Open day on National Science Day
Every year, the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education has an Open House on National Science Day (NSD), which falls on February 28. During this Open House, the centre witnesses over 2000 visitors which include students, teachers, teacher educators, and parents. On these occasions, D&T education group also arranges an array of activities aimed at sparking creative problem solving and expression and gives visitors opportunities to think, make and test. Some of the activities we plan also aim at popularising Design and Technology by giving a flavour of working with hands while using their imagination.
National Science Day 2019
Activity 1: Mystery Box
The activity of mystery boxes works on the principle of creative thinking. An integral part of the Design Thinking process is defining a meaningful and actionable problem statement, which aids in empathizing with the user and generating ideas. We had selected some professions and objects, made cards and kept them in a ‘Mystery Box’.
Mystery Box 1: Professions [Teacher, Barber, Electrician, Farmer, Dentist, Cook, Sweeper, Gardener, Tailor]
Mystery Box 2: Objects [Toolbox, Gloves, Shoes, Head gear, Glasses]
In this, students had to pick one card from each of the Mystery boxes and they had to design something new by combining the two cards.
Activity 2: Science Characters
This activity involved collaboratively designing a symbolic character based on the description of a science term. The character design process involves listing of ‘physical’ and ‘unique’ attributes. Getting children to make science characters can be a creative exercise and a good way to elicit their understanding of a particular science concept. For this activity, we had prepared science cards on which name and description of the character to be designed was printed. Students were given one of these cards and were asked to design/sketch their science character.
The terms that we gave to students include:
Red Giant: A ‘red giant’ is a star which is red in colour and huge and is going towards the end of its life. This phase occurs in all stars except the most biggest ones. During this phase, the outer layer of the star starts expanding making the star much bigger than its original size. The surface temperature of a red giant can be as high as 4700 Celsius.
Lymph nodes: These are small bean (or kidney shaped) shaped organs. They play a vital role in our body’s ability to fight off infections. They function as filters, capturing viruses, bacteria and other causes of illnesses before they can infect other parts of our body.
Covalent Bond: A covalent bond is a powerful chemical bond that involves the sharing of electron pairs between atoms. The balance of attractive and repulsive forces between atoms, when they share electrons, is known as covalent bonding.
Chloroplasts: These are small organelles inside the cells of plants and algae. They absorb light to make sugar in a process called photosynthesis. The sugar can be stored in the form of starch.