Albert Einstein once said "Science is not just a collection of laws, a catalogue of unrelated facts. It is a creation of human mind, with its freely invented ideas and concepts."
Over the last four days, eleven children set out on an interesting journey to understand some basic scientific concepts and learn about renowned scientists.
At the summer science workshop organized by Sunshine Society, 10 year old boys and girls set out to explore the vast and interesting world of microbes. They collected samples, as diverse as parrot feathers and deodarant to look for microorganisms. The task gave them a new outlook of their world as they came to know that they are surrounded by microbes, some friendly and others not so friendly. Before testing, they had to guess whether the sample they chose would contain bacteria, and this sparked off a debate between two of them - whether saliva contains bacteria or not. In the true fashion of scientists the debate went on for days to come. On another day, the children peered through an advanced microscope, putting all sorts of materials to discover anew the world around them at the micro-scale.
The second day was a very interesting one. The eleven children together explored Thomas Newcomen and James Watt’s creation- the steam engine. They created steam boats which were powered by a cute engine made of an egg. They hollowed out eggs and filled water in them, lighting a fire underneath to produce steam to power the boat. This activity resulted in a lot of mess which the children enjoyed a lot. Another attraction for them were the games they played. They were to guess the name of the scientist, which the quiz master thought of, by asking ten questions which would just be answered with a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’. The first day had no winners but the second day had many- Arpit, Ilinna and Aditya.
The next day the children unlocked the secrets of the human eye. The children explored lenses- concave and convex. They made a model of the human eye to understand how it worked. Their instructor told them that "We look with the eyes but see with our brains". This activity was followed by the dissection of a goat eye.The lens taken out from the eye was used to see faraway objects. The children thoroughly enjoyed this. The cherry on top of an exciting day was a game of dumb charades in which each child had to act out an invention and the rest had to guess it.
The fourth and the last day was when the concept of centre of gravity of any object was explained to them. Soon, they knew how to balance objects and the secrets behind many toys. They had already seen inertia in action by spinning eggs! The attraction that day was particularly the game in which two teams had to put on their thinking caps, work with their teams and make structures with Lego blocks and polyhedrons.
In five days, the children enjoyed the wonders of the world of science, made more friends and learnt team work and patience. This experience was enlightening for both the students and their teacher who shared their knowledge with each other. Aaditya, Akshat, Arpit, Divij, Ilinna, Kaashvi, Navya, Prithvi, Saanvi, Shaurya, Shreyas now have another thread bonding them together- the scientific bond!
All this threaded together like pearls in a necklace, by Dr. Beena Pillai, member Sunshine Society, senior scientist CSIR-IGIB.