Prateek Sethi makes learning a much easier task
Walking on water doesn’t necessarily have to be a miracle. All you need to do is chuck a little corn starch in the water. The ensuing fluid turns solid when pressure is exerted — you can even dance across it.
“But if you stop, you will fall in,” laughs Prateek Sethi, who hosts a show titled FAQ on Pogo TV that deconstructs science, making it more appealing for young audience. Prateek is here in the city to conduct a workshop on science at the Bring your kids to Yahoo! event held at Yahoo India, recently. Employees of Yahoo, who have children between the age group of two and 14 years are encouraged to bring them along to work for a day of games, workshops and fun activities on this day. Around 724 attended this event, nearly half of whom came for Prateek’s workshop. “I must say they were very well-behaved,” says Prateek, “I was very impressed.”
But then again, Prateek has enough experience in working with kids. He has been doing so for a decade now — conducting shows, creating television promos for various channels including Hungama, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, facilitating science-based workshops and now recently, creating videos for school education. “You need people to put the threads together — facilitate easy dissemination of information,” he says. “Science has to be made simple for kids. The first big problem is the jargon and second big problem is that it is always distant for them. We need to defuzz it.”
And in the workshop he proceeded to do exactly that — using easily available objects to exhibit various phenomena. “Any everyday household object can be used to conduct experiments,” he says. “Science is there in everything we do. For instance, an empty soda can and balloon will repel or attract each other due to static electricity. It’s the 3 Idiots philosophy — you need to have not just knowledge but the working knowledge,” he says.
Though he loves his science, this graduate from NID-Ahmadabad, continues nurturing his creative streak and is the co-founder of Trip Creative Services, a design studio for communication related needs. Yet he firmly believes that science and creativity are two sides of the same coin, rather than vastly diverse functions. “Art follows science,” he says. “It is an integral link.”
On future plans, he is now in the process of creating e-learning videos for rural children. “The concept is brilliant because it reaches there. And a better educated society makes better choices,” he says. “We just need to figure out the efficiency of the energy grid involved.”
Ask Prateek what drives him to do what he does and pat comes the reply. “I do what I do for the next generation of our country,” he says. “When I was growing up, I didn’t have half the resources they have today and I want to push up progress further.”
“I am an explorer,” he continues. “The new excites me, the old fascinates me, the present captivates me and the future makes me smile. I provide a vision, direct movement and experiences, but most of all make sure the ideas actually come to life.”