A miniature world of science in 16 customised air-conditioned coaches — that’s what the Science Express-Biodiversity Special (SEBS), a collaborative initiative of the Department of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Environment and Forests, which chugged to a halt at Ernakulam South Railway station on Friday offers to science enthusiasts.

The Biodiversity Express has some incredible figures for the distance it covered and the science aficionados it hosted along the way since its launch in October 2007.

With 865 exhibition days spread over 239 points covering 76,000 km, the moving science world has enthralled 70 lakh visitors.

In its fifth phase of tour launched on June 5, Science Express has been devoted to the theme biodiversity.

With India hosting the 11th meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Convention of Biological Diversity at Hyderabad between October 8 and 19, there was no better time to showcase the country’s biodiversity wealth and conservation measures.

SEBS aims to create awareness on biodiversity, climate change, and similar issues especially for the young audience both from schools and colleges.

During the tour, SEBS will travel to 53 locations with a halt of three to four days at each location.

Of the 16 coaches, eight are devoted to showcasing the biodiversity spread across the biological zones of India. It also features other facets like marine, coastal, forest, microbial, agro biodiversity and their linkage with livelihoods.

One of the coaches houses the Vikram A. Sarabhai Community Science Centre (VASCSC) Joy of Science Lab. It enables students to conduct experiments and activities to understand various concepts of biodiversity and climate change.

Activities are planned at each halt to engage visitors of varying age groups.

Specific outreach programmes will be conducted in local schools and institutions through National Environment Awareness Campaign and National Green Corps.

Prospective visitors can either mail their queries to scienceexpress@gmail.com or contact the project manager aboard the train (094284-07507). For more details log on to www.scienceexpress.in.

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