One of the activities we did while at Changi Cottage was to visit the Changi Chapel Museum. While Esther was thoroughly bored, Daniel & Benjamin were utterly fascinated. They went through the entire multimedia station-pressing all the buttons, reading all the chapters on the War, and then went through the entire audio tour, insisting on listening to & visiting every audio station! We spent 1.5 hours at the museum, largely waiting for them to finish!
Since they were so fascinated by war & the Japanese Occupation, we brought them to the Ford Factory Museum. It was exciting to be in the same building where Percival surrendered Singapore to Yamashita! However, I was a bit disappointed at the exhibits. Unlike the Changi Chapel Museum, with its clear, uncluttered displays, the Ford Factory Museum exhibits were squeezed together. It was a case of information overload and not having a clear sense of focus. I was unable to figure out the main storyline that the exhibits were designed to tell. It felt like a bunch of things put together. Although everything was interesting & valuable, Changi Chapel Museum felt more organised and digestible.
One of the key messages that came out of our two museum visits was how the British did not defend Singapore well. I suppose it was fitting, then, that after our jaunt at the Ford Factory Museum, we headed for Defence Science Revealed, a humongous exhibition put up by MINDEF and DSO. I found myself conveying National Education messages like, "The British did not defend us well. They were complacent. So when we gained independence, we invested a lot in our military, and see? Defence Science! Now we are so advanced in military technology, we will surely be able to defend our country!" Fwah.... patriotism overload!
The Defence Science Revealed exhibition was fantastic--there were interactive elements, game elements, touch-and-feel elements. It was definitely an impressive show & it got the boys excitied about military technology and weaponry. There was cool stuff like hyperspectral radiation, invisible cloaking devices, and anti-tank bullets, the use of heat-seeking technology and flares, ... or at least, that was the stuff I UNDERSTOOD. There was other more... advanced... stuff too!
It's weird but we've definitely been going to more exhibitions and museums this holiday. I guess our kids are finally at the age when they can sit more stil, concentrate, read exhibition panels, and absorb information better. Well, at least Dan and Ben can. Esther is still clawing at the panels & we're still trying to stop her from licking every single one! =)