Two educational theme parks, which support the K to 12 program, have recently opened in Pasay City to spark students’ interest in arts, science and technology.
Theme park developer Creative Science Exhibit Inc., with the support of Elitech Corp., opened Elite Techno Park and Raya Theme Park in the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex.
“Our direction in developing theme parks has always been for the promotion of a learning system that is not only informational, but the journey to learning should be as fun and exciting as the rides in an entertainment theme park,” says CSEI vice president and general manager Rina Fernandez.
Elite Techno Park is the country’s first technological theme park that features the techno-vocational track of the K to 12 program.
The park provides hands-on activities in semi-conductor and electronics, mechanic and automotive, air-conditioning and refrigeration, information technology, robotics, renewable energy and climatic conditions as well as disaster awareness and preparedness.
The company believes that after the tour, students will develop higher appreciation for the tech-voc track and will be better equipped with knowledge that will support future career aspirations.
Fernandez says the park went through a very rigorous process of conceptualization, physical planning and construction that took two years.
CSEI needed the support of the Elitech, also co-owned by the Fernandez family, to finance and equip the parks with actual machines that will run demos and provide hands-on tutorial on featured modules.
Elitech is Filipino company supplying capital equipment to semiconductors and electronics manufacturing firms operating in economic zones.
It provides funding as well as technical support to the parks. Investment has so far reached P20 million that was basically spent in the construction of two buildings and land lease with the CCP management for 25 years.
“Most of the machines we are using for the techno park were donated by principals of Elitech. Since my husband co-owns and manages Elitech, we didn’t face difficulties in bringing in the equipment needed to showcase the tech-voc track,” says Fernandez.
“K to 12 [program] is our sole inspiration for getting on with this project. In fact many schools took an interest in our park. We’ve had several day trips from as far as Bicol and Northern Luzon. Some parents have also took a liking for our theme parks that they plan to bring their other kids here, on a family outing,” says Fernandez.
Inside the park, high school and even college students have the opportunity to observe, feel and tinker with semiconductor products such the wafer and semiconductor chips that power gadgets, cellular phones, computer, tablets and electronic consumer goods.
A module features how robots are utilized in industrial processes to make work easier and more accurate.
As many as 400 tour operators have already signed contracts with CSEI for school trips. The park is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. “But we also accommodate special request from schools, especially those coming from the provinces to open as early 6 as a.m. since they arrive at the site early,” Fernandez says.
CSEI is not new to the theme park business. It has previously managed Seriland at Manila Ocean Park and Creative Thinker also in the CCP Complex.
“The continuous upgrade and creation of new concept send our abilities to the edge. For a theme park to flourish and sustain the interest it has generated, concepts have to evolve every two years. Either we add new features and create a package totally different from the previous as the case of Creative Thinker,” Fernandez says.
Raya Park was named after Fernandez’ eldest daughter who is now a lawyer and working for the Office of the President. Raya’s linguistic origin is Bulgaria, where it means “heaven and friend”.
“It is indeed a land of happy thoughts. This park offers hands-on activities for preschool to grade school students. This facility can accommodate at least 400 students and adults an hour,” says Fernandez.
Raya Park features arts and home economics and has a section dedicated to origami, the art of folding paper introduced by the Japanese. It has modules for fruit carving and table setting. Entertainment segments include a 3D Cinema, an enchanting mirror maze and a kids paradise.
Both parks are located in newly-erected buildings at Liwasang Darangen, a section where education and culture meet within the CCP Complex.
“We hope to get the attention not only of schools but also pique the curiosity of families and how the tours to the Techno Park and Raya Park will help children in their learning process,” Fernandez says.
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