First-of-its-kind astronomy labs in three Bhiwani govt schools pique students’ interest

Published on Apr 30, 2022 12:40 AM IST

With the aim of developing scientific temper among school students and identifying those with an aptitude for it, three astronomical laboratories have been established at government schools in Bhiwani

Each lab has been set up at a cost of <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>4 lakh. (HT Photo)
Each lab has been set up at a cost of 4 lakh. (HT Photo)
BySunil Rahar, Rohtak

With the aim of developing scientific temper among school students and identifying those with an aptitude for it, three astronomical laboratories have been established at government schools in Bhiwani.

These first-of-its-kind labs were established in Haryana taking inspiration from rural government schools in Uttar Pradesh.

Kalpana Chawla Astronomy Lab was set up at Bhiwani’s Model Sanskriti Senior Secondary School; Dr Vikram Sarabhai Astronomy Lab at Government Girls Senior Secondary School; and Rakesh Sharma Astronomy Lab at Bawani Khera’s Model Sanskriti Senior Secondary School.

Walls of these labs are filled with pictures and information about the solar system. Many students can be seen lining up for star-gazing and looking at moon and sun through telescopes. The labs have many models and equipment including phases of the moon, Newton’s colour disc, ray optics, premium spectroscope, zodiac constellation, planisphere and others.

Savita Ghanghas, principal of Bhiwani’s Model Sanskriti Senior Secondary School, said they are providing information about planets and other aspects of astronomy.

“Initially we thought these labs are not helpful to our students as they might not be interested. But after students looked at the sun, moon and stars through the telescope, their interest soared. The labs became functional in March this year and so far, all our students (around 3,000) are yet to see the planets because we are sending in 20 students’ batches to the lab at a time. The students’ scientific temper is increasing,” she added.

Gaurav Sirohi, chief minister’s good governance associates (CMGGA) in Bhiwani, said Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar had inaugurated two of the three labs on February 27.

“The labs cost 4 lakh each. The motive behind setting up these labs is to develop the scientific aptitude among students at an early age, get them out of their classrooms and experience life in a different realm with equipment such as Newtonian telescope,” Sirohi said.

“Not just students, their parents are also showing interest in star-gazing events. Space is emerging as one of the most lucrative industries and it is necessary to give exposure to students at school level. It is important to introduce them to multidisciplinary education. After the success of these labs, such labs will be established in other districts as well,” he added.

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