Science Express

In continuation of a major outreach program of a different kind which started in 2018 to mark the birth centenary of Dr. Vikram A. Sarabhai, the father of the Indian space program, the Science Express team of PRL has organized the science exhibition/demonstrations at different places of Gujarat and Rajasthan in coordination with schools/community science centers. The motivation of the Science Express event is to reach out to the school and college students with an emphasis on the underprivileged students and also the girl students of rural background and the general public to share the excitement of science.

The second term of the Science Express program started with our presence at the Edufest during 21-22 Dec 2019 to cover the people of the eastern part of Ahmedabad city. For the past three years, about 40 NGOs, in conjunction with more than 100 schools and educational institutions and some industry/corporate partners, have been organizing Edufest event in the Riverfront, Ahmedabad with the primary focus to reaching out general public at large to enthuse scientific spirit, encourage students (and parents alike) to pursue studies, particularly the science stream. The organizers have shown a keen interest in having demonstrations/experiments/posters etc. from PRL and were generous enough to offer exhibition space up to 4000 sq.ft. Here more than 40 Science Express volunteers of PRL, primarily the Ph.D. students, spent their weekend demonstrating 20 odd experiments and interacting with numerous students, kids, and common people. Around 3000 students are expected to be benefited from these two days of activity.

On 4th January 2020, the Science Express team visited Rashtra Katha Shivir, Pransla, Rajkot, Gujarat. Around 25 volunteers visited the Shivir for a day-long activity, setting up several live experiments and interacting with about 1500 participants.

In our third event, the Science Express team visited Vivekaranada College, Dabok and Sangam University, Bhilwara during 10-11 Jan 2020. There were total 40+ volunteers from PRL and USO consists of Ph.D. students, Post-doctorate fellows, scientific staff and few faculty members, demonstrated 20+ live experiments in those two places. More than 1500 and 1600 students participated in these two events, respectively. We also organized a popular science lecture in those two places. It is interesting to note that due to the huge demand from the students, we had to repeat the public lecture three times in both places.

On 4th January 2020, Science Express team visited Rashtra Katha Shivir, Prasla. Around 20 volunteers visited the Shivir on for a day-long activity, setting up several live experiments and interacting with about 1500 participants.

In our third event Science Express team visited Vivekaranada College, Dabok and Sangam University, Bhilwara during 10-11 Jan 2020. There were total 40+ volunteers from PRL and USO consists of PhD students, Post-doctorate fellows, scientific stuff and few faculty, demonstrated 20+ live experiments in those two places. More than 1500 and 1600 students participated in these two events, respectively.

The final journey of the Science Express in the winter, December 2018 - February 2019 was completed through the events organized in Bhavnagar and Una. Since the major focus of this event is to cover underprivileged students, the Science Express team visited Vidyadhush Vidyasankul, Bhavnagar on 22nd February to demonstrate science exhibition to 1000 odd students from nearby schools. The team also organized another event with the support of two government schools and Gandhi Kanya High School, Una. It was a whole day activity demonstrating science exhibits to more than 1500 students of Una. The local organizers helped us to bring students from nearby remotely accessed places. The Science Express team had the opportunity to see closely the real limitations of the students of remote places to access education. Therefore, they had put their extra effort and time to make the students benefited from Science Express. Overall it was indeed a different experience for the Science Express team and the students of Una. Due to the onset of summer, the Science Express journey was stopped with the expected start in the winter from December 2019 - February 2020. While all these Science Express events (total 6 places in Gujarat and Rajasthan) during December 2018 - February 2019 helped us to increase the awareness and share the excitement of science through working models of various science experiments among unprivileged section of the society, it also helped our team members to get new insight on the effective ways of demonstration or the explanation suitable to attract the young minds. It is fascinating seeing so many excited students trying their best to match our effort and coming with a diverse query.

In its first year, the Science Express events from December 2018 - February 2019 have received an overwhelming response from the students, teachers and common people with an estimated footfall of more than 7000. Our efforts can be summarized as 30 volunteers traveling around 2000 Km for 45 hours and delivered 1230 working hours of volunteered contribution in such demonstration and talk.

Science-Express team for Bhavnagar and Una

Abhay Kumar, Akanksha Khandelwal, Alka Rani, Anju Rani, Ashirbad Nayak, Arijit Roy, Arvind K, Ayushi, Bankimchandra N Pandya, Deepak Kumar Painkra, Harshith, Jaya Krishna, Madhusudhan P, Malaidevan P, Namita Uppal, Nandita, Navprakash, Naval Kishore, Neeraj Kumari, Priyank Parashari, Sandeep Singh, Supriya Pan, Sushil Chaurasia, Varun Sharma, Vimlesh Kumar, Aveek Sarkar, Partha Konar; Logistics by Goutam Samanta
The Science-Express is continuing its journey with stops at different places in Gujarat and Rajasthan to share the excitements of science among general public and students. The third stop of the Science-Express on 22nd January was arranged in Ravindra Nath Tagore School and College, Kapasan, a remote place, one and half hours of drive from Udaipur towards Chittorgarh, Rajasthan. It was a full day exhibition along with extremely intriguing popular lectures by Prof. S. Mohanty and Dr. K. Acharyya. Both of these talks were well received by the students. More than 1000 students participated in this event. We demonstrated 25 odd exhibits showcasing different scientific activities of PRL

On 23rd January, the Science-Express reached to the Govt Senior Secondary School, Badgaon, a remote corner of Udaipur. Hearing about the event, the students started lined up from early morning. Primarily, the students of two nearby High schools, one boys and other girls, participated in this event. The focus of this event was to provide scientific exposure to the girl students. Subsequently, students from other nearby schools also poured in. Students were extremely charged up to take the advantage of the scientific exposure at their door step. Similarly, seeing the students from the unprivileged section of the society, our team members put their extra effort to explain our exhibits in very simple understandable words for such children. Several now ideas had popped up spontaneously to ignite the curiosity in such little open minds. Around 600 students participated in this event.

Science-Express team for Udaipur and Kapasan

Ali Anwar, Anirban Ghosh, Ankshika Bansal, Anupam Ghosh, Ayan Biswas, Arijit Roy, Bankimchandra N Pandya, Bhaskar, Deepak Kumar Painkra, Deepak Gaur, Devaprasad M, Harish, Harshith, Kapil Bhardwaj, Kevikumar Lad, Malaidevan P, Monika Devi, Navprakash, Pranav Bhardwaj, Prashanth Kasarla, Rituparna Das, Sandeep Singh, Sharika Mishra, Satyajit Patil, Shiva, Subith Kumar, Supriya Pan, Sushil Kumar, Tanmay Kumar Poddar, Vimlesh Kumar, Yash Srivastava, Yogesh, Kinsuk Acharyya, Partha Konar, Subhendra Mohanty

USO Team

Anisha Kulhari, Hirdesh Kumar, Kushagra Upadhyay, Syed Ibrahim on 22nd January and Brajesh Kumar, Girjesh Gupta, Kamlesh Vora, Rohan Louis, Suraj Sahu on 23rd January 2019
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.

Science-Express team for Dhrol and Rajkot

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.