By Choe Song Jun
A few days ago, I visited the children’s dream hall of the Sci-Tech Complex built on Ssuk Islet in the picturesque Taedong River in the capital city of Pyongyang. It was crowded with many children and students having a pleasant time during their winter vacation.
The first leg of my visit was the district of exploring nature. On display there are animal and plant specimens in their original state to help children have the same feelings of exploring natural mountains and seas. At the forest district, divided into four seasons, they were trying to understand the world of nature, guessing the names of animals and birds and imitating their voices.
I got aboard a simulated submarine together with children. An endless horizon and various ecological environment under the sea unfolded before our eyes. A student skillfully steered the sub as if he were its captain. The children made ceaseless cries of admiration while touring the virtual world of the sea.
The second leg of my visit was the garden of science. Schoolchildren were learning the principles of aerial discharge and laser, IT, etc. by making use of such appliances as mysterious spark balls, laser keyboards and image composers. Some of them, touching the spark balls, said that human being is also a kind of conductor. Saying that there are so many mysterious problems in the world of science, Jo Il Myong from Hasin Primary School in Sosong District, Pyongyang expressed his will to become a researcher to solve them in the future.
Laughter of children led me to the spring of wisdom. On display there were magnets, mirrors, ball in the air, manual generator, simulated airplane and spacecraft. I happened to see two schoolgirls facing each other with a mirror between them. They were giggling at the sight of their changed faces by the reflection of light. On the other hand, schoolboys were engrossed in destroying warships by applying the principle of mathematics and geometry at the virtual artillery range.
I entered the stage of scientific activities through the classroom for intelligence development. Pupils of 3-2 Class of Chollimagori Primary School in Phyongchon District were holding a presentation. Among them were Kim Ye Yon and Ri Ye Ju widely known as drum and piano prodigies. Noting that they learned a lot there, they expressed their hope to be excellent scientists in the future, instead of musicians. Their teacher Kum Hyang said: This dream hall is the place where children cultivate the bud of their talents and give full play to their imagination to their heart’s content. That’s why they are reluctant to return home.
Listening to her in smile, I looked around the hall again. It was crowded with schoolchildren absorbed in studying the mysterious world of science, cherishing a beautiful dream.