The colourful drawings of tentacled Hydra and crescent-shaped Anabeena looked more like art than part of a science class. But the sketches of tiny organisms that lived in pond water were the first step in a project at Carmel School of Hong Kong's newly renovated science centre. The Grade Six to Eight students drew the life forms after peering at slides through microscopes. The students would use the drawings to help research their organism on-line and make a computer model in the information technology lab. This was all part of the Jewish school's effort to engage elementary students in science, focusing on experiential learning instead of simply glancing at these alien-looking species in textbooks. An interactive whiteboard helped merge computer projects with science education, two fields that were becoming more intertwined. Edwin Epstein, head of school, said: 'We felt the 21st century was science-oriented and we wanted children to be more hands-on with the science discipline. We're making it part of their daily diet.' Mr Epstein said the science centre would enhance the religious education of students by allowing them to consider, for example, the saline content of the Dead Sea, an important setting in the Bible, or current events, such as the effect chemical malachite green had on fish. 'It's part of their spiritual responsibility to understand the world,' he said. The science centre - previously shared as a music room - underwent $500,000 in renovations. Workstations and multiple sinks were installed and the lab's equipment was updated with Bunsen burners, microscopes and all the petri dishes and substances needed to make science fun. Mark Davidson, science and information technology co-ordinator for the centre, said experiments performed in the lab brought a scientist's job to life. 'As a scientist, observation is important and enquiry-based research is what scientists do,' Mr Davidson said. Soon, even kindergarten children will be scientists, conducting such rudimentary experiments as turning water into ice or mixing ingredients to make 'silly goop'. Interim principal Rama Ramanadhan said introducing young children to science would boost their enthusiasm about learning. 'They will like to play [with the goop] but at the same time, they will realise there's a science behind it,' she said. Suddenly, science had become fun. Grade Seven student Gal Avisar said: 'I learn better this way. I remember things better when I do them with something I like.'