Telling the creation story in Korea
By Adventist World staff with contributions by Korean Publishing House staff
BIRD WATCHING: The thousands of students who visit Byeol-Sae-Kot-Tol each year can observe wild birds closely throught the center's bird-watching telescopes.he Adventist Church-owned Byeol-Sae-Kot-Tol Science Center in Shew Chung, a rural area near Seoul in South Korea, began with a young boy’s dream to study the stars.
A curious and intelligent child, Kyoungsang Sohn studied hard at school and eventually became a successful dentist. He never lost interest in astronomy, however, nor forgot his childhood dream to observe and examine as closely as possible the wonders of God’s universe. As a faithful Seventh-day Adventist and a believer in God the Creator, Sohn longed to educate others—particularly children and youth—in the marvels of nature and the many ways it reveals a loving heavenly Father. So in 1999, using his personal finances, Sohn constructed and opened a science center, initially called Nomok. Six years later, in 2005, the Adventist Church in the region took over management of the education facility, renaming it the Byeol-Sae-Kot-Tol Science Center. It has since grown into a highly recognized and appreciated complex that is the recipient of government awards for excellence in its field.
Studying God’s Nature
PLANETARIUM: The Byeol-Sae-Kot-Tol Science Center in South Korea has a planetarium equipped with telescopes and a sliding dome.The name of the center, Byeol-Sae-Kot-Tol, indicates its focus on four areas of study: astronomy (study of planets and stars), ornithology (study of birds), botany (study of plants and flowers), and paleontology (study of fossils). It boasts a planetarium equipped with telescopes and a sliding dome; habitat and feeders to draw wild birds that can be closely observed through binoculars and the center’s bird-watching telescopes; a botanical garden filled with colorful and vibrant flowers, bushes, and herbs as well as a high-powered microscope for careful study of the foliage; and an exhibit area housing hundreds of fossils in which both youth and adults can learn the history of the earth from a creationist worldview. The teachers and other qualified staff who run the learning facility also share the story of Jesus and how wise men followed a special “star” to Bethlehem, the place where Jesus was born.
More than 100,000 visitors a year, largely comprising students from elementary school through college, encounter God’s handiwork at the Byeol-Sae-Kot-Tol Science Center and learn of the Creator, who spoke this world and the universe into existence because of His unfathomable love for humankind.
Because of the large number of visitors, registration is required. Plans are also now underway to expand the facility.
To learn more about the Byeol-Sae-Kot-Tol Science Center, go to www.ntam.org.