Tag Archives: tinkering

Preview of the Tinkering Studio @ Science Centre

1Tinkering Studio @ Science Centre is a place where people get to tinker – to think with your hand and learn through doing. It is based on a constructivist theory of learning which asserts that knowledge is not simply transmitted from teacher to learner, but actively constructed by the mind of the learner.

The Tinkering Studio supports the construction of knowledge within the context of building personally meaningful creations, such as marble machines or light paintings. Opening at the Science Centre Singapore in December 2015, The Tinkering Studio is a permanent exhibition which aims to provide learning opportunities for visitors to pick up tinkering skills

2Tinkering Studio will be bringing the Marble Machine activity to the Maker Faire this year. Marble Machine is a creative ball-run contraption, made from familiar materials, designed to send a rolling marble through tubes and funnels, across tracks and bumpers, and into a catch at the end.

Beside the basic materials like tubes and tracks, visitors will also be provided with random items like bells and kitchen utensils to bring out the creativity in them.

Do check them out for a sneak preview at Maker Faire Singapore this weekend!

DeCONSTRUCT – How Nishant shares his tinkering passion with his peers

Nishant is an 18-year-old student from Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) and he will be participating as a maker at the first Singapore Mini Maker Faire Education Day that will happen at University Town (National University of Singapore) on 19 July together with other student makers.

He shared that he liked to take things apart since he was young and he thanked his parents for being very supportive of him, although he admitted that he is still chided for making a mess and damaging the floor and other household objects in the process of his tinkering. His parents also make sure that he tinkers within safety limits, though he admitted that he still tries to challenge the limits at times. Well, that sounds totally characteristic of a maker, doesn’t it?

Tinkering challenges

Nishant shared that he has always worked with minimal tools. Although he would have appreciated more tools, he feels that it has taught him how to make do, which is actually a good chance to innovate! Nishant also shared that tinkering had affected his school work a bit when he was building a Tesla Coil in Secondary 3 but he does not regret that because he really love what he did and he is glad to have done it. Well, the important thing is to learn through experience and manage things better the next time round!

Sharing this hobby with peers

Nishant thought it would be great to share his tinkering hobby with other people. A lot of his friends find Science boring and do not see the purpose behind what they learn. Nishant feels that most people will not see the purpose unless they are shown the possibility of application of what they learn. He cited the case of his friends who were not particularly interested in the details of things even though they thought it cool when he built a Tesla Coil in school when he was in Secondary 3. Hence, he thought a hands-on session might make a difference, and it would make people learn in the process of creating.

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From left (standing) – Yun Da, Nishant, and Gabriel (Organisers of DeCONSTRUCT)

He decided to run an event with two other friends, Gabriel Tan and Lee Yun Da, to let his fellow schoolmates take things apart and make something new from the parts, and in the process they will be able to apply Physics, design and electronics. The event was DeCONSTRUCT and it was a collaboration project between ACS (Independent) and Science Centre Singapore, run by Nishant. It was not all pink and rosy initially. He had a tight timeline to advertise the event to his fellow schoolmates and was worried about a meagre sign-up, although it picked up towards the end. After the three-day tinkering workshop, he was glad it was a success, with many participants giving him encouraging feedback after the event. One participant wrote to him, “It’s such an eye opener for me. I never liked Physics although I’ve been studying it for 9 years. It is only today that I realise how wide is its applicability and how far your imagination can stretch. I will re-approach Physics from a new perspective now”.

With the success of this year’s event, Nishant hopes to bring DeCONSTRUCT to other schools as well, so that other students can also get to experience it. Sounds like a great plan!

We wish Nishant all the best with his tinkering endeavours and hope he can continue to inspire his peers and make a difference! Catch Nishant, Gabriel and Yun Da at their booth at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire Education Day on 19 July at University Town, NUS!