In Penang, a 'Science Cafe' to hold bubbling interest

GEORGE TOWN, Aug 5 ― Spurred by the success of the Penang International Science Fair that drew over 4,000 entrants in April, the Penang Science Cluster Bhd (PSC) plans to set up a “Science Café” to support more such programmes.

According to Ooi Peng Ee, the newly appointed chief executive officer of PSC, the two-day science fair in April attracted more than 35,000 visitors.

“Some children were disappointed as they were not able to participate in the activities held due to the overwhelming response so we decided to set up a café where we can have a ‘science fair’ on a daily basis so that everyone can participate in the many science-related programmes we organise,” he said.

The first café will be opened at the PSC headquarters in Krystal Point and the PSC will gauge its effectiveness before opening more outlets, especially at rural areas, all over the state.

“We see a need for hands-on science activities, like in the science fair, so the science café will provide the platform for students to participate in the activities,” Ooi said.

PSC will also be working along with corporate partners for funding to open more science café in future.

The next PSC science fair will be held in October next year.

The firm was set up by the state government to cultivate interest in science amongst the young.

PSC had developed various science-related programmes in collaboration with schools such as iCipta, a programme on creating the embedded systems, Young Laureates for students to use science creatively and Junior Triz which encourages creative problem solving.

Ooi said the purpose of these science programmes and activities were PSC’s efforts to instil interest in science and to encourage students to immerse in innovation through science.

“It is one of the ways to create a culture of innovation in science and technology in our young and to create a pool of human resource for the future,” he said in a press conference by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to announce Ooi’s appointment.