in Nico-Tech can sometimes spur a chain reaction of creativity, with one creation inspiring another to develop something in response.

Yarnbombing at Maker Faire Singapore

Remember the merlion from last Maker Faire Singapore? This year, the yarn bombers are going camping. Yup! Its complete with a tent, campfire, rocks and roasted marshmallows. And you can even make dolls to contribute to the celebrations.

Join us to celebrate yarnbombing – which personifies a very important aspect of the maker movement – reviving traditional crafts using new approaches and combining them with technology.

Return to map


Sustainable Living Lab at Maker Faire Singapore 2016


(Image Source:

Sustainable Living Lab (SL2) aims to build a Sustainable Future through community building, technology experimentation and social innovation.

We help start-ups and organizations develop viable business strategies with sustainability at the heart. We promote circular economy principles, build social enterprises, organize open innovation programs and offer foresight consulting services.

We experiment, create and contextualize sustainable technologies to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in South East Asia. We work primarily in the education, agricultural and waste management sector.

We work with the 3P sector to address the pervasive buy-and-throw-away culture in Singapore and the region. We use the restorative act of repair to engage in life skills development, deep community engagement and positive environmental action.

We work with individuals who are starting their journey into Sustainability by offering them a wide range of learning journeys, hands-on courses and products that expand their horizon and offer opportunities for practical & daily impact.

(information source:

Imagin8ors at Maker Faire Singapore

A group of makers passionate about child directed learning, Imagin8ors are a diverse team of makers, technologists, educators, artists who seek to nurture the imagination and creativity in each child and build a mindset, from an early age, of tinkering with technology.


They treat the child as a self-directed, natural learner and engage the parent as a coach and co-player in the child’s learning. They design creative experiences for children 3-10 years old and parents, and are building a digital app platform that helps extend the play, tinkering and child-parent bonding around learning to their homes.

Imagin8ors love to co-create with and learn from makers, artists and organizations. They also welcome opportunities to showcase other makers through their platforms.