There are four government schools where science education has been stepped up from mere learning by rote.
The infrastructure for science museums, a project of the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE), is in place at these schools.
Now, trained teachers need to be deputed to the four centres to blend the museum facilities with the curriculum.
The schools are in districts affected by the 2004 tsunami. The State Disaster Management Department and the KSCSTE supported the project with assistance for civil works from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund as well.
Government High School Azhikkal, Kollam, Government Higher Secondary School, Valiyazhikkal, Alappuzha, SCU Government VHSS Pattanakkad, Alappuzha, and Government Upper Primary School, Azhikode, Thrissur, are the schools that benefitted from the initiative.
A committee chaired by the local panchayat president and convened by the school headmaster manages these centres.
Members from the KSCSTE, Kerala State Science and Technology Museum (KSSTM), implementing agency, and the PTA also oversee the activities.
It is up to the committee to build on the museum’s potential starting with the appointment of trained staff. Four teachers from these schools will be given a week-long training this month to effectively utilise the exhibits. The KSSTM is examining a proposal to appoint engineering or science graduates at the centres on contract or through an apprenticeship programme, said Director Arul Jerald Prakash. Eventually, these museums could even develop into satellite centres of the KSSTM.
The schools provided buildings to house the museums.
High-quality telescopes, 3D televisions, and pavilions put together by the Indian Space Research Organisation and the Tropical Botanical Garden Research Institute are some of the additional features at the museums.
Over 25 models conveying basic scientific principles have been arranged, all bound to build scientific temper among children, said KSCSTE Joint Director Ajit Prabhu.
Demonstration of colour mixing, Bernoulli’s principle, Pythagoras theorem, nail chair depicting the relationship between force and area, persistence of vision, and reasoning behind heat transfer and lever are at the museum. Medicinal gardens and portraits of scientists have also been set up, which were not part of the original mandate.