‘Sasthrayaan’ to make science exciting

Over 7,000 students in Class VIII and IX in 21 government and aided schools in North Paravur here will participate in a unique programme aimed at making science learning a meaningful experience.
An initiative by V. D. Satheesan, MLA representing the constituency, the project has been aptly titled ‘Sasthrayaan’ (science craft).

“The idea is to make science learning more activity-based. Our objective is to expose teachers and children to the best of teaching and learning aids, besides bringing in experts and scientists to interact with the students,” Mr. Satheesan told The Hindu.

The project, which began without much fanfare on October 1, has already evinced keen interest among the teachers and students. Experts in various science subjects had visited the participating schools as part of the first phase of the programme.

Stating that former President of India A.P.J. Abdul Kalam had agreed to officially launch the project in December, Mr. Satheesan said that Sasthrayaan would have five components. These include Shradha (extra back-up and special thrust on curriculum-based learning); Mitra (three to five schools having a guest lecture/ a visit to a scientific establishment); Suvidha (infrastructure building, better libraries, ICT inputs, labs etc); Vidya (special training for teachers and the most exceptional students, special text books / reference books will be published for 8th and 9th standards focussing on the most difficult portions); and Kriya (exhibitions, projects, competitions and community-based programmes).

Mr. Satheesan said that each school participating in the project would get a new facility that would help step up the quality of science education offered to the students. “Some of the facilities planned include a science park, energy park, herbarium, aquarium, butterfly park and astronomy club. Leading scientific institutions including the Indian Space Research Organisation will provide their expertise in making Sasthrayaan a success,” he said.

The Centre for Development of Imaging Technology (C-DIT) will develop an interactive portal as part of the project. Model classes by experts will be uploaded on the website. A community based project will be done by each school to find a scientific solution to a local problem. This will have community volunteers. Students will be also encouraged make short videos on various science topics.

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