Singapore sees future prosperity in STEM

Dec 10, 2015, 3:49 PM EST
Singapore Science Centre
Source: Walter Lim/flickr

This has been an exciting week for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) in Singapore. On Thursday, President Tony Tan Keng Yam officially launched the E-mmersive Experiential Environments (E3) exhibition at the Singapore Science Centre. It draws heavily on virtual reality and user-interactive technology to, for example, soar over cities like New York, or dive into the depths of the oceans.

The president heralded the enormous educational potential of E3, noting that its “focus is particularly on the young, who are experiential and visual learners.” Professor Lim Tit Meng, Chief Executive of the Science Centre Associate, said "E3 is a testbed for new forms of engagement that can be translated to other exhibitions … That's why we want to use this as a platform to stimulate scientific thinking and also to nurture the curious mind to move into STEM exploration, and among them hopefully they will take up STEM careers for our nation."

The exhibition will also gather creators and industry players to experiment with new ways to showcase research and content, according to Channel News Asia. For example, the Science Centre is partnering the National Research Foundation and certain private corporations to develop Virtual Singapore -- a dynamic 3D model of the country which displays information on-demand.

And on Wednesday, the Science Centre's applied learning unit STEM Inc. announced a partnership with experienced 3D printing firm Stratasys to give selected students from primary school to junior college level access to 3D printing machines.

3DPrint.com wrote that Stratasys

Opened a 3D Printing Experience Centre at their Singapore office last year, and earlier this year they ran a pilot program in conjunction with Science Centre Singapore that consisted of two-day 3D printing workshops for students from four schools. The pilot program was so successful that the two organizations are now expanding it to reach as many students as possible through their partnership.

Ido Eylon, general manager at Stratasys South Asia & Pacific, noted "The education program provides the opportunity for students to try their hand at it, and for educators to prepare skilled employees for the future, bridging the gap between education and the actual workforce." In fact, Singapore’s Temasek Polytechnic became the first school in the Asia-Pacific region to adopt Stratasys’ 3D printing curriculum, a harbinger of how education is evolving.

Also on Wednesday, global shipping firm DHL launched its $7.1 million Asia Pacific Innovation Centre (APIC) in Singapore. The facility, DHL’s first outside of Germany, showcases driverless shuttles, robots, advanced optical gear, and delivery drones, among other innovations. APIC will conduct R&D on future trends and opportunities in the logistics industry, where Asian markets play a sizeable and increasing role. The facility also offers guided tours, innovation workshops, and forums for visitors.

To sum up, Singapore's active promotion of STEM fields is already paying off, and momentum will continue to grow.

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