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5 Fun Things To Do At The STEAM Festival 2023

Food is so much more than just nourishment - it is chemistry, biology, culture and art intersecting on your plate! The annual STEAM Festival organized by the Science Centre Singapore brings together science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics with an emphasis on the wonders of food. Taking place from 31 October to 5 November 2023, the festival theme this year is "Exploring the Science of All Things Yummy!" Get ready for a deliciously fun time as we unravel mysteries in the kitchen and beyond!


What is the STEAM Festival?

The STEAM Festival originated in mid 2010s as the Food Science Festival (former site at sciencefest.sg) before expanding to encompass wider STEAM-based learning. This year's edition puts the spotlight back on food through interactive exhibits, workshops, demonstrations and more. Over 6 days, unwind the science behind delicious dishes, uncover food secrets and engage your senses through edible experiments.

Through fun, hands-on activities you can expect to learn about diverse food-related topics like:

  • The chemistry of cooking processes
  • Biology of taste and smell
  • Physics of texture and structure
  • Microbiology and food safety
  • Engineering innovative food tech
  • Nutrition and healthy eating
  • Sustainability and food waste
  • Culture, history and art behind cuisines
  • And much more!


Who Can Attend the STEAM Festival?

While the target audience is primarily school-going children, food lovers of any age are welcome! Purchase tickets online for families, adults, students, children and preschool groups. In order to enter you will have to pay a small fee.


Is It Mandatory For Students To Attend The STEAM Festival?

No, attending the STEAM Festival is not mandatory for students. The festival is an optional educational event aimed at making STEAM subjects accessible and engaging for children and youth in Singapore.

The STEAM Festival is organized annually by the Science Centre Singapore, not schools. It is not an official part of any academic curriculum. Schools may choose to organize group trips to the festival for students as an optional enrichment activity. However, attendance is voluntary, not compulsory.

The target audience is children from preschoolers to secondary school students. However, it is open to people of all ages with an interest in STEAM. Tickets need to be purchased individually or in school groups to attend. There is an entry fee for anyone who wants to attend.

The festival features hands-on exhibits, workshops, talks, demonstrations etc. focused on STEAM disciplines. The informal setting makes learning interactive and engaging.

While beneficial for exposure to STEAM, students do not miss out on academics by not attending the festival. They can gain STEAM knowledge through school curriculum. The festival aims to ignite a passion for STEAM and inspire future careers. However, it remains an optional activity, not a mandatory school event.


Why Attend the STEAM Festival?

The STEAM Festival offers an interactive gateway to uncover the science powering the food we eat every day. 

Gain exposure to the science powering everyday cooking

Gain exposure to the chemistry, biology and physics behind every day cooking processes. Learn what gives bread its spongy texture, how heat transforms ingredients, and the science of taste and aroma. Appreciate the complex food science happening in your own kitchen!

Learn about innovations shaping the future of food

Discover technological advances that are radically shaping the future of food. Experience food printing technologies that can customize nutritional value and textures. Learn about cellular agriculture producing real meat and seafood from cells. Understand the role of AI in developing new food products. Get a taste of the future food landscape!

Understand issues like sustainability and nutrition

Develop awareness around critical issues like sustainability, food waste and nutrition. Learn how small daily choices can reduce your carbon footprint. Discover nutrition misconceptions and make informed food decisions. Experiment upcycling leftover food into nutritious meals. Be inspired to make positive change!

Discover the research behind different cuisines

Uncover the storied histories and meticulous science behind different cuisines. Learn the microbial fermentation principles behind kimchi. Dissect the regional Vietnamese dishes influenced by French flavors. Appreciate the intersection of food with culture, tradition and innovation.

Appreciate the intersection of food with math, culture and art

Beyond science, food is also art, design and architecture on a plate. Participate in workshops on food sketching, plating techniques, sculpting fruits and vegetables, and more. Gain appreciation for food as a multisensory artform.

Participate in hands-on workshops and demonstrations

The festival provides opportunities to get hands-on with cooking demos, food experiments and DIY workshops. Create your own lip-smacking creations to share with family and friends. Learn new skills and techniques from seasoned chefs and food scientists.

Interact with experts in food science and technology

Interact with researchers, technologists, chefs, nutritionists and other experts passionate about food science and innovation. Get your burning food questions answered. Hear first-hand about the latest advances shaping the industry. Get inspired by professionals working at the intersection of food and STEAM.

Get inspired to pursue STEAM studies and careers

For young visitors, the festival provides the perfect spark to ignite a lifelong passion for STEAM fields. From food chemistry to entomophagy, the diverse exhibits and workshops offer exposure to the incredible career possibilities in food science.

Bond with your family and friends over shared meals and edible experiments!

Beyond the wealth of learning experiences, the festival also offers a memorable way to bond with loved ones. Make new memories together through hands-on cooking, shared meals and edible science experiments you can proudly enjoy as a family!


Top 5 fun things to do at the STEAM Festival 2023

There are many things that you can do at the STEAM festival but here are 5 of the most fun things you can enjoy at STEAM festival.

Cricket Farming

Crickets offer an eco-friendly, low-carbon alternative protein source compared to traditional meats. In this workshop, learn how crickets are humanely farmed and harvested. Tour compact cricket farm operations and discover how colonies are housed in climate-controlled containers to accelerate growth. See the life stages from eggs to nymphs to adult crickets ready for processing into flour. Understand how crickets require minimal food, water and space compared to cattle.

