14th General Election (GE14)
Tree planting using recyclable bottle.

KUALA LUMPUR: THE sustainable lifestyle movement stems from the actions of the public and requires continuous advocacy by the scientific and education communities.

In championing and encouraging a sustainable lifestyle in Malaysia, the Petrosains Science Festival Kuala Lumpur is back for the fourth year since its inception in 2013 with the theme “Sustainable Living” and tagline “Little Plans for the Big Planet”.

Petrosains Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Tengku Nasariah Tengku Syed Ibrahim said science, like music, was a part of culture and had vast applications in life, especially in protecting the Earth, which would be inherited by the younger generations.

“We hope that the science festival will be an annual event for the public to look forward to celebrating, like Merdeka Day,” she said.

She said in the United Kingdom and the United States, science festivals were attended by people from all walks of life — from toddlers to grandparents — and Petrosains was gearing towards encouraging the society to embrace the greatness of science.

Tengku Nasariah said the line-up of programmes at the festival aimed to encourage sustainable living.

She said workshops were held at Galleria @ Petrosains with an entrance fee of only RM5 for children and adults.

These include the “Sew Sprouts” project — a sewing workshop where recycled fabrics are made into soft toys, pillows and tissue pouches.

“Visitors can also learn to make a circuit for LED lamps to conserve energy at ‘Dream Lamp’, as well as learn to make a pump for a rainwater dispenser,” she said.

The workshops, she said, could accommodate about 20 participants at one time and were based on first-come-first-served basis.

As such, waiting areas for children are prepared, where they can do collage and play Lego while waiting for their workshops. There is also an interactive wall for children to play with.

Other than that, there is also a corner where the application of technology is introduced to create a smarthome, where electrical items such as the radio and lights can be used only from the owner’s voice recognition or a GPS signal.

Visitors can learn about water pollution, such as the impact of water pH level on the growth of living organisms. They can also learn coding from the Scratch software at the Innovation Lab.

Among the talks and forum include “Sustaining Natural and Local Resources with Bamboo: The Bamboo Sound Arts Project” by Associate Professor Dr Ramona Mohd Tahir of Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) and “Living a Zero Waste” by activist Claire Sancelot.

Tengku Nasariah said there would also be events at the Esplanade in KLCC Park.

It will feature Skype sessions with collaborating global partners with an interest in sustainable living.

She said among the collaborators for this session include Imagine U Children’s Museum in the United States, Science Centre in Singapore, The Mind Museum in the Philippines and the Beijing Museum of Natural History.

Tengku Nasariah said there were 22 booths that feature informative and interactive activities.

For example,  the public could learn to tour the city without contributing to higher carbon footprint by cycling. There is also a virtual reality experience to introduce balancing the body while flying.

As plants help to green-up the environment, the public will also learn about food waste that could be made into compost to nourish plants.

At the park, the public can learn more about natural gas as a source of energy for today and the future, from the Petronas booth.

They can also learn about the integrated gas value chain from upstream to processing plant and distribution to consumers. They will learn that natural gas is reliable, accessible and environmentally-friendly.

There are booths by television channels like National Geographic and TV3. Popular cartoon mascots of characters from Ejen Ali series will be present.

Performances by Aswara, UiTM, Tourism Malaysia, Datuk Zainal Abidin featuring Sham Kamikaze, Altimet, Fazz, SK Convent 2 Bukit Nanas and Galeri Petronas are
also part of the activities lined up. The key radio partner for the
event is FlyFM.

There will be 3D Theatre Film Screenings by EcoKnights, and other activities include Animal Kingdom Couture — 3R Fashion Competition by Alam Flora, 3D Hunt and Redeem, as well as #MYDIGITALMAKER Fair 2017.

A visitor, Fatim Baharuddin, 42, said she hoped to encourage an interest in science among her children from the activities throughout the festival.

Adelene Pek, 44, accompanied her son, Denzell, 6, to the sewing workshop.

“The activity helps to improve his motor skills. It gives him a hands-on experience as we do a lot of art and craft at home,” she said.

Denzell said he liked machines and was happy to be at the workshop.

“I learn about science from reading books,” he said.

Jessica Tailor from London wanted to explore more activities and she liked  that the booths were set up at the park.

“The music and showcase were entertaining. I enjoyed watching the traditional cultural performances,” she said.

Tailor, 36, who works as an accountant said having the annual festival would create awareness among the public as the messages could reach many.

She also dropped by at the healthcare section to learn more about diabetes.

The event began on Sept 15 and ends today.

For more information, visit ww.sciencefestival.my.

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