Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Science Express: A Pathway to Discover

Science is the sector which blooms and is the base of life. It fulfils the objective of triggering interest in Science and motivates one’s ambition in their career. Hence to provide beneficial information to the students an innovative Science Express - Science Exhibition on Wheels, is moving from one milestone to the next.

This sparkling white ‘Science Express’, mounted on a specially designed fully air conditioned train has 16-coaches which aims to spread scientific awareness, has arrived at Mysore City Railway Station on Platform No. 6 and was formally inaugurated by Divisional Railway Manager B.B. Verma here this morning. Public can visit the train between 10 am and 5 pm. Entry is free.

After successful completion of two tours around the country, it is embarking on its third phase. During this phase, this train will travel about 18,000 kms by covering 56 locations across India in a span of 208 days before returning back to its starting point at Gandhi Nagar in Gujarat on 27 April, 2010. It halts at each location for a few days during which it will remain open to visitors comprising mainly students.

The exhibition features more than 300 large-format visual images, over 150 video clips and multimedia exhibits which showcases extensively with cutting-edge research in science and technology. It also has working models and a laboratory. The exhibition has created four National Records and has received overwhelming response at all the halts.

Science Express is the World's largest ever mobile science exhibition and was flagged off by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel on October, 30, 2007 from New Delhi. It has been showcased in 100 cities across India in two phases and now it is its third phase. The Max-Planck Society, Germany has developed this venture in collaboration with Department of Science and Technology, Government of India and Vikram A Sarabhai Community Science Centre (VASCSC).

The Main objective of this unique venture is to nurture curiosity amongst our youth and rekindle their waning interest in Science. The exhibition seeks to address issues from micro-cosmos to macro-cosmos. It answers how scientists have uncovered our understanding of the Universe; how they are concerned about finding practical solutions for protecting our planet. It has large screen displays for audio-visual experience, interactive computers and each coach are informative and attractive too. This will fulfill the quest of scientific knowledge in the common masses and students.

“Every child in city should utilize this opportunity and visit the Science express. It’s very beneficial. It creates awareness on environments issues, the needs to protect and conserve environs. More than 40 lakh students have visited this train in this phase,” said Verma, who was very much enthusiast after viewing the exhibition.

As soon as the event was inaugurated students rushed inside to share the knowledge stored on varied issues. Thirteen of the 16 coaches showcase exhibitions on various topics.

Coach 1: On the way to the Big Bang
This coach represents the Universe according to inflationary cosmology from the smallest particles of matter, its energy, elementary particles and the fundamental forces. It also displays information on Atlas Detector, XFEL X-ray Laser, Filming a molecule, Time microscope, Super Cold atoms and ultra short light pulses.

Coach 2: Nano Cosmos
Nanotechnology is the technique of molecular manufacturing and an applied science. The basic theme of the coach is how we can systematically influence the physical and chemical foundations for better. It also informs about Synchrotron, Optoelectronics, Milling machine, scanning tunneling microscope.

Coach 3: Building Blocks of Life
This describes the story of building blocks of life, which means it reveals the facts of life. Cells are the basic unit of life; they have different kinds of interactions within the body which combines with molecular and protein interactions. It also imparts knowledge on artificial vesicle, Quantum Dots, Molecular motors, protein interaction.

Coach 4: From Gene to Organism
This coach exhibits us the details from Gene to Organism — which means how gene interaction leads to the formation of an individual. It has information on Genomics, human genome project, living antibiotic, plants in cancer research, etc.

Coach 5: Architecture of the Mind
It narrates signal transmission, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, complex communication and Neurological disorders.

Coach 6: The World of Senses
This coach tells about the world of senses, basically human evolution, speech gene, window to the brain, Tansen query by humming (Music), etc.

Coach 7: Technologies for the Future
It narrates about technologies of the future — supercomputer and teraflops, quantum geometry, dielectric resonator and sensors, etc.

