IISER Pune reaches over 1.5 million viewers with science activity sessions
PUNE: Being confined to their homes ever since the imposition of lockdowns, everyone from children to adults has turned to the online medium in a big way. Taking this a step forward, the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Pune, a research-intensive educational institute, last year initiated online demonstration sessions titled “Next-Gen Science Camps: Exploring Fun Activities at Your Doorstep” to make learning science a fun exercise. The experiment proved successful with the IISER managing to reach out to over 1.5 million viewers over the course of the pandemic and even completing the 50th episode of its demonstration sessions last week.
Speaking on the occasion, Ashok Rupner, programme manager, science activity centre, IISER Pune, said, “The present situation induced by the ongoing pandemic gave the science activity centre an opportunity to explore the online medium to reach out to students, teachers, and science enthusiasts, going beyond geographical boundaries. The centre initiated online demonstration sessions beginning June 7 last year.”
Rupner further said, “The sessions are designed with school curricula in mind but are organised topic-wise. The sessions begin with 40 minutes of demonstrations of science and mathematics activities followed by a 20 minutes question and answer (Q&A) with IISER Pune scientists. The sessions aim at incorporating hands-on activities that can be performed with readily available materials. They allow students and teachers to explore scientific concepts related to their curriculum in an exciting manner.” It is learned that the questions are chosen from those received over the previous weeks from members of the audience.
The sessions were conducted in the form of YouTube live sessions every Sunday between 11am and noon on the science activity centre’s YouTube channel, Rupner informed. He confirmed that they had recently completed 50 episodes of the Sunday series and that their episodes had so far reached over 1.5 million viewers with an overwhelming response.
Pramod Namdeo Loke, a teacher from Devgad taluka, Sindhudurg district, who participated in the online sessions, said, “Today’s electromagnetic experiments were excellent. We came to know about the relation of the magnetic field with the number of turns, strength of the magnet, speed of the coil, strength of the current, direction of the magnetic field and how to change the parameters and increase the efficiency of the project. Today’s workshop covered all concepts of electromagnetism. The experiments inspire our students and make them more creative.”
Additionally, IISER Pune has also conducted 15 online sessions in Marathi titled “Let’s make friends with science and mathematics” for students and teachers in Maharashtra, in collaboration with the Maharashtra State Council of Education Research and Training (MSCERT) Pune.