Author Archives: kramanathan

It’s no ordinary Jam. It’s a Tech Jam!

I Saw the Science

“You have 5 minutes left! Do your finishing touches on your products!”

On hearing the emcee’s countdown, some participants frantically attempted to assemble their artefact, while others laid back in their chairs, brimming with confidence in their winning pieces on the competition table.

At this year’s Caltex Fuel Your School – Tech Jam 2017, students from several primary schools came to Science Centre Singapore’s Marquee to work hands-on on 4 projects designed by experts at the Science Centre. The idea was to spark the students’ interests in coding and tinkering, incorporating music, art, and design with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Below are the stations where participants got hands on with basic coding and circuits:

22308565_1693833633983585_5294610305494139494_n This station featured basic circuits and sewing, where participants lighted up an LED on a piece of fabric. They used conductive thread to connect the LED with the battery. This was an introduction to…

View original post 389 more words

Everlasting Rose with everlasting Love – Spoon Art Workshop

3. Scottie crafts - spoon art roses

Everlasting Rose with everlasting Love! Every spoon art roses created by individual is different. Disposable spoons are used to mould into beautiful roses, fashionable wear like brooch or necklace. List of the affordable materials and tools, some of which you may already have. Tools like round nose plier, candle, scissors, disposable spoons and knives. Once you have learned the technique, you will be able to upcycle all these spoons and knives into beautiful roses. All you need is time, patience, handmade items are unique in its own way. Let’s do our part by upcycle, re-use and re-purpose to help save the environment too.

Register Now

All materials and tools are provided in the workshop.

By Scottie Crafts

Crafty Makers at Maker Faire SG

The consortium of crafters from Crafty Makers is not new to us at Maker Faire Singapore. Many of them have been taking part for the last three years.

Dont miss their workshops at the Faire!

Pokemon Pokemon Upcycle Upcycle Everlasting Rose terrarium making! terrarium making! Mixed media canvas art Mixed media canvas art Glass jar painting workshop Sew your own owl bag charm Decoupage Jar with light

Just Love Crafts is a design studio working with paper and various upcycled crafts such as Paper Quilling, Paper upcycling, decoupage and Sospeso. As always we will be bringing something new to the maker faire.

Hangmade by Gladys showcases Everything fabric from handsewn bag charms to stuff toys to tote bags.

Scottie Crafts is helmed by Alice Choo, another creative artist doing roses from disposable party spoons and decoupage on wine bottles.

Sunshine and Love is a Glass painting and ceramic artist, who is joining Maker Faire Singapore for the first time

Blink a bottle by Eric Oh showcases pretty fairy lights in decoupaged upcycled glass bottles and other crafty items with lights.

Sebastian Soh is an origami artist who builds from pieces of cut out papers to create a 3D figure model. From the simple small sizes animal to the most detail robot figure. Papercrafting is made fun for both children and adults. Check out more also in the various workshops.

The Green Capsule with pretty handcrafted terrariums

SUTD at Maker Faire Singapore 2017

SUTD was the venue host of Maker Faire Singapore 2016, and one of the very valuable community partners to the programme. This year, the students and staff of SUTD are rallying full force to Maker Faire Singapore 2017, with a large number of workshops, stations and hands on activities

If you are dropping in on Saturday, 22nd July for the opening of Maker Faire, remember to catch the drone action!


The SUTD exhibits and hands on activities will be located at the Annexe Hall of Science Centre Singapore. The fablab mobile will be located at the Western entrance

SUTD Sunpla club:

RX-78 Gundam laser cut and assembled by students from the Singapore University of Technology and Design Gunpla Club. Check out the timelapse below

Air Q M by the VJC SUTD iOT makers

The “AirQ-M” is a mobile and wearable IoT device designed to collect real-time air quality and environmental data. The data to be collected include air quality parameters (PM 2.5, PM 10, etc), and environmental parameters such as temperature, humidity, etc. The AirQ-M utilizes wireless communication technologies such as BLE, WiFi, etc. to send the data to a smartphone. As the AirQ-M is small and inexpensive, it will be a useful participatory sensing (crowdsourcing) device to enable people to contribute real-time air quality and environmental data on the go.