Coach 8: Climate Change
This coach tell about the major over-riding environmental issues like Cause, Effect, Mitigation and the challenges facing by the modern civilization, how a tree gains weight, adaptation and mitigation, Carbon foot, Carbon hand print and promises related conserving energy like “I will walk or cycle whenever possible’, “I will use public transport”, “I will switch off fans and lights”. A 45-minute talk featuring Al Gore and video clippings on climatic changes, make the visitors, glued to the screen.

Coach 9: Global Challenges
It tells about global challenges — global warming, fusion energy, fuel cell, epidemics, recombinant DNA technology and plant protection, etc. This coach also depicts the shift of conventional energy to non-conventional energy resources. The fascinating this in this coach is the World of Language globe, where more than 7,000 languages can be heard on a press of button on globe.

Coach 10: Spaceship Earth
This coach tells about what happen when earth loses it resilient capacity, why do natural calamities occur and its magnetospheres and also informs Bacterial reef, genetic diversity, sulfur pearl, adaptation, particle Imaging detectors and aerosol.

Coach 11: Our home in the Cosmos
This coach influences about the sun on earth and our home in the cosmos — orion nebula, Alma Radio telescope, weight on other planets, solar flares, sunspot, etc.

Coach 12: The Universe
This coach describe about the Universe — it’s originate and evolve, Supernova, apex telescope, Gravitational lens, neutron Star fusion and Milky way.

Coach 13: Science & Technology in India
As India is one of the most powerful knowledge hubs, this coach focuses on India’s achievements in science & technology — inventions from ‘zero’ to launch of Chandrayaan - 1, discoveries and developments

Finally The Joy of Science – ‘Hands-on lab’
The Joy of Science (JOS) Lab has been developed by VASCSC is one of the fascinating part of this coach. It tells about children can perform practical experiments and hands on activities in physics, chemistry, biology, electronics and mathematics in the mobile lab. The 6 workstations in the lab are equipped with more than 50 exciting experiments and activities based on high school curriculum, facilitated by Science Communicators are performed here. It’s really a glorious legacy.

Each coach has two communicators (science experts) helping out children and also career counseling is also provided for those interested in science education. Over all there are 30 experts among 19 girls and 11 boys.

“It’s a golden opportunity for all the ages of people particularly children and students, research scholars for updating their knowledge and learning new things from this Science Express. Students enjoy learning about cutting-edge research in science while explained through interesting audio-visual exhibits and interactive tools,” says Communicator Charvi from Gujarat.

Teaching is a challenging profession and I enjoy it. We share the knowledge and create awareness throughout wheels, I feel very happy as I teach throughout India and I come across new persons and their languages,” said Vinith from and Rajasthan who joined here just three months back.

This exhibition strives to take modern research out of the lab and reveal just how relevant science is to everyday life. It attempts to develop scientific temper among students by encourage them to pursue careers in science. Hence Science Express is providing excellent opportunity to the students in remote and urban areas to expose them to the development of science around the world. After spreading the joy of science in Mysore, the Science Express moves to Udupi on coming. Friday.
Not allowed: mobiles, cameras, bags, match-boxes, cigarettes, beedis, tobacco, water bottles, any liquid and any sharp pointed objects.

Public views…
I am spellbound…
“The facts of science are very well described, especially for youngsters it’s an interesting and wonderful technological frontiers. I have never received such type of information in science and technology. It as developed me a scientific temper to pursue careers in science. I hope by visiting this train at least few people save the earth from climate change. All the staff are dedicated and the way express is awesome”, says Rekha a 9th standard students who was her way to Bangalore.

Organise during Dasara…
“It was a fantastic experience going through Science Express. It’s a nice and novel concept for popularization of science amongst the public. We can study each and every part of a science in a single train; it has enlightening on various, aspects of life, earth and other related issues. It was a good change for us to see what we studied in our school. We got more details from this Science Express. I request the authorities to organise these science expo during Dasara,” says Yashwanth a Science Student of JSS College.

Transmit in National languages too...
“I like the Science Express for its facts, fine and rich information. But the drawback is it can’t be understandable by a common man, as it is only transmitted in English. If the concerned authorities takes the initiatives to introduce the transmission in all the National Languages it will be very helpful”, says Mala a senior citizen.

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