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Science Popularization

A Memorable Camp for Ignited Minds

Young fertile minds have the capacity as well as the capability to imbibe whatever they are provided with. They are the flower beds ready to be sown with seeds - either with hybrid seeds or with wild varieties. And it is rightly said that whatever you sow so shall you reap!

With this in mind UCOST in collaboration with SPECS conceptualized a training camp where the focus was to ignite young minds towards Science & Technology through science based activities and inculcate scientific temperament among students by the concept of, learning by doing". Sponsored by NCSTC, DST, New Delhi under the motivational programmes, the ignited camp was organized from 26th to 31 December at a picturesque location at Kandoli. Kandoli, a place in the lap of lush green Sal forests and far away from the hustle bustle of city crowd was an ideal place for conducting the camp. The grit & determination of Dr Brijmohan Sharma, SPECS for the successful organization of the camp was seen in congregating nearly 69 Children from six districts of Kumaon and Dehradun ranging from class 6th to class 12th in the workshop.

"Providing a platform for the young minds to cultivate the proper spirit of inquiry for understanding 'Life' using science based progress was the key theme", as elucidated by Dr. Kirti Joshi, UCOST. The camp had plethora of activities, all included under the title "Scienfun?. As the name suggests, it was to learn while having fun. The six day residential camp started with Dr. Rajendra Dobhal, Director General UCOST giving a memorable talk on life stories of various eminent scientists, how they eventually turned to a new leaf.

After that, the group went for an exposure trip to Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, where Dr. Shefali Aggarwal, Head Photogrammetary division explained the knity grity of satellites (PSLVs, GSLV, Mars mission etc.), how they are propelled to the space and its various purposes with the help of models and movies. An interesting question by Ankit, class VI, Gangolighat "How do we bring back the satellite when it ceases to function?? left everyone enthralled. In the evening, the clear sky made the day with the students being enlightened about constellations, stars, black holes etc. by star gazing activity.

Next day, early morning began with the nature trail led by Shanker Dutt, to nearby forests where the excited children collected different plant samples for preparing herbariums. Apart from this, the dry riverbed nearby had ample opportunity for the children to learn about different rocks and soil formation. It was followed by a visit to Forest Research Institute & its museums.

Another aspect for organizing this camp was that children pursuing education at these places remain oblivious to the S&T work going on nationally as well as internationally. To raise their interest and knowledge on recent S&T developments this camp was conceptualized. They were told about the miracles of Science, its fundamentals and its applications by doing experiments. Mr. Mateen Ansari from Meerut gave hands on training on low-cost teaching tools for science learning. He explained concepts of magnetic properties, latent heat, air circulation, centrifugal forces etc. by using inexpensive materials.

Explaining about the science behind so called miracles, Mr Jitender Bhatnagar removed some of the fallacies & mysteries behind the extraordinary claims by touts. A major attraction of the camp was the making and playing techniques of puppets and ways of science communication through puppets by Man Mohan lal and K K Rai.

Apart from this regular activities there was also a one and a half day trip to UPES where they were shown rock museum, rigzone, biofuel laboratory, engines, automotive laboratory, school of design etc. A major attraction during the visit was the mechatronics lab/ robotics. The children had a visual treat of a flying unmanned aerial vehicle/quad-copter as was shown in three idiots movie. Dr. Shyam Pande from UPES was barged with volley of questions from the students ranging from electron theory to rutherford principle and he smilingly obliged everyone.

Dr. Alka Diwedi and Dr. Prasoon Diwedi saw that each participant was actively involved. The trip also included a session on professional communication skills where a demonstration was given by Mr. Harshvardhan & Ms. Puja. The trip concluded with a general quiz where Kalpana, Sundriyal class XI was awarded the first prize. The children enjoyed the trip immensely.

The idea behind visiting labs was to enable them to connect with the prevalent scientific challenges, aspects & methods. Intellectual property Rights- a session on its various segments including patents and copyrights By Manoj Singh & Chanda Thapliyal, PIC, UCOST was also cherished by the children

The camp culminated with a face to face interaction with padamshri Prof A.N.Purohit, Ex president NASI, Uttarakhand Chapter where in a casual manner he interacted with the participants, answered their queries and motivated them to ask as many questions as possible. He said that "ignited Minds? means how many questions generate in your mind. It is not necessary that each question is answered but most important idea behind the innovation is the enquiring mind. At the end, Rakshit Bhatt bagged the Best ignited mind award while Himani Joshi got the award for the most creative leader of the camp.

While sharing her experiences, Himani joshi gangolihat seemed quite excited. As per her savor, this camp gave her an opportunity to meet new people along with the visits to new areas and university. She learnt that work conditions became more easer after Group formation & team building. Neeraj Joshi, class XII from Bhimtal appreciated communication style attitude and behavior of resource persons .He enjoyed the cultural programme

As a consequence of this camp, it is reflected that a mass of trained ignited minds will be generated coming from all across the state. Training them to be logical and infusing reasoning based temperament so that when they return back to their parent organization, the learning?s they have imbibed may be percolated to their peers, families and the society itself. Aptly naming them as "Science Volunteers?. The need of the hour is to ignite the young buds as burning candles, ready to ignite other nearby candles such that a nation is built where an enlightened society exists!

More Images are in Gallery Section

Glimpse of the Session
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