It was truly an eye-opening experience to be present at the Istana’s Open House. Having a wide variety of pop-up makerspaces set-up to engage families and their children in a hands-on learning experience of creating and building on their own makes the moment even more  treasured. It was a heart-warming experience to see so many children and their parents enjoying themselves in the activities that they do, which is in conjunction with our theme, ‘Happy City’.

The event was a collaboration between the Life Long Learning Institute, Science Centre Singapore, the Workforce Development Agency (WDA), community partners which includes Imagin8ors, Ground-Up Initiative (GUI) and local makers Elda Webb, Annabel Tan, Adrian Curic and Bart Ting, to propose a fulfilling parent-child tinkering session to experience learning through Making. Both parent and child were encouraged to build and make on their own elements of a vision of a future Singapore, which can then be placed on a 6m by 6m city map of Singapore.



It was nice to see everyone enjoying themselves at the various pop-up spaces.

Children were encouraged to play around and have fun with what they make at the ‘Cars’ and ‘Planes and Boats’ pop-up space. Participants were given resources like foam boards, foam sheets, wooden dowels, balloons, vibromotors and straws to create on their own. As for ‘Boats’,  the really young kids had a great time splashing in a mini wading pool and blowing their boats.

What can be more alluring than flying balloons? Balloons with wings, of course. And so when we ran out of wing materials halfway through the day, the team improvised wildly and tore up all the flyers to make plane wings.

Annabel, a Maker herself facilitated participants in making ‘people-like’ creation using polymer clay. And then we had to chase them to place their people on the map, because, the people were obviously too pretty and everyone wanted to bring them home.

Here at ‘Buildings’,  volunteers from the Ground Up Initiative created buildings using various sizes of wooden blocks and also artificial grass.

As for ‘Circuits’, the participants were encouraged to make something out of colourful dough or a cut-out using foam sheets and construction papers which they can then form a circuit with LEDs, crocodile clips, copper tapes and batteries respectively. Decorative items like googly eyes, feathers and pipe cleaners were also provided for them to be open in their creation. Some of our favorites – Giant squids and Sea Dragonous Giganticus Maximus in the oceans of Singapore. And then someone had to make a Jurassic park to house these giant beasts!

Plant lovers were especially attracted to the ‘Nature’ pop-up space as it not only allowed them to make their own planter but they are able to choose which plants they prefer as there were a few types of plants provided for them to choose.


As evening set in, a giant cardboard lion rose out of the tent, giving its blessings to the makers in the space. Inspired by the lion, families got together to make their own picnic tables and chairs using cardboard blockies.


Through it all, it was a really fun-filled event and we hope to see everyone filled with excitement again in our next event!

The president himself dropped by at the makerspace and added the finishing touches to the model of the Istana. We were very heartened to see both Mr and Mrs Tan confidently using the glue gun to attach pillars and the Singapore flag to the Istana, which indeed looked beautiful presiding over the Singapore map.





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