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Reaching for the stars

The National Science and Technology Fair 2013 offers a world of wonder under one roof

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Since 2013 is the Year of the Comets and International Year of Water Cooperation, as declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), it is a good chance for kids and the public to explore the amazing world of science. 

The National Science and Technology Fair 2013 is being held until Aug 21, at Bitec, Bang Na, under the theme "Catch The World Of Science, Spark Ideas Towards Asean". Over 150 government and private bodies have joined forces to organise the fair, which hosts various exhibitions and activities also related to water.

Visitors are able to experience the exhibition "Local Wisdom To Innovative Water Management", which features the journey of water in a 4D simulator.

According to Weerapong Pairsuwan, the Ministry of Science and Technology's permanent secretary, the fair exhibits the advancements and potential of modern science and technologies, as well as the potential of Thai researchers and scientists.

Some of the highlighted activities include exhibitions to honour His Majesty the King, exhibitions and activities on science and technology, the presentation of National Scientists Awards, scientific competitions and contests, conferences and seminars, and trade exhibitions for scientific and technological products.

Visitors can enjoy a comet simulation, presented by the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand and can also touch Campo del Cielo, a group of iron meteorites in Argentina. On-site exhibitions and activities from government agencies such as nuclear technology for agriculture by the Thailand Institute of Nuclear Technology and Center for Radiation Monitoring by the Office of Atoms for Peace, which highlights searches and monitor radiation activities, will also be on display.

There will be a demonstration of fruit fly castration by nuclear technology, and other energy research projects by Thai researchers like oil extracted from seaweed.

The exhibition to honour King Mongkut, Rama IV, His Majesty the King, Rama IX, and the royal family, is located at the exhibition zone where participants can portray themselves as heroes to save the world from an energy crisis at "Joining Forces To Fight Global Energy Crisis".

"Global Climate Changes" presents the causes of global warming through the ages, along with the effects of rising global temperatures. Highlights include global mapping to show continuous climate changes and interactive games to save the world.

"Food Crisis" focuses on the simulation of technology for pig farms, closed chicken farms and technology to increase productivity. "Medical and Pharmaceutical Technologies" shows existing and new diseases, the development of medical technology, medical evolution, a timeline of medical evolution in terms of medicines and treatments, and medical technologies and processes as well as four medical innovations, research and future technologies to effectively cure diseases such as the Kinetic X-ray machine which uses a special sensor to track athletes' movements and display them as "skeletons" on-screen.

The fair will also have many activities for young people such as a contest for innovations by junior scientists (grade 5-6), a scientific solutions competition for secondary levels and high schools, national and regional scientific performance contests, and drawing contests. The National Science Museum will host an exhibition on "Science On The Move", which features an interactive exhibition on daily lifestyles and nature.

Mr Weerapong added that 40,000 schools from around the country have already pre-registered to visit the show, which expects to welcome some 1.3 million visitors.

Along with the fair, a "Techno Mart" will be simultaneously organised until Aug 18 at CentralWorld Square.

Science and Technology Minister Peerapan Palusuk holds iron meteorites which were found in Argentina.

Creation station

If you are too busy to visit the Science Museum, or your timing does not match with the schedule of the National Science and Technology Fair at BITEC this month, the "Xvolution" exhibition at Chatuchak MRT station may be your solution. Subway commuters can learn about fossils, dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures while they are commuting.

The National Science and Technology Development Agency in conjunction with the project "Readable Metro, The World Book Capital" is behind the exhibition to promote knowledge of science and technology at the MRT station. The show is on now and runs until the end of the year. Visit www.facebook.com/The Xvolution for more.

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