For the first time since it was established, Lucknow University (LU) threw open all its science laboratories and museums to school children on Tuesday to mark the National Science Day (February 28).
The labs remained open for the young visitors from 10am to 2pm at the departments of physics, chemistry, botany, zoology, geology, mathematics/ astronomy, statistics, computer science and bio-chemistry.
This year, the theme for National Science Day is ‘science and technology for specially-abled people’. Keeping that in view, the university also invited differently-abled children of the Chetna Institute, Aliganj. The students took part in a poster competition held at the LU geology department.
“Geologist Dr AK Tangri, historian Dr UN Sinha, and banker Nitin Srivastava interacted with the youngsters and inspired them on how to overcome all hurdles in life and told them that physical disability in any form is not a barrier,” said Vibhuti Rai, coordinator of the event.
Arunima Sinha, the world’s first female amputee to climb Mount Everest, explained to specially abled children of Chetna Institute that nothing could stop them from scaling new heights if they were determined to do so.
The zoology department’s Dr SC Baugh museum was among the most sought-after destinations for the children, said a university official. Students of SKD Academy (Vrindavan branch) spent more than an hour inside the museum. They posed with a tiger skeleton for shutterbugs.
Pradeep Yadav and Ishita Patel, both class 11 students of SKD Academy said, “We never imagined that we will enter the portals of LU while we are still in school. We heartily welcome the move taken by vice chancellor SP Singh. It was good to see the science labs and museums were so well maintained.”
“Various worms infecting us and our livestock can be seen in the helminth section of the museum, while the Annelida section boasts of common earthworms, and giant earthworms (from Ecuador) measuring about 1.5 ft in length and about 6 cm in thickness. Crabs, prawns, lobsters, insects and spiders are there in the arthropoda collection. Children will also see molluscs such as snails, oysters, octopuses and squids. Occupying a pride of place in the mollusc collection is a clam shell, one half of which weighs around 101 pounds,” the museum assistant told students.
The echinoderm collection of the museum includes star fishes, sea feathers and sea cucumbers.
“Reptiles, such as a taxidermised python, a rattlesnake skeleton, a flying lizard, iguanas, turtles, crocodiles (from the Congo, Nile, Ganga and Mississippi rivers) and alligators are also there,” he said.
The laboratories of geology and botany departments also impressed students. The observatory near the statistics department was another centre of attraction.
SP Singh, Lucknow University vice chancellor said, “It was a unique experience for school kids to get a feel of the university laboratories.”