Learning science through exhibits

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SCIENCE IS FUN: Interesting display.
SCIENCE IS FUN: Interesting display.


The popular items on display are all based on simple scientific principles.

Visitors to the `popular science' gallery of Kerala State Science and Technology Museum and Priyadarsini Planetarium in the city are often bemused by an exhibit located right at the entrance of the gallery. The exhibit shows water flowing from a tap that hangs in the air. The sight, which leaves many, especially children, gaping with their mouth wide-open is based on a simple scientific principal. The mouth of the tap is attached to a slender and transparent glass tube through which the water is sucked into the tap. The glass tube, however, is rendered invisible to the onlookers as the water sucked in starts flowing down over the tube giving it a magical effect. The exhibit shows that the refractive indices of water and glass are almost equal making it difficult for the viewers to distinguish the two.The `magic tap' a major hit with children is one among the 28-odd items on display at the renovated gallery which evokes a more aesthetic appeal on the viewers with its pleasant background shades and vibrant light settings. Said S.L.P. Mahamood, director, Kerala State Science and Technology Museum and Priyadarsini Planetarium: "The renovation has been carried out based on the feedback from our customers. This is an annual process," he said. According to him the renovation of the gallery means more emphasis on scientific information and interactivity. We are also planning to add 10 more new exhibits based on the principals of optics, illusion and mathematics, said Mr. Mahamood. Some of the other popular items on display at the gallery include exhibits relating to various aspects of physics such as transfer and energy, action and reaction, potential energy and sound energy. Then there are experiments by illumination, which tellingly shows how the facial expression of a human statue changes from pleasant to gloomy to grave according to the intensity of light which falls on it and a planetary digital weighing machine that calculates your weight on earth and shows the corresponding weight on other planets. Established in 1984 with galleries on electricity, electronics, power and motion, more than 3,000 people a day visit the museum. The peak season is from March to August. If you are planning to visit the gallery, the good news is that the museum is open to public on all seven days from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Simple explanations

"We have decided to do away with the holiday on Monday as most of the tourists who come from other States had to return disappointed," said Mr. Mahamood. The museum has also launched a mobile science exhibition unit to take science to the common man. Around 24 exhibits consisting of working models from various disciplines of science and technology have been arranged in a bus. The bus will be stationed at different areas of the State especially in schools, colleges and exhibition grounds. A video and film show on various topics related to the subjected are also arranged as part of the mobile unit.



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