Kai! Technology can’t really be separated from our lives nor the lives of our kids any longer. We are currently really living in the age of technology particularly Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. I know overusing tech for kids usually harbor on the negative effects of too much tablet, computer games and smartphones but tech is so much more than that. That is why I decided to catch up on the latest tech with the kids at KidZania couple of weeks ago and see how tech can be not only fun but also improve on our lifestyles.
From 18 August – 16 September, KidZania Kuala Lumpur brings the future of technology to life with KidZ & Tech 3.0, a month-long programme that allows kids to interact with tools and programmes that utilise Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics, which will greatly influence the way people play, learn and work in the years to come.
Usually us mummies like to test out an activity before letting our kids try it so it was perfect that I was at KidZania with Mummy Christy and Mouse mummy Kathy as we raced about pretending to be kids again. In fact, we were competing with other teams to find clues and solve puzzles so read to the end to find out if we won.
Here are some of the additional month-long activities divided into three categories so don’t miss them. There happen to be lots of weekdays public holidays this month so do put these dates to good use with the kids!
1) Fingerprint Dusting
I used to watch a lot of CSI dramas so it’s pretty cool that we to be in the Crime Scene Investigation department for the day with the kids. We get to dust and analyse fingerprints using tech and learn how each one of us have a unique set of fingerprints.
2) UV Light Experiment
Can’t get enough of Crime scenes? Held at the Jail area, this is where kids get to use UV light to look for clues and fake money. Don’t worry, there’s no blood involved.
Coding & Robotics
1) Drone Obstacle Challenge
Drone Obstacle Challenge puts handeye coordination to the test at KidZania Kuala Lumpur ‘KidZ & Tech 3.0’ Programme” width=”500” height=”333” />
When we were there, in front of the Bananana! Theatre, Josiah get to try out the Drone Obstacle Challenge. This is an enclosed net area where kids get to fly their drone through some obstacles. Even I have never flown a drone before in real life so this was quite an experience. Josiah needed a lot of hand-eye coordination and focus to pass the test. He also needed to cooperate and work with another kid so they don’t clash their drones.
However, from 1-16 Sept, the theatre front area will be changed to building a robot activity. Looks like we need to go back there just to try this out as Robotics has always been an interest for me. Kids will need to use logical thinking and creativity and create and make their robot come to life.
For this hands-on fun, Makeblock invites kids to build a robot of their own using mBots, a do-it-yourself kit that includes simple coding to create a personalised robotic friend.
Virtual & Augmented Reality (VR & AR)
1) Create Your Own AR Greeting Card
Kids get to colour and design a greeting card but later use a phone app to look through it on the card and there will be a special greeting video that appears. This activity allows parents to join their kids so it’s a great bonding and learning time together.
2) Emoji Scavenger Hunt
This has nothing to do with the emoji movie and it’s actually run by Google Malaysia. Here we actually need to look for real life objects of emojis using our phone and take a picture of it. When we capture the pic, a new clue will appear on the phone app and we need to search for the next object. This activity that is fun for the whole family actually uses experimental neural network AI to recognize real world objects.
“At Google we’re big on AI and making things smart, and the key to that is machine learning — teaching computers to recognize patterns by looking at many examples, rather than programming it with specific rules,” said Zeffri Yusof, Head of Communications and Public Affairs, Google Malaysia. “Google uses machine learning for tasks like language understanding, translation, speech recognition, computer vision, ranking and recommendations at scale, and we hope experiencing this will make children more interested and curious about AI.”
3) Be Internet Awesome
Our kids born in the internet era definitely have no problem learning to use the internet. However, how about internet safety and responsiblity. Here at the Notebook Factory, they get to learn just that, how being part of the internet is like being a citizen of the internet world that comes with rules and regulations too.
4) Sharpen Your VR Gaming Skills
I’ve heard about Virtual Reality headset and gaming long enough, but somehow I’ve never tried them before. So when I went into the Job Information Centre to play a short game, I was shocked. How can I never try this before? I play a block monster shooting game and it was amazing. It was like I jumped into a different world. I could so see the amazing possibilities VR has to offer to enhance our lives in the future world.
1) Light Trail Photography
Light Trail Photography is also another thing that I saw so often on the internet but didn’t really know how it is done. So I’m so glad for Canon to teach me how simple it really was. You can also call this light graffiti and it certainly need to use some creativity and imagination to ‘draw’ the light picture without being able to see it with our bare eyes.
2) U Mobile Clone Photography
Have you ever watched those videos where one person appear as two persons? That was what I learned at U Mobile Store, Clone Photography. I had to asked a random stranger to let me take their photo and make a clone photo. Pretty awesome.
So, at the end of all the activities, we got ourselves into third place! Not too shabby right? We learned so many things and realised, KidZania world is not just for kids. Parents really can learn a thing or two with the kids as well! So get in on the fun and leave the parent cap at home and spend a day in the shoes of our kids who are pretend-playing adult roles… I guess that happens only in KidZania.
Don’t miss these and many more interactive learning experiences at KidZ & Tech 3.0 – book tickets online now and get 20% off admission with the promo code !
KidZ & Tech 3.0 is proudly supported by Canon Malaysia, Google Malaysia, MSP Systems (Makeblock), UKM Forensics and U Mobile.
For more information about activities and events at KidZania Kuala Lumpur, visit www.kidzania.com.my or www.facebook.com/KidZaniaKualaLumpur, or call the KidZania Careline 1300 88 KIDZ (5439) from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm, Monday to Sunday.