We are a small group of SUTD graduates with a passion in hardware engineering and have started a new business with the aim of providing hardware engineering design services. Our current focus is in the educational sector, where we help teachers and professors to design, prototype and test lab kits or demonstration apparatus for use in classes or courses to improve the students’ learning experience. Our design methodology is largely based on our empathy in the learning experience and the importance of appearance and user experience. We want to showcase some of our completed projects to share how the maker culture can benefit education.

Omni- SMART motorcycle helmet

OMNi- is a smart motorcycle helmet that aims to empower motorcyclists to ride more defensively by providing them information that can potentially save their lives. It uses an augmented reality display to provide information to riders such as a video feed of the rear. Through computer vision, the helmet is also capable of alerting riders to potential collisions from errand road users. A GPS can also be displayed to the rider, reducing the need to constantly take their eyes off the road to look at their smartphone’s GPS.
In the event of a collision, an on-board collision detector will active a distress signal, alerting emergency services of a crash event, providing riders with much needed help in the shortest time possible, even if there is nobody at the scene of accident.


EMMA by Mobearlize is an add-on device to motorize manual wheelchairs. It aims to be adaptable to most wheelchairs, affordable and suitable for urban environments. It is designed mainly for elderly users. Manual wheelchair users now have an affordable option to go on longer adventures while still having a comfortable journey!

SUTD fablab


The SUTD fablab team will be at hand throughout the event, with continuous hands on activities. The fablab mobile – a transportable full fabrication facility equipped with a laser cutter and 3D printer will also be holding tours and demonstrations throughout the day.


Make your own Musical instrument with a 555 timer and basic electronics



The MusicMaster 5000M is a handbuilt instrument made from almost 100% recycled materials. It is based on the design of traditional 4 string Cigar Box Guitars. It has 3 pickups that allow it to be plugged in and amplified through a sound system. It has 2 single coil pickups made from recycled magnets and copper wire from various appliances. These use the interactions between the steel strings and the magnetic fields of the pickups to generate electrical signals. It also has a single piezo pickup in the body of the instrument that converts vibrations into electrical signals. All three pickups are then run through a transistor boost circuit to increase the output from the MusicMaster 5000M. Two switches on the top of the MusicMaster 5000M allow the player to change between different combinations of pickups to create different tones.

This project also includes a number of smaller projects to produce different types of audio:

Cataclysmic Codfish – Opamp-based overdrive effect pedal
Assimilative Anteater – Audio Compressor
Trevor’s Super Cute Boost – Dual JFET transistor boost pedal
Electrifyng Emu – Noise cancelling 9v power regulator

Learning City – at the Istana Open House May 2017

The showcase of makers went to the Istana for the second time during Labor day 2017. Afterall, there is no other appropriate day than labor day to showcase the makers and people involved in Making.

For labor day, Science Centre Singapore and the Life Long Learning Council curated a space together with makers from the community. the space meant to showcase how making is crucial to learning, the different aspects of making and how learning by making is a mindset to be cultivated from the very young age.

Made in Singapore:

With communities and makerspaces like the Ground Up Innovation Lab  and  Sustainable Living Lab  the stage is set for a strong ecosystem of learning through making. This has resulted in a network through which makers like Kee Wee can reach out their ideas and share best practices on how Singapore cab grow as a creator of technology and solutions.


The ease of access of such techologies also allows any one to be a creator. Members from hackerspaceSG were on hand at the Istana to showcase and share DIY VR googles and open source robotics.


Learning by making is not only limited to technology, At the Craft zone, artists Anjali and Priyanka helped lower the barrier of entry into making by getting children and visitors to work on paper quilling and glass mosaics

Participants at the build zone worked with everyday materials – straws and cardboard. Elda Webb and her team of facilitators guided visitors to make kites and other straw creations. To reinforce the idea of learning by making and also taking things apart, volunteers from Engineering Good shared how they took apart toys to build new interfaces for children with disabilities.

