Science Express

To mark birth centenary of Dr. Vikram A. Sarabhai, the father of the Indian space programme, National Science Day 2019 team at PRL has planned to organise science exhibition/demonstrations at different places of Gujarat in coordination with schools/community science centres. The motive is to reach out to the general public and students and share the excitements of science. First chapter of that effort started rolling out with two days long visit at Dhrol, Jamnagar and Rajkot. 27 volunteers from PRL, primarily PhD students, spent their Christmas weekend in a very special way demonstrating 20 odd experiments and interacting scientifically with numerous students, kids and common people. These experiments are setup by different divisions of PRL to demonstrate different aspects of science, such as, anti-gravity, roller coaster, light guiding, optical cloaking, light polarisation, super conductor, liquid nitrogen, light box, radio meter, aspects of theoretical physics, thermohaline circulation model, experiments demonstrating the Lentz law and Bernoulli’s laws, twinkling effect, imaging in telescope, pulser model, shock tube, payload description of solar X-ray monitor, alpha particle X-ray spectrometer on Chandrayan–II, hands-on with astrokit and astronomical activities, sky spectra poster, sun photometer and Gale crater model, Mars.

Dhrol community science centre is inside M.D. Mehta Education complex which includes a spectrum of girl child education centres from primary school to B.Ed college together with a science museum and a planetarium. Our exhibition was set during 2.00 to 5.00 pm on 22nd Dec 2018, Saturday in Dhrol. The organisers from Dhrol restricted the entry of the students of class 8 and above anticipating a unmanageably large gathering. Still our demonstrations were well appreciated with a impressive 600+ footfall in three hours. Centre coordinator Sanjayji and his group of volunteers were extremely helpful in organising the show. We gathered all incoming students at a auditorium, giving a brief introduction and different science activities at PRL by showing the recent documentary. The students were then sent to different experiments in the demonstration area in a coordinated flow. We were satisfied to receive very positive feedback from engrossing students of different age group. We extended the activity till 6 pm before taking our break and returning to Rajkot.
Next morning we resumed our demonstration at regional community science centre, Rajkot where Mineshji has taken a personal care coordinating different logistics throughout our trip. Located at the heart of Rajkot - the Race Course area, this regional centre has long been taking active role in the field of science popularisation. Unlike Dhrol, the audience here spanned over a wide range age group, including school, college students, parents and teachers and several groups of students in their school uniform coordinated by teachers. In this full day activity we had 1000+ excited visitors. In several occasions enchanted students thanked for this opportunity. We had addressed many of their queries about PRL in general and PRL science activities and opportunities. Some college teachers wished to have similar show/hands-on experiments at their campus in near future.
Science Express is a novel effort to bring the scientific exposure at the door of a student at far corners of Gujarat. This is to fulfil our social obligations towards our community by providing lasting impressions to cultivate the scientific inquisitiveness among the future generation. Moreover, such experience provided a learning exposure for all our young volunteers who faced all challenges with great energy and enthusiasm.

Arijit Roy, Ayan Biswas, Bankimchandra N Pandya, Bhaskar, Binal Patel, Girjesh R Gupta, Kamlesh Bora, Malaidevan P, Naba Prakash, Nisha Bharti, Nishant Singh, Pradip Suryawanshi, Rahul Kumar Kushwaha, Rituparna Das, Sandeep Singh, Siddhartha Sarkar, Sovan Saha, Subith Kumar, Sudipta Show, Supriya Pan, Sushil, Varun Sharma, Vimlesh Kumar, Vishnu Kumar Dhaker, Yash Srivastava, Yogesh and Partha Konar. Logistics by Goutam Samanta, Bhushit Vaishnav.