Spending a whole
summer, playing on swings, would be any child’s dream vacation. But what if the
swings could help this child learn basic concepts of physics ? That would be
the perfect way to overcome the worries of
parents and children. The Centre for Science in Society (C-SiS), CUSAT
has a great summer programme each year meant for school students from 4th
std and above. The Midsummer Science
Talent and Total Capacity Development Programmes (STDP) invite children to
explore the world of science, beyond their textbooks.
“We have a one
month programme, which is conducted in two editions. The first is in April,
meant for State Board schools and the second edition in May, meant for Central
Schools. The students are divided into two batches, the junior from 4th to 6th standard and
the senior from 7th to 9th standard,” informs Dr.Bhasi, Director (C-SiS)
The C-SiS is
equipped with impressive facilities for the children to lay their hands on.
Starting from the ground to outer space, children get a taste of different
fields of science.
Science Park and science pavilion
Labs for Maths,Physics,Chemistry and Biology
Computer/IT and Electronics lab
Children’s science library
IEEE and ISRO Pavilions
What makes the
summer programme successful is the lack of forced compulsion the children come
here out of their own will, which ensures that they have the motivation to
participate wholeheartedly. There are children who wish to come every year for
the summer programme. Another aspect of the programme which makes it a hit
among kids, is the teaching method and learning method adopted here. there are no exams, which means there is no
pressure for them to perform. The children can learn to infer, instead of just
using their brains to store information.
"This is a place for thinking, that is what we try to encourage here and
the children enjoy it very much," declares Dr. Bhasi.
Bridging the gap
in teaching science
“We want an
updated syllabus, and updating always means adding on the top and not removing
from the bottom. This leads to over loading as the time available for learning
is the same. So teachers have to opt for the easy method; giving notes and only
teaching theory. Rote learning is encouraged. When subjects like science and
maths are taught like this, there will be no interest among the students to
learn. The importance of thinking is not encouraged,” explains Dr. Bhasi, who also teaches as a
professor at School of Management Studies, CUSAT.
At the summer
programme the students get to interact with scientific models to learn certain
principles. It is a more illustrative method where the main aim is to broaden
the way children think and learn about scientific concepts. So the children go
back home not just with a better understanding of concepts, they also ‘learn to
learn’ science in a new and better way, which helps them when they go back to
school. As an example, the children
learn about algebra using geometry models in the mathematics lab. “We have been
doing this even before Byju’s App !” remarks Dr. Bhasi gleefully.
“We have puppet
shows, magic shows, just to expose the children to different activities and
professions. So the programme is not just about science. Cooking is taught to
children in a way where they are taught the science behind it, so then they
don’t feel that it is a menial job. Every day one batch is incharge of cooking
snacks for the other batches,” mentions Dr. Bhasi.
open for this year’s Science Talent and Total Capacity Development Programmes