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Updated: April 5, 2011 18:41 IST

Camps galore for science lovers, stargazers

Megha Basavaraj
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WITH A VISION: In one of the camps, participants will learn the optics behind making mirrors, grinding mirrors and polishing telescopes. File Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy
WITH A VISION: In one of the camps, participants will learn the optics behind making mirrors, grinding mirrors and polishing telescopes. File Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

The country's science capital has a range of knowledge-related activities for summer

Summer has just started as have school holidays. Summer camps are booming in the city offering a range of activities in practically every field of interest, including for science lovers and stargazers.

The Association of Bangalore Amateur Astronomers (ABAA) has started its first batch of 60-hour training programme in telescope-making, drawing not only students of high schools and colleges but also engineers and retired persons.

Beginning in May

The training programme, which began last week, is held every Sunday focussing on making the neutron deflector telescope. “Participants will learn the optics behind making mirrors, grinding mirrors and polishing telescopes,” said ABAA president Jayanth Basavarajaiah. The second batch is tentatively scheduled to begin in May. The Bangalore Astronomical Society, which is organising programmes for students from Class 3 to undergraduates, will conduct classes in astrophysics every evening.

H.R. Madhusudan, scientific officer, Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium, says these will help students identify constellations and planets besides learning to use star charts.

Hands-on activities

The students will also be involved in hands-on activities such as making simple sundials, eclipse demonstrations and pin-hole cameras. Films on specific topics will be shown. “Astronomy is applied science. It needs a thorough knowledge about physics, mathematics and chemistry. Hence, the activities of the summer camps consist of all disciplines, he said. The planetarium is hosting two summer courses for school and college students in April and May, which will include interactive sessions with experts, laboratory sessions, demonstrations, film shows and visits laboratories of Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Raman Research Institute, ISRO and NAL. More information on the summer programmes is available on www.taralaya.org

Lectures, tours

Similarly, the Bangalore Science Forum has a host of activities lined up for science lovers. Sessions on model-making and paper modelling will be held at the National College, Basavangudi, from April 6 for students who have passed Class 7. There are lectures by eminent professors as well as a tour of the planetarium for a session on astronomy. Interested students can contact the forum representatives at the college during working hours.

After exams

After the conclusion of the SSLC exams, the Bangalore Science Forum is organising a three-week summer school featuring lectures and activities on tissue culture, genetic engineering, biotechnological sciences, stem cell culture, solid waste management, physics, chemistry and mathematics. The lecture programmes and activities will be conducted by well-known scientists and professors. The summer camp is scheduled to start on April 22.

“The aim is to expose students to the world of science and help them select their careers,” said forum secretary Y. Thulajappa.

Learning seemingly complex applications of aerodynamics, sound and light is all child play at the Ranga Shankara. The Magic of Science Toys is a workshop conducted by Arvind Gupta where children are taught to apply science in making toys spin, jump, fly, twirl and whistle.

With all these events happening in the city, learning has been made fun for students.