Do the numerous laboratories at educational institutions, including schools and colleges, carry out experiments or tests that have any direct bearing on a student’s life?
Not often. For, they, it seems, are primarily only meant to equip students to score marks in the examination.
In an interesting break to this trend, the physics laboratory at the Providence Women’s College in the city here on Saturday witnessed a day-long session, where students from different disciplines were trained in something that would literally spread light on their daily life — assembling LED lamps.
The session led by M.C.C. Nambiar , an ex-service electronics engineer and faculty member of the district Skill Development Centre (SDC), was organised as part of an energy conservation project ‘Oorjasree,’ conceived and being implemented by Niravu Vengeri (a residential forum) here with the support of different organisations, including the Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad, Energy Management Centre (EMC) and SDC.
Mr. Nambiar explained to the over 30 undergraduate students from different science streams, including physics and chemistry, how to solder the tiny diodes capacitors and the LED bulbs to the small circuit board and fix them on a holder to make an LED lamp. Niravu, the residential forum had made available all the components required for the training session.
Oorjasree is a project aimed at spreading awareness of various energy conservation methods, including replacement of incandescent lamps with LED lamps, tapping the possibilities of alternative energy sources, and minimising the domestic power consumption through informed and conscious interventions.
Besides assembling LED lamps, the students were also given training in reading the electronic meter at home.
“This is essential if one wants to reduce domestic power consumption,” said Babu Parambath, coordinator of the campaign.
“That is why we included it as a part of the session,” he said. According to R.Sini, head of the Physics Department, Providence College, who along with her colleague, P. Latha, oversaw the training at the physics laboratory of the college said it was for the first time that the students had produced some object of utility at the end of a training session at the lab.“The participants were so excited to see the lamps that they had assembled during the session work,” said Dr. Sini. For K. Anusha, a sixth semester undergraduate physics student, the training was an eye-opener.
“All these components were so familiar to us all these years, but we never thought they could be so easily assembled into an LED lamp that has enormous bearing on conservation of power at our homes,” said Ms. Anusha.
All the participants took home a 1watt LED lamp that they had assembled during the session, to be used at their home in place of incandescent lamps.
“The LED lamp costs Rs. 590 in the open market,” said Mr. Babu, who added that Niravu was planning to hold its next Oorjasree training programme for representatives of as many as 30 residents’ associations on December 15.