15 July 2013

Highlights of the Festival of Biodiversity 2013

The Festival was an awesome explosion of fun for volunteers of the marine community and fellow nature lovers.
Chay Hoon leads a lively wild clay making session!
As usual, it's the kids and families that make the day for the volunteers!


President Tony Tan visited the Festival and we take the opportunity to share about the important aspects of our biodiversity. Marcus Chua took the opportunity to show the President "a leopard cat kitten who was born last year and then explained to him why we're concerned about the possible impacts of the CRL (Cross Island Line)." as Marcus explained on facebook.
The President also met with Nor Aishah who shared about TeamSeagrass and with Airani who shared about International Coastal Cleanup Singapore.
Pei Yan managed to get a smile out of him by showing him how the dugong leaves a feeding trail in our seagrass meadows.
Sean Yap (with beetle cap) is delighted to meet a fellow insect fan. Sean shares on facebook: "Met a 7 year old version of me at the Festival of Biodiversity today! Was derping around when suddenly this boy shouted "tarantula!" in reference to the spider mascot on my shoulder. He then went on to tell me he liked insects, the conversation soon descended into technobabble about arachnids. 
"He then put his backpack down, and pulled out a DK guide to bugs, and we spent the next ten minutes going poring over the thing from cover to blurb. Amazing, amazing stuff. Really hope this boy never loses his passion, and that our paths may cross again in the future, maybe out in the field." I'm sure the young visitor will grow up to be just like Sean!

This child made his father drive him down all the way from Pasir Ris for the Festival. His mother learnt about the Festival from the internet, he said.
The mascots were a big draw. Attracting kids and visitors to come closer so we could talk to them. Some kids, however, are totally absorbed by the mascots! The mascots were made by volunteers for the volunteers over two weekends!
In fact, some of us have yet to get out of mascot-making mode and eyed these socks a little too closely for the owner's comfort .... mascots-to-be.
Volunteers of the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, the Toddycats are a great hit as they share fascinating stories about awesome creatures still found in Singapore today! How long does it take for a trolley full of museum specimens to attract a crowd of kids?
1....2....3....
... 30 seconds
1 minute
5 minutes
David 'Bird' also draws a huge crowd with some taking unfair advantage of a tall dad.
The museum's microscope station is a big hit!
Kids also love to sit down and play games. Here's some seriously playing the game made by Liana Tang of the Naked Hermit Crabs and conducted by November Tan.
The Hantu Bloggers's food chain game is fun for the whole family. Horng Steve-Tan from the Blue Water Volunteers plays the game. Indeed, volunteers from various marine groups did all the different activities together.
Rick Leong and his awesome mangrove team from the Mangrove Action Squad did a fabulous job as usual getting ordinary people excited about the mangroves.
The mangrove specimens are very attractive!
Kwan Siong is a mangrove expert too and he puts the long propagule to good use as a pointer.
There's all kinds of sea shore games for the kids to try. Here's Pei Yan showing kids how the dugong feeds as part of the "Where do I live?" sea shore game which helps highlight that the seashore is not uniform and that different kinds of animals need different kinds of seashores to live in, often at different parts of their life cycle.
Our Seashore CSI is always a big hit. Here's Yin Xin  having fun trying to figure out what happened from the gruesome remains of sea creatures that we commonly find on the beach in Singapore.
Rachel and Nor Aishah shares about sea snakes. How many snakes are in the bottle? Nor Aishah suggests that they find out by counting the heads.
Often forgotten but a critical part of the Festival are the photographers, who worked tirelessly to capture the passion of the volunteers and wonder they ignite in the visitors.
James Koh
Jerome Pang
Rene Ong
Marcus Ng
To keep our spirits up, we share all kinds of goodies. Debby bought a huge box of cupcakes! Whee!
LOTS more photos of the Festival are compiled in these facebook albums
Related blog posts about the Festival

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