Report on Science Workshop, Viveka Asha Yojane



I am delighted to report to you about inter-school sports competition organised by Viveka Asha project of Vivekananda Foundation. It was held on 14.12.2001 at a school in a village called Chandakavadi (Dr. Annamalai visited this school for a teachers' workshop on environment). Children of about 8 schools participated in the programme and number of P.T. teacers organised and carried out a spots competition. Kabadi, kho kho were the important games of the competition. 100 Mts and 400 Mts running race, long jump and high jump and other althetic items were organised. I could see that the girls' participation was quite conspicuous. It looks that more than 50% of prizes are bagged by girls.

The sports event was largely sponsored by wealthy villagers and local elected members apart from the foundation. For example afternoon food was arranged by the owner of the cinima theatre of that village and more than 600 children part took of the food. About 50 teachers and social workers joined with children for food. The Shamiyana was sponsored by another villager, the rent for the mike-set was born by yet another village head. For inaugural ceremony and validectory ceremony number of parents and village leders were involved. Block Education Officer and Inspectors of the school were also involved. Number of Grama Panchayath members participated in the event and requested that such sports event should be conducted every year and they will sponsor. One Mr. Rajashekhar an elected Director of Milk Co-operative Society was among many who distributed prizes for the winners. About 110 prizes were distributed to children. We bought geometry boxes and stainless steel lunch boxes for children as prizes, these are useful to children. Mr. Rajashekhar was deeply impressed by the programme and said that he will release Rs. 5000/- from his Milk Co-operative society and he requested that the schools of his choice may be furnished with required equipments of sports and science.

All the children were happy to receive prizes. The villagers were excited to witness the childrens' game and there was a festival mode in the entire village. Time to time announcement of winners was conducted by Mr. Nemiraju. Number of photographers hired by the parents or teachers were also on the site and they took lot of photographs.


Mr. Ananth, volunteer, Asha for Education, visited our project on 13.12.2001. We were delighted to receive him along with Mr. Nanjappa, Bharth Cancer Hospital. Mr. Ananth spent his time discussing with social workers. Later on he visited few government schools. He had discussion with teachers and head masters.

Mr. Ananth was pleased by the work going on.


Prof. Baluragi, Director for Science Technology visited Deena Bandhu and stayed with us from 18th Dec. to 23rd Dec.2001. He has won a prestigious National award for his innovative work and developing low cost science equipment and popularisation of science in rural areas. He is the consultant to the proposed "Science City" at Kapurthal (North India) which is being built at a cost of 70 crose rupees (Rs. 700 Million).

On 19th and 20th Dec. social workers of the Vivek-Asha Project were given intense training in science teaching at primary schhol, specially for 4th to 7th standard. In primary schools there are no exclusive science teachers. All teachers should be able to teach science. Our seven social workers had a very nice time with Prof. Baluragi and they learnt to develop a variety of teaching aids just by the use of card board sheets and such materials.

Prof. Baluragi was recieved at Bangalore by Sri. G.S. Jayadev, both of them purchased a lot of material required to develop science experiment. Variety of lense and mirrors were purchased. Also a lot of card board sheets,glues were purchased and all that was transported to Chamarajanagar.

Apart from training our social workers, a science teaching workshop was organised on 22nd Dec.(Saturday). About 50 primary school teachers attended the workshop. Following simple teaching aids were prepared:

1. Flexigon:

This is a thick sheet of paper on which simple pictures are drawn. The paper is cut and pasted into cylinder. It rotates on its own central axis and intrigues children. Themes like food chain, water cycle and evolution are developed on them. Apart from science it is also helpful in skill development in children.

2. Telescope Microscope:

Low cost lenses and card board sheets are used to prepare a telescope and micrscope. Teachers are taught the basic principles of optics and principal behind telescope and microscope. Such telescope is prepared at a costs not more than Rs.40/-

3. Models of human body:

Prof. Baluragi is also the founder member of "Karnataka Rajyavignana Parishath". He developed number of low cost card sheet models of human body which is a 3 dimentional teaching aid.

4. Mathemaical teaching with teaching aids:

He demonstrated how mathematics specially the geomatry and algebra can be taught lucidly with models. He demonstrated the properities of a triangle, square etc. Areas of different shapes including the circle.

Prof. Baluragi has also given number of very good photographs of the planets of solar system. Rotating indicator of card board plates that show the pattern of the night sky during different months.

