Cultivation of 21st Century’s Newton

World renowned universities are the heaven to geniuses. But it is definitely the hell of average student, for example, Jiann Chyuan. In Norway, higher education institutions seem to be heaven to every Norwegian student. Why?

I always look forward to go to the city square on a Saturday’s morning, something is always happening there. For instance, the gay parade during early of September and the free live open air concert the weekend after that.

Last Saturday, determined not to trap myself in the wooden cage, and of course due to the literally perfect weather, I escaped myself from books to town centre for a few hours, just to check out what was the event for the weekend.

It surprised me when I saw two huge tents set up right in the middle of the square which apparently featuring my university, NTNU. Why? Because usually whenever there is any event, promotion within the campus compound is insanely immense. No, not always with a naked body. But not for this.

So I went into one of the tents eagerly and curiously. My eyes sparked instantly when I saw the exhibition inside. It was an implementation of technical knowledge exhibition targeting at children less than 10-year old.

Okay, I’ve to admit that I was equally attracted, if not more than those small kids, to every exhibition booth. They were so interactive. The idea for visitors to the exhibition was not to squeeze into different booths and to grab some freebies. Instead, they were invited to participate in numerous interactive experiments and demonstrations.

One particular demonstration that interested me greatly was the Ruben Tubes. I don’t really understand the physics theory behind the implementation (because I couldn’t study anything from the Norwegian banner), but I guess it has something to do with pressure.

So why was it interesting? Try to imagine the explanation of such invention was not by using lectures, but by karaoke. Sounds fun isn’t it? Children can actually participate in the exhibition by proofing to the world why World Idol was from Norway and not America, by showcasing their singing talent while observing the changes in flame along the Ruben Tubes.

The other exciting exhibition I found was the solar and heat generated Lego car. It was simple, by transforming energy from heat and solar power to mechanical energy that drove the car forward.

One other thing was of course, related to my major, coastal engineering. They had this micro-scale wave generator that explained the motion of water particle in a wave and also the response of vessels to this motion of water particle. It was a combination between live demonstration and one-to-one explanation via animated computer programmes.

Some other interesting exhibitions include, the primitive wood rotating fire making process, the computer programming cum chemistry like drink making exhibition, and also instant human model simulation via scanning.

So now you see the reason why Norwegians are strong in the mastery and implementation of technical knowledge. It is because the country cultivates their younger generation to become the next Newton or Laplace since small.

It is crucial to emphasise that the exhibition is not made to impress public, but to really deliver the knowledge by having immense amount of interaction between organiser and visitors. If Malaysia would like to achieve vision 2020, this might be something that our government, or at least our higher education institutions should learn from.

Caption (clockwise from top left):
Heat and solar power generated Lego car
Some wind power generation demonstration
Wood stick drilling for fire making, with "primitive" tribe assistant
Micro-scaled wave generator
Ruben Tubes with kid singing Linkin Park's song