"Seria Energy Lab (SEL), the new science centre!"
by Allen Jaffran
“We’re here at OGDC (Oil and Gas Discovery Centre)!” is something my team and I hear much too often. Despite our rebranding in 2021, we do experience visitors coming in and murmuring OGDC even though their tickets state otherwise. Being a newly rebranded science center in the midst of a pandemic hasn’t been much help but that’s what my team at Seria Energy Lab (SEL), Brunei, are working hard to change, along with promoting STEM and interactive education.
My name is Allen Jaffran, SEL’s Lead of Exhibition and Education. SEL which was formerly known as OGDC or Oil & Gas Discovery center. Being the only science center in the country, we face a lot of obstacles, but we believe in the positive and irreplaceable impact of STEM education. That is what motivates us to persevere.
Just to share some history with all of you, OGDC was a flagship project of the Brunei Shell Petroleum Sdn Bhd (BSP) and was built with to be a centre of excellence, promoting science, technology, and innovation (STI). We were known in the country for our traveling exhibitions which had fascinating themes such as the Bionic Me Exhibition, the Explo-a Saurus exhibitions and at some point, we had the ‘Playing with the Lights’ exhibition from Scitech Australia.
After 17 years of diligently promoting science and education in Brunei, OGDC finally closed its curtains to be re-imagined into now “Seria Energy Lab”. Seria Energy lab not only focuses on new energy exhibits. We now also have biggest centerpiece aquariums in Borneo which is filled with corals and a flourishing ecosystem commonly found beneath an oil rig. Our new exhibitions focus over four main sections which are the Oil and Gas Zone, Smart Science Zone, Aqualab Zone and lastly, Future Energy Zone.
Seeing that our focus area covers interactive education, SEL is working closely with our local partners such as NGOs, various government agencies, Brunei Shell Petroleum and the Ministry of Education to provide and conduct capacity building workshops, competitions and activities. Our participants are from various age groups and backgrounds.
With COVID - 19 so far under control in our country, SEL continues to deliver educational content in any way possible. Thus, we ensure that our approach is also able to adapt and deliver in various platforms such as social media, online sessions, podcasts and many more. As a science centre, we have the power of diversity, interactivity and creativity of our educators and their skills and, our new online and digital contents are ready and I'm proud to say that we have managed to put SEL out there standing strong in the digital world. ***
SEL as a STEM Champion!
by Khoo Mee Lin
I am SEL’s STEM Professional.
As we believe in equality in education, as stated in the sustainable development goals, we have competitions to promote such values with our Women in Science (WIS) Competition which hopes to give confidence to young women to be amazing individuals in the field of STEM by providing a platform for them to learn, grow and hone their skills to be successful in the 21st century including renewable energy awareness and opportunities. For WIS and other STEM projetcs, we have our Innovation Hub with courses such as woodworking, programming, circuitry and even coding.
Additionally, we are eager to enhance 21st century skills with our participants with workshops such as NXplorers which is a Shell global initiative to target the stress nexus which revolves around our ever-growing food-energy-water problem. SEL is currently working closely with local higher institutions to provide NXplorers workshop to its students. With tools like persuasion pyramid, NXplorers not only covers thinking skills but also communication skills and things like elevator pitch. So, students, these soon-to-be inventors, can be equipped with the skills to sell their ideas/projects to potential investors.
With all these activities, one must always remember quality over quantity and with that, SEL is always on the lookout for the most up to date and impactful ways to increase interest in STEM education and improve our teaching pedagogies. Prior to the release of any activities, impact studies and focus groups are conducted to further improve activities and packages.
The hardworking members of the SEL team have also learnt a lot from our collaborations with other science centres, which include seminars, internships, competitions, and conferences. Though COVID-19 has been quite an obstacle, SEL is pleased that it has not prevented us from continually communicating and engaging as well as learning from one another across our ASPAC family. We are always looking forward to the next possible way to collaborate with other organizations. ***
Petrosains (Malaysia) RBTX Challenge 2022: Open to International Participants!
Petrosains RBTX Challenge 2022 will take place largely virtually, starting with online registration and qualifying sessions conducted via online platforms. The Grand Finals will take place physically in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 10-11 September 2022 and is open to participants across the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. Registration is now open until 30 June 2022.
Categories are below: 1. Robo Sumo (1 kg): Ages 7-17 2. Robo Sumo (3 kg): Ages 10 & above 3. Robo Tracer (Open): Ages 10 & above 4. Innovation (Varsity): Undergraduate & postgraduate student Please check out the poster attached. You can also check their official website and their FB page. Should you have any immediate questions or concerns, please email: Nor Hamizah Rosnan, Project Manager (email: email@example.com).
Post your events on FB: Any ASPAC member can post their events and offerings in the ASPAC FB page. That will be the best platform for all our simultaneous announcements. However, should there be an event that you need the ASPAC leadership to officially endorse and solicit participation in, please click here to email details to the current Executive Director.
and IF YOU LOVE TO WRITE...: Whatever your role in your organization, if you love to write, please send me your article on whatever it is you think would be worthwhile to share with ASPAC. I cannot predict or limit what that will be as there are so many connections between our work and the rest of what others in the world are doing, This is especially ripe in these strangest of times. We are excited to see your insights! Please send me your piece and we will see how it fits in our ASPAC human story. We are excited to unearth the evolving pool of ASPAC writers! Thank you!