National Science Day, on February 28, witnessed a celebration of science across four public schools from Thane, Navi Mumbai and Pune in Maharashtra, and two public schools from Goa! Students could be seen conducting experiments, participating in quizzes and playing games dealing with science and its application in everyday life. With support from Siemens Ltd., ActionAid Association organized Science Fairs in two schools – in Thane and Navi Mumbai, inviting students to make small-scale science projects which can address daily real-life problems. The objective was to inculcate interest in science and to encourage critical thinking among students. And the response received was tremendous; around 500 students attended these Science Fairs and 208 students presented their science projects.
The Science Fair was the culmination of a month-long mentoring process involving ActionAid teams, Siemens volunteers and school teachers who guided students in brainstorming ideas, prototyping, choosing raw materials and designing projects. The mentoring programme helped students understand the scientific principles behind their ideas and in applying the concepts they learn in classroom to their projects.
At the Science Fair, students came up with a diverse range of interesting and relevant projects including a soil moisture sensor, vacuum cleaner, aircraft car, electronic ship, microscope, electro-magnetic generator and stethoscope. The sight of children being their inventive best on the science kits and activities provided to them through this collaborative project was delightful. Three projects were selected as best projects at every Science Fair. And they were awarded with books on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) experiments. The young students displayed impressive levels of awareness on the various problems in their surroundings and their eagerness to engage with science to solve them.