Thursday, January 01, 2009

Greater need to establish a culture of scientific displays by students

State Level Science Exhibition of Sri Aurobindo Bigyana Parishada 2008
A Report
Sri Aurobindo Engineering and Technical Group
Phone: 0671-2344338, 09437741408,
Sri Aurobindo Bigyana Parishada (SABP), a unit of Sri Aurobindo Engineering and Technical Group (SAETG), organised its 4th state level science exhibitionon 6th and 7th September 2008 at Matrubhaban, Cuttack. Here is a brief report on the exhibition.
SABP was originally formed as a unit of SAETG as the Mother’s work through "Dasa Karmadhara" gradually started taking shape in Orissa. It was formed out of a spontaneous aspiration to bring Science and Technology in a new light and objective to the students of Integral Education and work towards nurturing the scientist in the students who has an urge to see and learn science in a way the Mother has wanted us to see.
As the objectives of SABP were slowly refined, activities identified, science exhibitions came up as an effective way to encourage the interest towards science among the students and also to start experiments in the field of science education. Study circles and schools were encouraged to
organize such events. Many schools used to do the science exhibition earlier.
District and Zonal level exhibitions started and in 2005 the first state level exhibition was organised. From the 1st in 2005 to the 4th in 2008, the state level science exhibition has seen changes in terms of quality as well as quantity of participation.
This year, almost 41 Sri Aurobindo Integral Education Centres from different parts of Orissa participated in the exhibition. Total number of delegates was 208 including 141 students and 67 guides. Three seminars were presented by students and 72 projects were in display.
The exhibition in 2008 was organized in four segments.
1. Seminars by students
2. Question and answer on the spiritual aspect of science
3. Project displays
4. Interaction among the participants
Seminars by Students:
We started this practice this year and looking at the impact on students and their interest, we feel to continue and expand this going forward. The objective of the session was to encourage students to share their knowledge with the delegates through a presentation. We had considered three different streams for presentation this year.
1. Seminar on a theme of Science as represented by The Mother and Sri Aurobindo – the essence was to encourage students to know what the Mother and Sri Aurobindo have written about Science and its various different aspects. Students from Matrubhaban, Cuttack presented on "Evolution" through an excellent compilation of the words of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo on the topic.
2. Seminar on a theme of Practical utility of science in our day to day lives – the essence was to encourage schools to come forward and share their experience in handling a problem in theirs schools through a practical implementation of scientific concepts. Students from Khallikote presented a very valuable and important project that they had carried out in their school to clean a pond through natural and cost effective way. The presentation was well received and appreciated by the delegates

