As part of efforts to popularise science among masses and generate interest among children, Vigyan Bharati has been holding camps for children since 2019. Till now, it has tried to teach science to children in a traditional manner. This year, it changed the format a bit and has handed over all the equipment to children, allowing them to perform experiments on their own in the camp held in the premises of NEERI. Most teachers attached to Vigyan Bharati feel, if children get to do something on their own, then it has positive impact as they would get attracted towards science. Vigyan Bharati, in association with National Environmental and Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), is endeavouring to get children attracted to science.
“We are doing everything step by step. Initially, we, too, were not sure what could be the correct way to give lessons of science. We took them to various scientific institutes to let them understand how those institutes work. The team of dedicated teachers taught the children basic things in science,” said Narendra Satfale, Vigyan Bharati office-bearer.
The camp that recently concluded had the participation of 200 students from 40 schools of
CBSE, State Board, run by Municipal Corporation, Zilla Parishad, etc. Students were of Standard 7 to Standard 10. Vigyan Bharati also invited resource persons who explained students various scientific terms like Dr Prashant Joshi, Head, Department of Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) addressed them on medical science.
According to Dr Joshi, the activity will surely generate interest in science in children. They can have good practical knowledge. They must have curiosity, inquisitiveness, dedication, application, persistence. They can become good scientists. Every student was doing experiments on the stalls in the NEERI premises on various subjects. There was a stall of nutrition. AIIMS, too, kept a stall where students learned basics of medical science. NEERI’s stall also imparted information on air pollution. In schools, one learns theory, but here, practical knowledge was delivered to the students, pointed out Dr Joshi.
The team, including Satish Ghare, Manisha Ghare, Vasundhara Sathe, Vaidehi Sathe, Shashank Chate, Yogesh Dandekar, Narendra Satfale, Milind Joshi, Pradyumna Shouche, Samruddhi Sathe, Mr Shukla, Prakash Itankar, Girish Joshi, Mrs Dahadkar, monitored the camp as well as taught students.
What is a better system to teach science? How can the interest among children be generated about science? Vigyan Bharati studied this aspect and realised that, just a theoretical knowledge is not going to work. Instead, practical aspect with the involvement of children themselves can attract them to science. This year, it has handed over all the science equipment to students, gave them freedom to do as per their wish and it did wonders. Most students wanted the camp to be continued for long and not to end on Day 8.
Vidarbha unit of VIBHA is a vibrant unit, working at various levels and sections of society by organising multifarious activities aimed at increasing awareness and interest in science and nurturing scientific temperament among people in general and students and youths in particular. As part of this, VIBHA has initiated forming Vigyan Bharati Students’ Forum (VSF) in schools, stated Satfale.
“I am using mobile, but I never thought how the sim card in mobile works. I got to learn it here in the camp when Wahab sir explained to me the functions and use of sim card,” a student told ‘The Hitavada’.
Roshni Shende, a student from poor background, too got involved in the camp. She not only performed experiments at the stalls, but also expressed her views.