The story of science

Published: Aug 13, 2019, 07:02 IST | Suman Mahfuz Quazi |

A Mumbai-based academy is trying to foster interest in science by employing creative communication processes and their latest talk will shed light on electricity

Mankad conducts sessions and talks with the help of simple scientific demonstrations
Mankad conducts sessions and talks with the help of simple scientific demonstrations

Science can often be daunting for kids. With many Indian parents pressuring their children to give it more attention and time than say, the arts, and an archaic education system, the general apprehension many children face when it comes to this subject gets amplified. The approach to science, too is often dreary, leading students to lose interest in the subject.

It is this gap that nuclear scientist Dr AP Jayaraman wanted to bridge when he started STEAM Academy in 2018, an endeavour that is seeking to make science fun through interactive sessions and talks that are ideal for parents, teachers and kids. So, instead of a boring monologue, such sessions make use of simple experiments and PowerPoint presentations that help participants understand scientific concepts in a holistic manner.

Now, they have joined hands with Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum for a talk called Ashes To Flashes, scheduled for today. The session will be conducted by Namrata Mankad, who has been teaching engineering in colleges for more than 12 years. Mankad will guide participants through the journey of electricity, from when it was discovered to understanding how contemporary forms of electricity work.

The session will begin with Dr Jayaraman's talk which will shed light on the ancient use of electricity, nuclear power and various sources and generation of electric power, like fossil fuels, hydral and solar, after which Mankad will take over to elaborate on its evolution.

Namrata Mankad
Namrata Mankad

"The idea is to kindle interest in science and science-related topics by using storytelling. Often kids lose interest in the subject because of the way it is taught. But if this is conveyed to them in an artistic manner, they may be more intrigued," Mankad tells us.

Her talk will cover topics like thunder, lightning and electric eel in ancient Egypt, Greek experimentations with catfish and torpedo rays to harness aquatic electricity, Arabians and their knowledge of static electricity, Benjamin Franklin's kite experiment, André-Marie Ampère, Alessandro Volta and Georg Ohm's experiments and of course, Sir Thomas Edison's invention of the light bulb.

Dr Jayaraman conducting an open-air interactive session
Dr Jayaraman conducting an open-air interactive session

Mankad hopes that such discussions will attract students to the subject and serve as an example to teachers so as to encourage them to employ creative communication processes, like science storytelling.

On: August 13, 11 am to 1 pm
At: Education Centre, Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Byculla East.
Call: 23731234 (museum entry charges apply)

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