An exposure to the strides India has made in science and technology, at the Anna Science Centre – Planetarium here on Tuesday, was a unique experience for a group of differently-abled students, including a number of girls.
A total of 77 boys and girls in about 10 special schools undertook ‘A journey to the world of Science', a day-long awareness camp, organised by the Planetarium in association with the Science City, Chennai, and Tamil Nadu Science and Technology Centre, Chennai.
The students were thrilled to witness the planetarium show titled ‘ancient astronomy' and the 3 D science movies – pre-historic animals and master magic – at the recently set up mini air-conditioned theatre. The morning schedule included visit to environment and activity science galleries in the campus.
The youngsters were awestruck to witness the live science demonstration on how the flight floats in the air and pressure demonstration using a nail bed by T. M. Alagiriswamy Raju, project director (in-charge), Anna Science Centre-Planetarium and J. R. Palaniswamy, senior scientific assistant.
A couple of special sessions in the evening were handled by Natarajan, a freelance science communicator, on the topics ‘Science behind magic' and ‘Origami'. Care was taken to make the sessions easily understandable.
Collector T. Soundiah, the chief guest at the inaugural, lauded the Planetarium for conducting the first programme of its kind in the State. He was all praise for R. Shyamala, District Differently Abled Welfare Officer, and the Planetarium staff.
The Collector said there was an urgent need to disseminate the various commendable achievements on the scientific front to the public, particularly students. “This programme for the differently-abled will go a long way in building confidence in them.” Mr. Soundiah handed over to the participants educational kits provided by the Planetarium.
J. G. Kannappan, former principal, The Tamil Nadu Government Dental College and Hospital, delivered a special address. He also distributed certificates to all the participants at the valediction.