No one is really too young to start learning by Making. Sisters Sophia and Anjali Curic, 8 and 10, showcased this by putting together a space where parents and kids could engage in free form creativity using loose parts.

Everyone is a maker. Such creativity in young children can only be sustained through sustained opportunities in free play and tinkering. To reinforce this message in a collaboration between the Tinkeirng Studio at Science Centre and Imagin8ors, participants explored freely and extended their creativity to build marble machines out of every day materials.

Learning city was a collaboration between LifeLong Learning Council, Skills Future SG, Science Centre Singapore and President’s office, Istana. This programme was done in collaboration with local makers from Sustainable Living Lab, Ground Up innovation Labs, Kee Wee Teng, Hackerspace SG,  Anjali Venkat, Priyanka Gupta, Engineering Good, Elda Webb, Imagin8ors and Come and Make

Making Toys and Games 2017

Making Toys and Games is one of four parent child workshops that Science Centre offers in collaboration with local makers. This year, we worked together with makers Kee Wee Teng, Sebastian Ong, Seok Tin, Elda Webb, Anjali and Sophia Curic and Gabriel Perumal to put together a session where parents and kids could work together and learn by Making

Kee Wee (Kiwi) is a maker enthusiast, who aims to contribute to the fourth industrial revolution by increasing access to open source hardware and its possibilities. While parents and kids attending the programme had a chance to build trebuchets, Kiwi also shared with families his personal journey as a maker and the value of making in learning


Annabel Tan is not new to the maker circle and also to the maker workshops that we do at Science Centre Singapore. She has charmed children and adults alike over the past years with her friendly manner and her polymer clay dolls. However, this time, it was not Annabel, but her son Sebastian who took the limelight, working with children and parents to make wire sculptures by bending, twirling and twisting wires. Sebastian’s station was complimented by Cultural medallion recipient Seok Tin Chng and Kim from iartSG, a social enterprise for artists with disabilities.

For us, it was also about creating an opportunity for parents and kids to learn from each other. A number of moms stepped in to teach their young children how to sew pieces of cloth together to make five stones.

We spoke to parents and children on their experience with the programme.

“When things werent working, we tried to troubleshoot first before asking for help. For instance, when our circuits failed because of bad contact in the copper tape, we tried to repair it”

“We learnt how to use our hands”




Singapore Polytechnic at Maker Faire Singapore 2017

Singapore Polytechnic is taking part in Maker Faire Singapore for the sixth year running! Each time, the students’ projeects are more and more ambitious. This is ofcourse partly due to a very strong makerspace and fablab culture that SP is putting in place. Here are some of the projects that you will see this year at Maker Faire Singapore. So join us, chat with the students and find out more about how you can implement a maker culture in your school environment

Höffice, the ultimate relaxation toy.


This is a tabletop toy that is targeted at executives working in an office environment. It combines the concept of white noise – to distract and therefore allow the user to relax, along with the concept of modularity – to allow users to custom it to their needs, and meanwhile also displaying their personality.


RoboKaiChi is a robot that was inspired by the TSO (Technical Support Officer) of FabLab@T1443 in Singapore Polytechnic. It is a robot that is controlled over Wifi, which can either be manually controlled or automatically driven. It features a simple device called a NodeMCU which enables us to connect to a access point. Watch it go around SP’s booths in the convention halls!

