The official opening of TECH DOME PENANG on July 16 marks the culmination of an arduous and challenging 5-year journey to set up the state’s very first Science Discovery Centre..TECH DOME PENANG has been modelled after the San Jose Tech Centre whereby the government provided the building and funds are raised from the corporate sector and the public. The Penang State Government has, however, taken this a step further by not only providing the use of the iconic Komtar Geodesic Dome to house the facility but also provided funding of RM5.15 million (through the Penang Development Corporation) to kick-start the project.
When the present State Government assumed office in 2008, it realizes the paramount need to not only maintain Penang’s position and status as a globally-renowned centre of technological excellence but with a mission to take it to the next level and beyond through innovation, research and development.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng was instrumental in providing the impetus and the push as he realized that the mission cannot be achieved merely through just the vision and support of the State Government and industry players but would require a very essential component which is a highly skilled and knowledgeable human capital. After all, human talent is the new oil of the 21st century and building human talent requires a PPP model of Public Private Partnership.
There has been increasing concerns about the declining interests in the pursuit of studies and also the continuous decline in standards of English, Mathematics and Science among students below 15 years of age as evidenced through studies conducted under the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
In their latest ranking released for 2015, Malaysia was ranked a lowly 52 out of 76 countries assessed, well below regional powerhouses like Singapore (1st), Hong Kong (2nd), South Korea (3rd), Taiwan and Japan (joint 4th). What was alarming was that even a comparatively new player like Vietnam was ranked 12th. If Malaysia cannot even surpass Vietnam, how then can we be a manufacturing powerhouse. The urgency to return Penang’s position as the Centre of Excellence (COE) for Science and Technology became critical.
Tech Dome Penang will showcase more than 120 international-standard exhibits targeted at sparking the interests of the younger generation to the exciting world of Science and Technology and providing the catalyst to inspire them to pursue studies and careers in these fields. The exhibits are laid out in 6 main galleries, namely Robotics, Information Technology, Forces & Motion, Electromagnetism, Life Tech and Optics. In addition, there is a Children’s Exploration Zone for pre-schoolers and also an Observatory housing the largest telescope in Penang.
The majority of the exhibits were designed and supplied by exhibits design fabricators from New Zealand, Germany and USA. The centre will also showcase exhibits from local manufacturing corporations and other locally-based Multi-National Corporations.
Besides showcasing exhibits, Tech Dome Penang will also house classrooms and a laboratory to conduct science classes, workshops and school holiday camps for students.
Industry players may also find Tech Dome Penang a suitable venue for carrying out their team-building programmes as a number of the exhibits are suitable for such purposes. There is also additional floor space in the annex for companies to hold public exhibitions to showcase their technology and products or to even hold simultaneous walk-in interviews.
There are also CSR opportunities for companies to sponsor visits by children from rural-based schools and also the under-privileged.
Entry charges for those with MyKad are RM12 for children from 5 years to below 12 years, RM16 for children with student cards, and RM20 for adults. Children below 5 years enter free while senior citizens pay RM12.
Tech Dome will be open daily from 10am – 6pm except for Tuesdays (unless Public Holidays) when it will be closed.
Penang. An artist’s impression of the RM23mil Tech-Dome in …