When science comes alive, it is breathtaking. For children studying in the Municipal Schools in Mumbai, science is often something to be learnt by rote.
With the understanding that children who see science through experiments will see the world differently, Dr Sugandha Shetye, Dean(Academic Affairs) Associate professor, Department of Chemistry, Course coordinator, M.Sc. Environmental Science, K J Somaiya College of Science & Commerce, encouraged her students to volunteer in an initiative conducted by Marathi Vidnyan Parishad (म.वि.प.), for making science interesting for students studying in the Municipal Schools.
Trained for two days on training techniques, by the NGO Marathi Vidnyan Parishad, and armed with a Science kit, over 20 students of K J Somaiya College of Science and Commerce walked into 7th and 8th standard classes of Municipal Schools in Chunabhati. For around an hour a day, our Science Volunteers, took the young kids into the exciting world of science.
Says Monalisa, one of the volunteers “the children were awed and delighted when they saw the science experiments. This was the first time they actually understood that science exists everywhere around them. The teachers of the schools also enjoyed the sessions. For them, it was learning a new way of teaching.”
For the volunteers, she says “We learned patience and kindness towards kids and the underprivileged. We learnt innovative methods to teach science and also, thorough knowledge of some of the practicalities of science. They were so much more attentive when they realised they understood the topic and quickly grasped whatever we taught them. We will never forget this experience. The 10 days of giving back to the society have taught has values that we couldn’t have otherwise learned.
Says Dr Sugandha Shetye “If we want to inculcate a scientific bent of mind in the future generation, we must make science fun. If we want to inculcate a sense of purpose in our students, we must encourage them to take on initiatives where they can see the need and the impact. What better way than for our students, then sharing the wonders of science and doing good at the same time.”