All aboard the Science Express Train, for some fun learning!

Thousands of curious school students, escorted by scores of teachers, thronged the Cuddalore Port Junction on Tuesday to get to see what the ‘Science Express – Biodiversity Special’, an exhibition on wheel, had to offer them.

The students, all in uniforms moved at a snail’s pace in single pile, and in neat rows of twos and threes clogged the foot-over-bridge leading to Platform No. 4 of the railway junction where the special train is stationed. It will stay put there till August 3.

For the students of the Nedungudi government primary school at Karaikkal, it was an outing with an educative experience. The chief educational officers of the region have already sent a circular to the schools under the jurisdiction announcing the arrival of the special train and instructing the teachers to take students there.

In the air-conditioned comfort of 16 coaches, the students and visitors could learn about the rich biodiversity in the 10 bio-geographic zones spanning across the country such as the Trans-Himalayas and Himalayas, the Gangetic plain, the North-East region, the Western Ghats, the deserts and semi-arid zone, the Deccan peninsula, and the coasts and islands.

Consider warned

Just by taking a walk through these coaches one could get a panoramic view of the entire country and how richly it is endowed with natural resources, flora and fauna. However, every coach has a warning signboard put up prominently both at the entry and exit point.

The crisp but disturbing message reads as follows: “By the time you have gone through this exhibition one or two species of plant or animal would have become extinct from the planet.” This manages to convey the grave threat that the plant kingdom and animal kingdom are facing from humans who are plundering the natural resources and making earth a highly polluted planet.

Each zone has unique characteristics in terms of animals and other creatures endemic to the zone. Unfortunately, these species have become either endangered or extinct. Such information would certainly alert the student community to the impending disaster that is waiting to happen, in the form of global warming, climate change and heat waves.

The thematic exhibition drives home the point that only when the students are initiated into the kaleidoscopic composition of nature in all its colour and splendour, they could develop empathy and help make earth a liveable place.

Preservation
The expo also highlights how 102 national parks, 515 wildlife sanctuaries, 47 conservation reserves and four community reserves have helped in saving and preserving the species from imminent extinction.

Another coach named ‘Kids Zone’ is exclusively dedicated to children where they are taught the intricacies of the daunting environmental problems, through play-by-method and through hands-on experience. For the serious-minded visitors, there is another coach equipped with a laboratory to explore the unfathomable wonders of nature, aptly named as ‘Joy of science lab’.

While the students find the exhibition an exhilarating and enriching experience, the teachers feel that it certainly provides the quintessence of what India is within a short span of time and a brief walk through the aisles of the coaches. The well-lit and tastefully decorated coaches provide the right ambience to imbibe knowledge about the country which one could be rightfully proud of.

Collaboration

The Union Ministry of Environment and Forsests has partnered with the Department of Science and Technology and many reputed institutions to put up the show.

It would be open to all from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Further details could be obtained from the manager aboard the train on 09428405407.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/all-aboard-the-science-express-train-for-some-fun-learning/article4976688.ece

Published in: on August 1, 2013 at 4:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Science Express’ to run from August 12

New Delhi, May 30 : The first phase journey of arguably the world’s largest mobile science and technology museum concluded Saturday at the capital’s Safdurjung railway station after a 182-day-long trip covering 51 cities of the country.

The second phase will kick off from Ahmedabad August 12.

Science Express, a train that was started on November 30, 2008, features over 300 large format science-related visuals, 150 video clips explaining different scientific phenomena and multimedia exhibits. The 16-coach train has thus far travelled a distance of 17,000 km.

‘The main idea behind Science Express is to promote the importance of science amongst youth. We wanted the students of schools across India to be a part of a scientific environment,’ said Dilip Mirzhapure, the project coordinator.

The fully air-conditioned museum-cum-exhibition is a joint initiative of the ministry of science and technology, the Vikram Sarabhai Community Science Centre, Germany based Max-Planck-Gesellschaft company and Indian Railways.

‘We have had over 12.5 lakh (1,250,000) visitors and we look forward to another successful journey of Science Express that begins on August 12 from Ahmedabad. This phase will be about eight months long,’ added Mirzhapure.
The train carried over 50 science communicators from the Sarabhai centre and other project coordinators.

‘It was a lifetime experience on the train and I loved educating the curious students who came to visit the train. Science communication is not easy but it was a learning experience,’ said Shraddha Gargatti, an engineer by training, who was part of the team aboard the Science Express.

http://www.newkerala.com/nkfullnews-1-47375.html