Monday, October 7, 2013

SM to bring Science Discovery Center to Jinjiang, China by 2014

SM Prime Holdings, Inc. is set to bring the Science Discovery Center to Jinjiang, China by 2014. This will be the third SM Science Discovery Center in the country and the first outside the Philippines.

Science Discovery Center head Arturo C. Carballo said this is part of SM Prime’s plans to have 10 malls in China by 2014. There are six SM Malls occupying a total space of 797,545 square meters in China with specific locations in Xiamen City in Fujian, Jinjiang City in Fujian, Chengdu City in Sichuan, Jiahe Road in Xiamen City, Suzhou City in Jiangsu and the latest in Chongqing City which opened in December 2012.

The first SM Science Discovery Center opened at the SM Mall of Asia in Manila in 2007 while the second Center opened in Davao City’s SM Premier this month.

“This is one of the most modern science centers with a Planetarium powered by the Digistar 5 projector system; the full-dome Planetarium alone costs P700,000,” Mr. Carballo said. This is even more modern than most Science Centers in the United States which only uses the Digistar 3 system, he added.

The Davao Science Discovery Center occupies a 2,000-square meter space but compared to the 158 seating capacity for MOA’s Planetarium, Davao’s Planetarium can only seat up to 80 people. But while the Center in Manila has only 9 galleries, Davao has up to 10 interactive galleries on geology, Biology, the Body, Climate, Energy, Transportation, Technology, Engineering and The Future.

“The Science Discovery Center in Davao is expected to cater not only to Dabawenyos but also to the whole of Mindanao,” he said.  Based on their studies on the Mindanao market, they have decided to lower down the entrance fees from P330 for walk-ins in Manila to only P250 for walk-ins in Davao City.

Mr. Carballo said they have met with officials of the Department of Education as well as Vice Mayor Paolo Z. Duterte and they agreed to provide a special rate for public schools. He said Pasay City exempted the Discovery Center in MOA from the amusement tax so they were able to provide public school students there with a low rate of P180.  We are trying to get a much lower rate for Davao public school students, he added.

Department of Tourism XI Regional Director and Assistant Secretary Arturo P. Boncato, Jr. said the Discovery Center brings with it more opportunities for the city as it will provide educators with a unique, tech-based platform when teaching the youth about concepts in science, technology and other related topics.

“It will help the city sustain its advantage not only in business and tourism, but also in education,” he said. The investment came at a most opportune time, he said, given the recent economic boom brought about by the influx of investments and tourism.

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