Semi-portable RetroPi


The semi-portable RetroPi is, as its name suggests, a semi-portable retro gaming emulation station powered by a Raspberry Pi. This project was constructed with a 1st generation Raspberry Pi Model B, with a TFT 2.8” resistive touchscreen mounted directly on the Pi, so there’s no need for an external screen. The controls however, are not part of the touchscreen, but rather through a USB connected D-pad. The entire setup can be powered by a mobile power bank at 5 volts. The Raspberry Pi can run a multitude of games on different game platforms, ranging from the Nintendo NES, SNES systems to the Gameboy and even emulate certain retro computer programs on platforms such as the Macintosh. StatiX BASIC: The StatiX BASIC is a truly single-chip single board computer (SBC). The StatiX BASIC harks back to the 1970s and 80s with its monochrome TV output and a variant of Tiny BASIC running on it. Functionally speaking, it is effectively a clone of the Apple 1, but instead of 62 chips spread over a huge circuit board, the StatiX BASIC needs only 1. The video and keyboard drivers are part of the ATmega1284 chip powering it, and one can even save programs onto the non-volatile EEPROM directly inside the chip for later use. The entire setup can be powered with a 9 or 12 volt wall-wart power supply with a DC barrel jack, and only requires a television and a keyboard to get started. Note: This exhibition requires a TV with an RCA jack and a PS/2 keyboard.

Organelles in Clay


We are a group of polytechnic students and we wanted to come up with a more innovative way of learning the names, drawing and functions of organelles. We hope to cater the needs for the kinesthetic learners who require to touch and sense to learn. Hence, we came up with these models to involve the visual learners to see, audio learners to listen and kinesthetic learners to sense. These models are made up of clay on Styrofoam boards. The organelles are made up of the clay which provide a suitable substance to be poked on. We made the labels using cardboards and toothpicks so that the toothpicks can poke through the clay. At first, the students will have to match the functions to the organelles. After which, they can proceed to label the model. It can help the students to focus on learning the functions first then learning the shape of it. This allows more effective learning as they focus on one thing at a time.


We named our project GHOD as it means flower in Korean. We came up with this toy idea through the studies of an animal movement. The animal is the crab spider movement when it is catching its prey. The movement is pouncing and grabbing hold of its prey. Our key mechanism for our toy is actually the linkage of the umbrella and the pear shaped CAM. Our toy actually acts as a toy for the executives to play when they are bored or stressed out. It can also be put as a decoration on your office table as the appearance is like a normal flower. So this toy is actually a multiplayer game which is built using 3D printed parts, acrylic which was laser cut, an Arduino, a servo motor, 6 different coloured LEDs , a push button and a buzzer. Some cool features about this toy is that the 6 LEDs will light up once when the push button is pressed to indicate the person have pressed it. Also the LEDs will blink for about 10 times and the buzzer will buzz when the game end. We also make the servo motor to jerk every time the push button is pressed in order to scare the executives. Next, these are the steps on how to play the toy. Firstly, the Arduino will generate a random number between 1 to 50 by itself. Secondly, the first player will press as many times as he want on the push button between 1 to 6 presses. Thirdly, It will pass on to the second player and the second player will choose between 1 to 6 presses to be press on the push button . Fourthly, it will pass on to the third and fourth player and back to the first player. Finally, when the total number of presses is equal to the random number , the flower will snap and grab your fingers and the LEDs will blink and the buzzer will buzz. So the last person who press it lost and can be appoint to do some forfeits depending on the executives.

Smart Guided Shoe for Visually Handicapped

Smart Guided Shoe will help partial and complete visually impaired patients to navigate about freely without needing much help from care takers using the technology which we use ultrasonic sensors to detect obstacles and alert them from collision by sounding the buzzer, showing bright led lights to road users and the vibrating embedded inside sole and attach to the body of the shoe to provide direction.

SP Environmental Sensor Box

Our sensors monitoring system will bring awareness to Singaporeans of climate change and environmental condition within Singapore. Our network system will inform users to take precautions in case of extreme weather conditions. Sensor network is linked up with IoT cloud platform called Thingspeak and user can further analyse the data using Matlab.

IoT Sensor Uploading and Visualization

Using today available IoT technologies such as WiFi, Long Range Wireless Communication – LoRa interfaced with Microcontroller to push sensors data (temperature and humidity) to Thingspeak IoT cloud and AWS. The uploaded sensors data is further visualized and analysed with Microsoft Power BI.

