BANGALORE: Around 1,000 school children visited Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium on Friday to understand science concepts. But, they were amazed and awed by the creations of around 50 students, who presented science projects in an exhibition organised by the Planetarium. The exhibition was inaugurated on Friday by G S Ranganath, retired Senior Professor, Raman Research Institute.
As a part of the Planetarium’s annual efforts to increase the scientific temperament among students, it invites students to submit innovative projects in science. This year, it received 120 entries out of which the best 30 were selected by the officials based on the simplicity of the projects and it’s ability to demonstrate the concepts used by the students. “They submitted the projects yesterday and we made it a point to keep the exhibition open till Sunday to encourage parents to come here with their children to see, learn and enjoy,” said B S Shylaja, Director, Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium.
She added that the exhibition is held twice in a year and that students are encouraged to interact on their own with the visitors. “We discourage the presence of faculty members standing along with the children and explaining the project. The idea is to make them do the experiment and explain it,” she explained.
“Our project uses a Light Dependant Resistor (LDR) inside a box. When a match stick is lit and kept in between the LDR and the Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulb, the resistance decreases and current flows thus lighting the bulb,” explained Achintya, an 8th grade student of VIBGYOR School. How does the light switch off? Simple, just blow out the matchstick!
Another project attracting the attention of visiting students was the ‘cloud in a bottle’ by Steve Jose and Steve Mathew of Presidency School. They, with the help of alcohol, a plastic bottle and an air pump, were able to recreate cloud formations in the bottle. “We found this idea among many others online. It is a very simple experiment to set up and grabs attention,” said Steve Matthew. Both students study in 8th grade.
The exhibition also had many mathematical experiments and projects which looked at proving theorems and other principles like the Angle-Side-Angle postulate and Eulers Formula via simple and easy to understand experiments. ‘Hinged Models’, an exhibit by Pavitra of the Rashtriya Military School, showed the interchangeability of geometrical figures by the simplest of cuts made in them. “This cross cut in two perpendicular lines can be transformed into a cross,” explained Pavitra, to a captivated crowd. She was keen on setting up a math-based model as chemistry experiments at exhibitions were the norm.
For other exciting exhibits like the Van De Graff Generator, the Paddle Boat and Melting snow, students can visit the exhibition over the next two days.