3. Seminar on some of the modern developments in Science – the objective of the session was to share the recent happenings and developments in science with the young students to tickle their grey cells so that they feel encouraged and challenged to know more about the scientific practices around the world. Students from Bargarh delivered a very valuable presentation on the energy crisis and recent developments in the field of alternative energy sources.
The seminars were conducted in the afternoon of 6th September 2008 with every participant speaking for about 20 minutes. Another interesting aspect of the seminars was that the entire session was chaired and managed by students only.
Question and answer on science & spirituality:
The second session was conducted in the evening of 6th September 2008 with an elaborate discussion on questions raised by students with respect to science and spirituality. Prior to the exhibition, questions related to this were collected from members of Sri Aurobindo Bigyana Parishada at Matrubhaban and other students. Sri Ch. Nirakar responded to these questions in this session, through his collection of explanations from the Mother and Sri Aurobindo. It was truly an enlightening session as students and teachers were exposed to the truth of getting answer to every question one may have, including that on science, from the works of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo.
Exhibition of projects:
Exhibition was inaugurated at 10AM on 7th September 2008.
This time we had about 72 projects in display from different schools. Since most of the participants had confirmed their project to be displayed in advance, we had organized the displays by scientific themes e.g. environmental, physical, chemical, biological, spiritual etc. Special arrangements were made for projects that require electricity, sunlight and dark room. Many students from Matrubhaban, near by Integral Education Centers, as well as members of study circles visited the projects with lot of interest and encouraged the student delegates. The exhibition was closed at 1:30 PM
Interaction between delegates:
We had the post lunch concluding session . It was an open forum for all the delegates to share their experiences both as a part of the exhibition and also as a member of Sri Aurobindo Bigyana Parishada in their schools. While the exhibition was on, we had requested the participating schools to share their feedback through a feedback form, about the organization, structure & constituent of the event, recommendations for future events and activities of Sri Aurobindo Bigyana Parishada. It was heartening to see every school had responded to this request. We had collected the feedback from the schools prior to the interaction session and shared it with the entire group of delegates. Many of the schools came forward to share their understanding of objectives of Sri Aurobindo Bigyana Parishada, approach and activities of Sri Aurobindo Bigyana Parishada in their schools and future plans. Each delegate participated actively in this session and contributed to make this event even better and meaningful in the future.
The session concluded around 4:30PM on 7th September with all participating delegates receiving a special blessings from the Mother’s room.
A special certificate expressing gratitude from the organizing team was also distributed to the student delegates.
Some of the key feedbacks:
1. There should be a mechanism to share knowledge among delegates through a reference publication either as a monthly science magazine, or a booklet of the projects displayed.
2. While some of the delegates suggested that the project themes should be more innovative, others suggested it to be more related to syllabus.
3. Some others suggested the entire exhibition to be organized on a single theme.
4. With respect to activities of Sri Aurobindo Bigyana Parishada, there were a few suggestions.
a. Every school should have SABP.
b. Having an orientation programmes for SABPs.
c. Talks / seminars by eminent scientists should be organisd.
5. There were some operational suggestions to make the exhibition more effective and useful.
a. To conduct the exhibition in winter.
b. Having the exhibition conducted over 3 days instead of 2 days.
c. To organize the exhibition in a more disciplined way.
d. To have a discussion among the participating schools before the start of the exhibition.
e. To organize the exhibition in different places of Orissa.
The road ahead:
Based on the interaction among the delegates, suggestions from experts in the field and above all the essential objective of Sri Aurobindo Bigyana Parishada, here are some of the key activities to be taken up in the future course of time.
Practical implementation of projects:
One of the essential objectives of SABP is to encourage its members to identify the needs at the schools and centres and come up with practical projects with help from science and technology to address them. These projects when implemented at a place can become example for other centres and schools to take them up depending on their needs. One of the closest examples in this are is the project executed at Sri Aurobindo Integral Education Centre at Khallikote.
Seminars by students:
It was introduced for the first time this year and it was very well appreciated and received by delegates – both students and teachers. Going forward we intend to orient the state level exhibition focusing more on presentation of actual project reports and words of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo on relevant themes as well as key scientific invention/ discoveries.
Strengthen school, district and zonal level exhibitions:
While seminars and presentation of actual work done by students are important, so are the experimental models and display of scientific experiments by the students to generate interest in young minds. We feel there is a greater needs to establish a culture of such scientific displays and seminar at the school, districts and zonal level. This will also help us refine the participations in the state level exhibition.
Early confirmations of participation:
One of the key objectives of State Level Exhibition among the students of Sri Aurobindo Integral Education Centers is to encourage the genuine urge to share something new one has learnt in the field of science and technology. Most of the time, we come up with commonly available project ideas. While it is good to come and share the knowledge behind these theories or concepts, it will be great if such ideas/ concepts / theories being displayed are unique in nature. In order to achieve this, we had requested for an early confirmation of participation from schools so that we can ensure uniqueness of the participating themes. While many of the schools followed the principle, some could not. During the interaction session also we felt a strong urge to publish the proceedings of the exhibition by providing details of the experiments being displayed so that students and teachers can use it as a reference for future use. We appreciate if we take it as a discipline to confirm early about the participation with the details of the projects.
Active collaboration among SABPs in different schools:
While we gradually work towards refining the objectives and activities of SABP it is necessary that the SABP in different schools actually collaborate with their ideas to make it a better and effective instrument to serve the Mother. During the interaction session among the participants many stressed up on the need for such a collaboration and we aspire soon this will be a reality. Home Relics Centers Dasa Karmadhara Events Publications Gallery Miscellaneous Sri Aurobindo University Contact Us Key events of the year Events Calendar News from events Monthly News

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