All the teachers felt that the workshop was very special and they did not attend such workshop earlier.

DDPI and other authorities of the Education Department attended the workshop. Block Education Officer of the Kollegal Taluk is repeatedly implored that her area also should be covered under Vivek-Asha Scheme. We expressed our inability to cover it this year. All the teachers are now eager to attend the value education workshop going to be held on 31st Dec.2001 & 1st Jan 2002. I will send the report after the workshop.

During the field visits our social workers had a open talk with teachers. Most of science teachers expressed their inability to handle science and mathematics classes and there has been a change in the syllabus recently including few difficult chapters. Moreover science teaching was totally devoid of experimnts. Each school was given a box full of science equipments which is not used even once; probabally teacers have not understood the basic scientific principle behing the experiments. Some teacher complained that they were never exposed to newer subjects recently included in 7th standard text books.

To compensate this deficiency a worskhop was conducted at Deena Bandhu. Prof. D.R. Baluragi, Ex-Director, Science Centre, Belgaum and Dr. Gurumurthy M.Sc., M.Ed., of Ramakrishna Institute of Moral and Spiritual Education (B.Ed College) were involved as resource persons.

Workshop was held on 14th Oct. 2001, Sunday. About 100 science teachers from 50 schools assembled at 10-00 A.M., at Deena Bandhu, lunch and tea was arranged at Deena Bandhu. Mr. Dunddu Madappa B.Sc., B.Ed., Inspector of schools was also with us. A lot of piror preparation was made by social workers for the workshop. They collected 2,3 box full of science equipments given to schools. Fresh chemicals were purchased to demonstrate chemistry experiments. Added to this Prof. G.S. Jayadev borrowed number of laboratory equipments from J.s.s. College to demonstrate experiments in physics and chemistry. All the equipments were displayed at the workshop. Prof. D.R. Baluragi also brought some of his own equipments. One of the equipment was to demonstrate light experiments. It was frabricated by his and for this instrument he won National award in science teaching. Dr. Gurumurthy brought few instruments frabricated by trainees at his college, they were also very useful to demonstrate some experiments on light.

Basic concepts of science regarding measurements, light etc., were explained to the teachers. Prof. D.R. Baluragi also demonstrated as how a concave mirror is used by magicians to create illusion.

Chemitry experiments with litmus paper were demonstrated by Prof. G.S. Jayadev. The concept of acid and base ws explained to them. Magnesium wire was brunt and oxides of metals and their properities explained to them.

Dr. Gurumurthy demonstrated the use of slide caliperse and screw gage. The physical balance was also demonstrated. The microscope and its magnification power was demonstrated. All teachers activiely bedated and clarified their doubts. At the same time they all requested that this workshop may be repeated for smaller number of teachers with more instense participation of teachers themselves. Dr. Gurumurthy specifically invited questions from the teachers related to their difficulty in teaching. The teachers asked number of questions which was answered and related experiments were also demonstrated.

After the workshop Prof. D.R. Baluragi had a meeting with social workers and discussed about continuation of the programme of science teaching training for primary school teachers; since he retired recently he has volunteered himself to join us for a more elabrated and meaningful programme. He will join us during the last week of Nov. 2001 and will spend about a month. During his stay we propose to develop several models and kits about science teaching with his help. After the workshop he also demonstrated to social workers as how different models of geometrical shapes can be prepared with match sticks and rubber tubes.


Value Education

In association with Ramakrishna Ashrama, Mysore we have planned value education programme for all the teachers of adopted schools. Swamiji Atmavidanandaji, President, Ramakrishna Institue of Moral and Spiritual Education has offered to give two days of orientation course at the RIMSE premises. They have developed a CD on personality development and definite package for the course. The teachers will also get some course materials and Monks and professors in the field will handle sessions.

Children's Festival:

On a trial basis we have planned for a ‘ CHENNARAMELA’ meaning festival of children in one of the area of our operation. The purpose of this mela is to bring children together under a cultural event. The mela will also have science exhibition, progressive social messages with regard to drinking water, toilets, p[lastic etc. We also propose to have sports competition and fancy dress drama etc. As for as possible we try to focus on children and parent participation. We hope to boost the self-image of the children by providing them an opportunity to express their creative ability. Teachers will also be involved at large.

Environmental Workshop:

An environmental workshop by Prof. G.S. Jayadev is completed in all areas of operation. The next series of workshop by Prof. G.S. Jayadev will be on child psychology and importance of self-image.