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Exhibition reviews 15 years of Science Museum history

The scientific development of the last 15 years has greatly changed the lifestyle of many people while drastically improving people's quality of life.

Today (April 18) marks the 15th anniversary of the Hong Kong Science Museum, which has been committed to popularising science and enabling people to explore science and appreciate its applications in an entertaining and inspiring environment since its opening on April 18, 1991.

Over the past 15 years, more than 10 million people have visited the Science Museum, to learn about the interesting facets of science and technology through an array of thematic exhibitions and hands-on exhibits.

A ceremony to mark the anniversary celebration programmes was held at the museum today. The officiating guests were the Convenor of the Sub-committee on Governance of Museums Services, Committee on Museums, Mr Vincent Lo; Chief Adjudicator of the "Weather Machines" – Kinetic Sculptures Design Competition, Professor Norman WM Ko; and Adviser to the Hong Kong Science Museum, Dr Tai Ming-hing. After the opening ceremony, the guests moved to the lower piazza of the museum to join the unveiling ceremony of "Singing in the Rain", the winning sculpture of the "Weather Machines" Kinetic Sculpture Design Competition.

Programmes include the exhibition -- "From Aspiration to Achievements", a photo collection campaign, "My Favourite Scientists", birthday parties, education activities and the "Science Fest" for people to share the fun of exploring science.

The "From Aspiration to Achievements" exhibition focuses on the development of the museum over the past 15 years by showcasing highlights of its past significant exhibitions and developments.

Through panels, valuable photographs and audio-visual programmes, the museum's vision, mission and values as well as the characteristics, facilities and interactive exhibits are featured.

The exhibition highlights memorable and meaningful events that took place in the museums throughout the years. It elaborates on the lifting process of the DC-3 airplane, the first exhibit installed at the museum; the characteristics of the Energy Machine, the biggest exhibit at the museum; and the content of the "Mount Everest" exhibition, the first special exhibition organised in the museum. It also reviews the three most well-received dinosaur exhibitions and the most unforgettable and honoured exhibition, the "Exhibition on China's First Manned Space Mission".

The exhibition introduces the museum's original exhibitions, the exhibition projects for overseas exchange, the multifarious extension activities, the diversified education services and the generous docent services organised by the museum.

Some valuable exhibits are on display to demonstrate the rich collection of the museum. They include the components of the track of the Energy Machine; two interactive exhibits in the "Flower in the Mirror" exhibition; the fossil dinosaur eggs; the training spacesuit of Yang Liwei who was China’s first astronaut; a large satellite image of HKSAR taken by Yang; the replica of the "Ecliptic Armillary Sphere"; and "What Jack Says", the latest exhibit in the new "Safety Science Gallery" which makes ample use of the avant-garde Augmented Reality as a medium of presentation.

The museum has collected photographs from the public which were taken at the museum for the "Photo Collection Campaign – Mosaic of the Hong Kong Science Museum". The photos are processed to create a giant mosaic image and is now on display at the exhibition.

Unveiled in the ceremony, "Singing in the Rain" is the winning entry of the "Weather Machines" Competition held in 2004. It was aimed at encouraging an appreciation of science and nature through art by an open public design competition of kinetic sculptures related to changes in the weather and environment in one of the categories: wind, rainfall and temperature.

A total of 61 entries were collected and three winning pieces from each category were chosen. The winning entries for wind category are "A Tender Wind" by Kan Tai-keung, "Windpromptu" by Lee Shu-fan, Chan Man-ling, Or Ming-yue and Mok Yuk-kwan, and "Whistling Aloft" by Sze Wing-yee and Ip Cheuk-lam.

The winning entries for the rainfall category are "Singing in the Rain" by Wong Chun-yu, Chan Tsin-ching and Ng Yuen-ki, "Rainflower" by Sarah Lee, and "Wobble" by Yung Wai-yeuk and Ng Wing-yan. The winning entries for the temperature category are "The Thermal Canvas" by Chan Tsin-ching and Wong Chun-yu, "Migrant" by Yung Wai-yeuk and Ng Wing-yan, and "Ignition" by Tsang Cheung Shing. For more information on the winning entries and the "Weather Machine" competition, please visit the website .

Commissioned for production and installation, "Singing in the Rain" is installed at the lower piazza of the Science Museum to celebrate its 15th anniversary. It is a musical instrument to praise the power of nature. According to the designers, the idea was generated from the first shower in 2006. The golden sun was setting while rain started to pour. People on the street were worried about getting wet and sought shelter under their umbrellas. Among the rhythmic whisper of the rain, people heard solemn sounds of percussion from afar.

Resembling the shape of a piano, the sculpture is composed of bamboo and stainless steel tubes. As water drains away, the bamboo tubes strike the stainless steel tubes creating melodic sounds.

Located at 2 Science Museum Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon, the Science Museum is open from 1pm to 9pm from Monday to Friday, and from 10am to 9pm on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. It is closed on Thursdays (except public holidays). Admission to the museum is $25, with a half-price concession for full-time students, people with disabilities and senior citizens aged 60 or above. Admission is free on Wednesdays. Admission to "From Aspiration to Achievements" exhibition, which will run until May 31, is free.

For details of the exhibition and related programmes, visit the Science Museum's website at . For enquiries, call 2732 3232.

Ends/Tuesday, April 18, 2006
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