Sunday, April 22, 2012

Making Waterscope and quadrat at FRIM 16 April 2012

Our water scope torn apart after using!

Measuring the quadrat by some older children.

Find Direction Without a Compass and Sundials at Bukit Kiara Park 19 March 2012

Our sundials.

Sophisticated Lego sundial. 

Paper sundial works well.

Another masterpiece.

And another.

Checking on shadow to determine the cardinal direction. 

En and her traditional fish trap, bubu.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

School Group Session At KidZania 2 March 2012

I toured KidZania before it officially opened on Feb 2012 and was so amazed with what it has got to offer. I am so sure I will frequent this place for many times to come. KidZania seems to be the place where the children gets to feel the world we are in now. On the other hand, I think, oh well, of course our children knows what exactly the world we are in as they are living on this very place. But at KidZania they get to act in it.

So, here we are on our very first KidZania trip. 
Putting on a security bracelet and making sure it fits well and not loosely.

Checking in at fifth floor by scanning the security bracelet. 

Children below 8 must be accompanied by an adult.

Each child will be given a 50kidzos (KidZania's currency) in a cheque form, at the entrance

The kid cashing the cheque at the bank. 

I let the kids decide on what and how they like to go about their day. 
Here I am, standing outside the glass door watching the both of them, taking an eye test.

They love the theater so much and at KidZania, they watched every single show they could.

En enjoyed her friend's acting, that at the end of the show, she gave her a tip of 8kidzos!

The show schedule that the kids tried to figure out, in order not to miss the show.

Firefighters kids get to sit on a fire truck.

En took a painting job that paid her 8 kidzos. 
I would think the KidZania photographer should have taken her photograph discreetly instead of asking her to pose which made the situation even more artificial. 

Information displayed on the glass panel of each establishment, which tells the capacity, duration, suggested age and payment/income.

Hui who felt this place as unfriendly, finally adapted to the concept and atmosphere of KidZania after 2 hours.  

Here she was, counting her income. 

In the midst of waiting, I suddenly felt this whole place is so artificial and noisy. There are no windows at all,. The trees are fake. I analysed what the kids have done. The moment they walked in, they were being approached to work at the establishment. Questions like 'Do you want to earn money?' "You can buy toys with it". "Do you wanna work here?" At work, kids are being instructed and prodded on what to do. Following instructions to work. Isn't this what school prepares the children to? Conformity.  And this place seems to be the live scenario of a school system, I thought. 
What I love is, whatever the kids want to buy or do over here, they have to work for it. Then again, this can be also experienced in the real life. 

School Group Package RM50 for every child (age 4 and above), inclusive of 1 lunch box & a bottle of water.
RM35 for an adult
e-mail schools@kidzania.com.my

Food at KidZania tastes horrible and pricey. We are not allowed to bring food in. 

Camping at Hutan Lipur Sg Sendat, Ulu Yam, Selangor 24 March 2012

We drove along the long winding old trunk road of Jalan Sg Tua to Ulu Yam. At the end of the road, we came to a T-junction where a left turn took us to Hutan Lipur Sg. Sendat at the end of it.  

The road to Hutan Lipur Sg. Sendat.

We came to a wide clearing at the end of the road, where we parked and camped. There is no toilet or water facilities available. It was pitch-black at night and the starry night sky was beautiful. The sound of gushing river was loud and clear.

At the site where we camped, there is a signage leading to Eagle Nest Campsite ,an outbound adventure Eco resort. 

I can see gravel road path further ahead from where we stopped. 

It showered in the midst of setting up tent, till evening. We had to stay under the flysheet-shelter and cooked under rainy weather. It seemed natural to the children and I heard no complain.  

 Simple dinner. 

Washing hand with rain water dripping from the flysheet and collecting it for usage.

Collection of wood and dried leaves for fire were soaking wet.

Sg Sendat, by far the cleanest among the rivers we have camped.

Mandi sungai. (bathing in the river). The water was too cold for me.

The sky was remarkably clear on the Sunday morning.

Dark Cave, Batu Caves Selangor 18 March 2012

We always know about the existence of this limestone cave, but it never crosses our mind to explore this. Well, today we finally did.

The entrance fee into the cave. 

The huge chamber at the mouth of the cave serving as registration counter. 

They distributed torch light to every participant.

Zasree, our guide, briefing us on the trip ahead of us and the do's and don;t's. I thought we were lucky to have him as our guide, as he was very knowledgeable about his work.

Walking into the cave. There is no man-made light seen, except for our torches.  

Can you spot the green colored viper? The guide said the snake is not the inhabitant of the cave and it is there most probably taking cover from the incessant rain that poured in the past few days.

Observed our first inhabitants of the cave, centipede roaming on the surface of bat guano. It led me to conclude that the cave's ecosystem is still functioning.

Tiny snails among the wet rocks which are peppered with bat guano. The snails feed on the water that carries the all important calcium that formed their shells. The snails also feed on the bat guano.

Roaches. 

 
Long-legged Centipede. Note the long legs and if you are very close to one, you will see that the centipedes have a pair of very long antennae, which helps to feel their way in the midst of total darkness. They do have a pair of eyes, but it was told to us that they are most probably blind. Nature at work.

This is one of the species of bat living in the Dark cave. A fruit-eating bat. There are about 12 (or maybe 20) species of bat inhabiting the cave, said the guide.

Metal railings along a cemented 4' wide path. It can be slippery at a certain portion as a result of dripping water.

Stalagmite. Living.

Flowstone. Still alive. We observed water still flowing down from the ceiling of the cave down to the bottom.

Flat worm, endemic to the Dark cave. Can't find nowhere else. Living in the pool of water just beside the flow stone. We were told that it has very special regenerative capability. Should one cut the worm into half, both will regenerate themselves.

Spinal millipede, another endemic inhabitant of the Dark cave. Real size about half a centimeter. Likes to hangout in the area behind the flow stone.

 
The guide also shared with us some of the other living organism of the cave. 

The snake that slither up the walls of the cave and lunch bats. This Cave Racers are constrictors. 

video
At certain juncture of the journey, Zasree will stop to point out and explained passionately about features of the cave and its inhabitants.  I thought he is very passionate about his work. By far, he is the best guide that we have encountered. 

As we were heading back, we saw a cave dwelling cricket. The guide to told us that this cricket will eat its own hind legs, should they be hungry enough. However, the legs will grow again.