Next, try some delicious food items made from nutrient-dense cricket. Compare the environmental impact and health benefits versus other alternatives. Taste different recipes incorporating cricket powder like cookies, smoothies. Learn potential applications of insect protein across various cuisines and food products. Walk away recognizing crickets as a promising sustainable protein for the future.

Make Your Own Rainbow Kueh Lapis

This hands-on workshop reveals the colorful chemistry behind kueh lapis. Learn how pandan, coconut milk, tapioca flour and egg make the base batter. See how different food colorings like blue pea flower and cocoa react to acid and alkali to produce striking rainbow hues. Practice mixing batters and layering them with deft pouring techniques. Combine colors to create beautiful marbled patterns reminiscent of tie-dye. 

Understand the science behind getting batter consistency just right for distinct layers. Control pouring height and volume to neatly stack alternating colors. Finish by steaming the kueh lapis in banana leaf cups. The result - a mini rainbow kueh lapis you can share with friends and family. Your creation is the perfect combination of art, science and culture!

Create Your Own Personalized Cookies

Take cookie art to the next level with this DIY workshop. First, discover the ratios of ingredients like butter, sugar and flour that give the best cookie texture, taste and feel. Learn the chemistry behind ingredients and mixing techniques that yield the perfect dough.

Next comes the fun part - rolling, cutting and decorating your very own cookies! Pipe icing into creative designs. Use edible markers to draw pictures and messages. Engrave special patterns into the cookie surface. Coat cookies with chocolate drizzle, rainbow sprinkles or crushed nuts. The possibilities are endless for these one-of-a-kind edible art pieces. Show off your personalized cookies that are as unique as you!

Wild Palates

Embark on a foraging adventure to better understand the vast diversity of wildlife diets. Venture into the Civic Garden for an exploration of native plants. See and touch edible plants that make up the natural diets of various animal species. Forage for fruit like rambutan and leaves like papaya that nourish birds, insects and small mammals.

Back in the workshop, examine ingredients and spices that mimic the wild palates of different fauna.  Understand how herbivores, carnivores and omnivores have adapted to specialized diets. Then craft enriching food items like vegetable sticks with honey, meaty muffins and fruit skewers to stimulate the palates of zoo animals. Appreciate how we are all interconnected in nature's food web.

Food Detectives

Embrace your inner food sleuth and uncover the truth about sugar in this hands-on workshop. Conduct taste tests of different products to detect sugar based on sweetness levels. Perform experiments to estimate sugar content and see effects on the body. Examine nutrition labels to identify hidden added sugars in everyday items using clues like ingredients lists.

Keep a log tracking your daily sugar intake. Get surprised at sugar amounts in packaged snacks, cereals, juices and condiments. Finally, use your honed food detective skills to make healthier substitutions with lower natural sugars. Walk away empowered to make informed choices and enjoy sugar in moderation as an occasional treat!

So interactive food exercises can be a great way for kids to attain more knowledge. In addition to the workshops mentioned above if you are looking to know more about which brain foods are best for your child’s development then read more here.


Is STEAM Festival Beneficial For Children

Yes, the STEAM Festival is extremely beneficial for kids for several reasons:

Engaging Learning Experience

The festival makes STEAM education fun, interactive and hands-on. Kids can learn through storytelling, games, experiments, building things and more. This engages multiple senses and different learning styles. It’s more enjoyable than just passively reading textbooks.

Sparks Interest in STEAM

By experiencing STEAM first-hand, kids may discover a passion for science, math, technology or arts. Positive early exposure builds enthusiasm to explore STEAM further. The activities and exhibits ignite their natural creativity and curiosity. This also makes learning interesting for students who find these subjects difficult to understand.

Real-World Applications

The workshops and demonstrations allow kids to see how STEAM principles apply in real life. They learn about technology, experiments, design thinking and art not just in theory but through practical application.

Multidisciplinary Learning

The activities blend different disciplines from science and math to engineering and art. This cross-disciplinary approach teaches how subjects are connected and can be applied together in the real world.

Future-Ready Skills

STEAM skills like critical thinking, problem-solving and digital literacy will be invaluable for the future economy. The festival prepares kids with essential skills to stay ahead of the curve.

Inspiring Role Models

Interacting with researchers, engineers, innovators and creators shows kids what is possible in STEAM fields. Meeting inspiring role models boosts their confidence to pursue STEAM studies and careers.

Bonding Experience

Kids can visit the festival and engage in fun learning activities together with parents, siblings and friends. Sharing these hands-on experiences fosters closer family and social bonds.

The immersive STEAM Festival environment has enormous benefits for a child's development, education and future prospects. It can spark a lifelong interest in science, technology, engineering, arts and math.


Final Words

The annual STEAM Festival promises endless interactive opportunities to uncover STEAM principles through hands-on exhibits and workshops. From building rainbow kueh lapis to designing personalized cookies, visitors can look forward to experiential activities making academic subjects come alive.

While the options may seem unlimited, highlights include food experiments, animal diet discoveries, and customized edible artworks. Beyond these featured activities, there are countless STEAM wonders waiting to be explored this year. Gather the whole family especially your kids to sample this buffet of hands-on discovery that is both educational and entertaining.

The STEAM Festival 2023 has immersive installations and knowledgeable experts to feed every age group's imagination. Don't miss Singapore's premier STEAM celebration that will leave you nourished, inspired and already looking forward to next year's festival.

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Tutor City's blog focuses on balancing informative and relevant content, never at the expense of providing an enriching read. 

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Resident author - Mr Wee Ben Sen, has a wealth of experience in crafting articles to provide valuable insights in the field of private education.

Ben Sen has also been running Tutor City, a leading home tuition agency in Singapore since 2010.