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N. Sivasothi,
a.k.a. Otterman,
Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore. Since 1998 with origins from OneList.

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Wed 04 Oct 2006

Public education at the NUS Green Carnival, 2nd & 3rd October 2006

Category : events

NUS Green Carnival, 2nd/3rd Oct 2006 - This time the Raffles Museum Toddycats were trying to suss out enthusiastic recruits from our traditional hunting ground - NUS. However, the Toddycats on duty did not switch out public education mode and talked to the most unlikely recruits from 9am to 6pm over two days! Even the "Milo Uncle" was not neglected and his interest ensured he was faithfully attended to by an admiring Toddycat.

We thought we had enough hands with at least four of us active during peak hours on the second day. However, most of us went home with sore throats, dehydrated and exhausted. Coupled with late nights to catch up with work, exhibitions are pretty demanding business.

The foetal dugong was the crowd puller once again - gawking students drawn to the exhibition eventually talked to Toddycats talk about wildlife and conservation in Singapore. While uncomfortable about the gawking, these are actually the individuals who are learning the most. And there is lot of explaining to do - many think the horseshoe crab is a stingray, the pangolin is an armadillo and dugong is a pig!

Despite this 'distraction', we recruited more than 10 willing souls for unrewarded (no ECA points, no allowance and no t-shirt) public education work, exceeding our wild targets (yeah, we're picky). These passionate individuals are worth ther weight in gold an few more more willing individuals are likely to emerge after Friday's lunchtime Public Gallery tours.

We also met Joseph P Mullinix, NUS' relatively new Deputy President (Administration) during the opening - he is taking over the sustainable campus initiative in NUS so it will become a well integrated plan. Folks from Campus Green Committee and the Office of Estate Development are elated about this. As we all know, a top down process works wonders - they have waited a long time for this and its time to celebrate!

During the second day of the NUS Green Carnival, we had to rearrange and shift our exhibition several times due to rain, possible conflict, human traffic strategy, the blazing sun and shade enhancement! Meanwhile, our table size changed from one to two to three and finally back to two. But it ensured that the precious zoological specimens from the Raffles Museum were kept safe and we intersected NUS student flow effectively. The quick changes that were executed without fuss, reflect the thought, decisiveness, cooperation and dynamism of the Raffles Museum Toddycats! Okay I'll set the trumpet aside now...

The fourth setup was executed in just a few minutes; practise and many hands make for light work!

All suggestions about getting work done were fanciful but Leaf Monkey did manage to blog the first day, during a lulls or two, and followed up with a second report on Wed evening - see "Live from Green Carnival" and "Green Carnival Day 2".

This exhibition was part of the revival of Raffles Museum's participation at fairs. These outings help us to reach people who might never meet a volunteer guide at a nature area (see "Thoughts on Raffles Museum exhibitions at fairs"). Its success has been due to the passion of the Toddycats.

Next to get organised!

Posted at 7:19PM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email | Raffles Museum news