Raffles Museum Open House 2010

In conjunction with Explore Singapore! 2010, the RMBR organized an unprecedented three days of open house from the 2nd to 4th December 2010 and witnessed a fantastic turn-out of 1348 visitors! With the help of the hardworking staff and 47 volunteers, the many activities were conducted with pizzazz and visitors were treated to a merry time of learning and fun.

The various activities we had included the Gallery Tour, where visitors were brought around the public gallery of the museum and introduced to the various exhibits. Within the public gallery, there were also show-and-tell sessions where scientists spoke of their research field and interests. Armed with posters and exhibits, the show-and-tell sessions were an enriching experience! Treasure hunt and button making booths set up much to the delight of the many children who came for the open house! There was also the donation booth where not only could people get the chance to help the museum in fund-raising; they could also bid for exclusive intricately drawn buttons. The merchandise sale booth was also bustling with activity as throngs of visitors lay their hands on museum goodies that they could buy including books, buttons, bookmarks and other products exclusive to the museum.

To view photographs of the Gallery Tour and Booth Activities, please click HERE.

Another highlight of the open house has to be the Behind-the-Scenes Tour where visitors got to go to the areas of the museum with restricted access. These prohibited areas included the dry and wet collections rooms where for many visitors, it is the first time they have seen these movie-like scene of towering shelves filled with thousands of specimens. The scientists stationed at each area also gave an eye opening explanation of the different species and storage systems.

To view photographs of the Behind-the-Scenes Tour, please click HERE.

Besides the tours, there were also other hands-on activities and demonstrations. One of which is the intriguing Bird and Mammal Preservation demonstration. Our very own scientists performed a live demonstration of the skinning, preserving and then stuffing of birds and mammals to preserve their lifelike disposition.

To view photographs of the Bird and Mammal Demonstration, please click HERE.

Egg Preservation was a hands-on activity that was immensely popular. Visitors got to preserve their very own egg shells and bring them home. This was done by drilling a small hole, pumping the gooey contents of the quail egg out with water and placing the delicate shells in cotton filled containers. It was a messy but enjoyable time of cleaning and processing egg shells.

To view photographs of the Egg Preservation session, please click HERE.

Additionally, there was also the Shell Preservation session. Participants got to experience the tedious process of cleaning shells that the scientists have to contend with.  Probing, digging and scrubbing, using tools like forceps and toothbrushes, visitors had a wonderful time of exploring and preserving snail shells.

To view photographs of the Shell Preservation session, please click HERE.

Insect Preservation was another hit among visitors where the pinning process of insects were introduced and then done by the visitors themselves! The insects were provided and pinned on styrofoam boards and of course, the participants were allowed to bring their very own insect pinning home. The art of pinning insects is a cautious one considering the fragile bodies of the dead insects.

To view photographs of the Insect Preservation session, please click HERE.

The process of camera trapping is a tricky one in order to ensure a good photograph of the “trapped” animal. This was demonstrated with live sessions of camera trapping, with the creatures of interest being the visitors themselves. Supplemented with an information board about camera trapping, visitors were taught and shown how through technology, we can learn so much without even being physically there. Exclusive photographs of the “trapped creatures” available in the photo album!

To view photographs of the Camera Trapping activity, please click HERE.

Another activity has visitors seeing a common delicacy in a new light: are crabs merely interesting as seafood? How to Describe a Crab introduces the participants to more than just the edible parts of the crab. The organs, structure and function of each component of the crab morphology is explored thoroughly. Crabs parts were viewed under microscopes and dissected to get a clearer view of the complex body of a crab.

To view photographs of How to Describe a Crab, please click HERE.

Enter the minute World of Molecules with sessions dealing with DNA from the scraping of the cheek for cells containing DNA. The fundamental units of life, the DNA is delved into during this session with the usage of techniques like gel electrophoresis to analyze the DNA samples obtained.

To view photographs of the World of Molecules, please click HERE.

Last but not least, visitors got the chance to get up close and personal with a creature that epitomizes “creepy” and “crawly”. The arachnid, also known as the spider, is one of the most common phobias people have. Our resident spider expert introduced participants to the World of Spiders with live specimens crawling about the room. It is most definitely a chilling and thrilling experience for all.

To view photographs of the World of Spiders, please click HERE.

To view a video mesh-up of photographs taken during the Open House 2010, please click HERE.

 All in all, the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research Open House 2010 was a beaming success and we would like to thank everyone for their encouragement and support!

See you next year!

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