Virtual Reality Enabled Fitness Interact and Training System for Healthier Citizens – FIT.Me

A fitness kit infused with the combination of Virtual Reality, electronic sensors (wearable) and mobile application. The project aims to provide an interactive platform to motivate and encourage users to adopt a healthy lifestyle in Singapore.


Maker Immersion Camp 2016

We had a wonderful time at our 2016 Maker Immersion camp. A great blend of learning and creation, the participating campers actually had a chunk of time during which they worked on their projects.

Here are some of our thoughts on the camp.

First of all, the packing list. Here is our inventory for the maker camp. We had a good mix of electronics and craft materials as well as a couple of power tools and the volunteers in charge of materials had a tough time managing the enthusiasm with which the campers explored the materials and tools.


The participants this year were pretty lucky – they got to play around with the Intel Genuino kits – 15 sets of which were given to us by Intel Singapore for the programme. Volunteers from Intel also joined us for the camp, both to train the participants on the use of the Genuino kits and how to do basic programming and also as general facilitators.

Which brings us to facilitators. This year, we were truly blessed with volunteers and facilitators who made the camp possible – and some people (other than Intel Singapore) have to be mentioned really loudly.

Neo En Dian – Engineer and Maker, with an apprenticeship in one maker group under his belt, Neo was a great help to the students, especially with the electronics, engineering and tinkering. He was also a good mentor to the volunteers and facilitators.

Yit Chee Wong – Crafter and Science Educator – Yit Chee was wonderful at facilitating projects that combined craft and tech, and for giving some of the more tech inclined kids a little push towards crafting as part of their projects


Kids learning string art from Yit Chee

Wen Ying – Wen Ying was really everywhere during the camp. She was getting supplies, materials, registering kids, receiving lunch, and all the while juggling other projects and often working late into the evening.

Temasek Junior College and Raffles girls school – the Seven volunteers from these schools were awesome. Managing tools and materials, helping the campers where needed, resolving conflicts, troubleshooting circuits (sometimes spending all day drawing circuit diagrams). They had a lot of learning too.


Neo giving our volunteers a quick brief on the use of the solder station

Suchita – Our adult volunteer, she was constantly there, helping, encouraging and cheering the campers.

We started off, as usual with the marshmallow challenge, based on the ted talk by Tom Wujec. We immediately saw leaders and innovators emerging in the teams and it was interesting, as a facilitator, that similar patterns of leadership and work came through during the rest of the camp.

The quick prototyping began almost immediately, with many campers choosing a project and sticking to it. Others used the opportunity to play with materials and tools on some quick toys – things that came out of it included crossbows and boats.

Elda Webb from The Curious Design Network joined us on the first day afternoon to work with the students on tinkercad, which a number of them used for 3D printing parts of their projects.

So, after two days of semi formal instruction, where kids learnt circuits, sewing with electronics, soldering, motors, arduino, string art and other skills, they began prototyping in earnest. Here are some of the projects that came out of the camp


Ms LED universe – a combination of sewing, arduinos, string art, and even a little pocket for the components. Ms LED universe consisted of a hacked T-shirt with one of those sashes that Ms Universe wears. The sash was a detachable string art – LED flowers, which responded to a light sensor


The carnivorous plant was another personal favorite – the sisters working on it iterated multiple times before finally putting together a hydraulic carnivorous plant.


And here are some more projects – a DIY drill, a lot of boats, including a Roat, several burglar alarms, including one that was extremely noisy and disguised as a clock, a burglar alarm for a handbag, a badge holder and an interactive dress. Some of the projects worked, some didnt, and it was a great experience watching the children grind their teeth, go through team divorces and make up again.

Check out the video here

Teachers workshop: Learning by making

We have done a couple of different versions of the learning by Making workshop for teachers previously and this time, decided to focus on deconstruction and transformation of toys.

Radin Mas Primary approached us for this workshop as they were in the process of setting up a makerspace and wanted a better understanding of the kind of learning that happens in a makerspace.


