Overall, my experience at X-Periment 2015 held at VivoCity is yet another fun and fulfilling one. This time, we engaged members of the public at our SAYES booth in making chromatography roses with the use of everyday items - water soluble markers, water and paper. Through this activity, we were able to demonstrate the concept of paper chromatography to them in a fun and exciting way. Firstly, participants were given a small piece of paper which they had the choice of choosing the colours and the design that they would like to decorate it with. Subsequently, with the addition of just a few drops of water and voila, the ink could be observed to be spreading out in all directions and if one take a closer look, he or she would actually see different colours of ink spreading out at different speeds or even separating into different colour components. One such example is that after we added a few drops of water to a paper coloured with black ink, colours such as purple and blue could be seen in the spreading ink. The pattern brought out by the spreading of ink was really interesting and also pretty nice. After observing the above, we also helped them in folding the paper into a rose.
It was an enriching experience to be able to interact with the public and communicate with them about science. Through small talks and little conversations with them, especially small children who were attracted to our booth, I have learnt that many of them actually has a developed interest in science, with some of them even having dreams of pursuing a career in science when they grow up. It feels really good to know that they have such interests in mind and there are also boundless platforms such as X-Periment and other science fairs each year that are available for the interested to visit and try their hands on at different experiments at different booths. These platforms are also important as they serve to deepen their interest and grow their understanding not just in science itself but broaden their perspectives about the world.
Even though throughout this whole experience, it may be tiring at times but it's all worth the time and effort when we see the smiling faces of people who came to our booth. Last but definitely not the least, I am very happy and glad to be able to help out in this year's X-Periment as a facilitator, to communicate science with the public and inspire their interest in science.