Scientific principles need not necessarily be complex and can be broken down into easily understood concepts, the idea behind the annual winter student camp being held at Anna Science Centre-Planetarium.

Split into two-day-long workshops, the 13 edition of the camp has been planned in such a way that complements academics, rather making it the focus, according to T.M. Alagiri Swamy Raju, project director, Anna Science Centre-Planetarium. At the camp, students will be exposed to sessions such as basic astronomy, yoga science, origami, science and magic, and observational astronomy among others. “This is a non-academic camp where resource persons help students approach learning from a lateral point of view,” he said.

In the basic astronomy session, students are engaged with the activities of celestial bodies, laws that govern the solar system, and significant astronomical events slated for the year 2013; while the session on yoga explains the science behind asanas and the right way to breathe, the one on magic will demystify various tricks and introduce children to the scientists who discovered the principles behind the tricks; and through the origami session, students will be taught the Fibonacci series and the golden ratio that explains the anatomy of things.

“This year, we have introduced two new sessions titled, ‘Joy of Learning Mathematics’ and ‘Joy of Learning Life Sciences’,” he added.

The camp’s activities have a healthy balance between theoretical and practical knowledge: “While all sessions aim at being interactive, some such as ‘Science Around Us’, ‘Science Demonstration’ and ‘Observational Astronomy’ allow participants to actively engage with the various concepts being handled,” said Mr. Raju. They involve scientific demonstrations using throwaway materials; a walk through around 20 scientific exhibits that demonstrate concepts such as transfer of momentum, friction and Bernoulli’s Principle; and introduction to the history of telescopes, types and their uses and observation of the moon and/or Jupiter in the night sky.

“Apart from the sessions, students will see the galleries set up within the science centre,” said Mr. Raju, adding that shows in the 3D theatre and planetarium were on the agenda. This year, the camp has 53 students from various schools within the city and a few others here in the city for vacation.