Twenty seven teachers joined the workshop, many of whom came from non-Science backgrounds. – Science, Drama, Physical Education – but it was wonderful seeing the teachers leverage on each other’s expertise to complete the tasks assigned. At some point during the session, teachers were very impressed by a multi-talented fellow PE teacher who was a great artist and constructor!

We started session with a brief introduction to learning to make and how learning by making differs from traditional learning. We followed it up with the Yes And and the Yes But game developed by the D-school in Stanford.

We had two activities around the which the teachers explored the role of maker centered learning – Toy take apart and Toy transformed.

While some groups were hesitant to dismantle the toys, everyone eventually completed the task and took all the toys apart – right down to the last DC motor. The teachers then explored more about how their respective toys functioned and were fascinated to find that most of them comprised very simple mechanisms. They then shared their findings with each other and embarked on their next task – to utilise the old toy parts to reanimate a chicken!

The room was abuzz with excitement as the teachers exercised their creativity to come up with interesting ideas to complete the task. It was a pleasant sight to see the teachers purposefully using different materials and tools, such as hot glue guns and soldering irons, to animate their toy.

The session culminated in a sharing of all of the various toys created and it was indeed interesting to see the final products.

We hope that the teachers will be able to apply what they’ve learnt to create a safe and encouraging MakerSpace in school.

The half day workshop Learning by Making is offered with four different themes to choose from. A minimum of 20 teachers are required for the workshop. For more details, please contact Kiruthika (

1.       Make a simple robot with everyday materials

2.       Electronic art

3.       Interfacing with Makey Makey

4.       Chain Reaction machines

About the writer: Nichelle is a student from Raffles Secondary school. At the point of writing this article, Nichelle was interning at the Science Centre for two weeks and facilitating various Maker programmes

Making things Move

One thing we consistently observe in workshops with parents and kids at the Maker workshops for families is how children and parents are eager to use tools, technologies and equipment that are difficult to obtain.

But besides the tools and equipment which allowed participants to geek out, there was a certain wholesome learning to the three low tech activities that we had – Cup Automata by Din Chan of Madlab and facilitated by Elda Webb of the Curious Design  network.

Children and parents were working together to make a cup open and close its mouth using a paired set of cams.  Here were some simple teachable moments.

A child was trying to cut a skewer with a pair of scissors. Elda pointed out to the child that after scoring the first lines, she could simply break the skewer. I was amused by the look of delight on the child’s face (and relieved that the scissors didnt have to be damaged 🙂 )

A mom and son were having a conversation over the activity. The son made a remark and the mom exclaimed “Oh, i had no idea that you know so many things”.

Often, working side by side with a child, on seemingly simple things opens up conversations and confidences

If you want to explore automata on your own, check out this nifty intro by the exploratorium.

The hydraulics activity, put together by Craft minds was a huge hit. One of the boys stayed only at the hydraulics activity station for the whole of the three hours, after building two models of his own, he kept playing with the many different models and samples that Grace and team had put together. The Craft Minds teams organizes workshops periodically, so do check out their website. Find out more about hydarulics and Penumatics


The solder iron is a fun tool to introduce to young kids – imagine the power of melting metal. Having parents and kids together makes it more feasible for us to introduce tools such as soldering irons and glue guns to children as young as five, and we have, in the past, had several activities which needed the iron, including DIY speakers, PCB soldering etc. This time around, we used the well known vibrobot activity to introduce soldering to the participants, and added an additional twist by giving them the use of solar panels.



It was a bit of a bummer was us when we woke up to a rainy cloudy morning, which meant that the families couldn’t test their vibrobots in the full sun. However, we did have some lamps for testing. Check out the video here! I had a great conversation with a dad who was more curious than his children to learn about solar panels in series and parallel.

There were also opportunities to loose your marbles in the DIY marble machines activity facilitated by Anjali and Sophia. Catch the video here where a mother and son made a swimming pool tipper!


En Dian was ready with basic electronics in a know your circuits station where kids and parents learnt to spin motors and make cars. You can download the content here to play on your own! know-your-circuits 20161022_131355