Budding Scientists, an innovative science outreach programme being organised by the Hume Centre for Ecology and Wildlife Biology in various schools in Wayanad district, is gearing up to reach out to more schools and community organisations through online classes.
The programme, launched at four government schools in the district last year with the support of the ANAHA Trust, an NGO based in Bengaluru, is targeting school students to impart scientific temperament in younger minds through small-scale and systematic field research, C.K. Vishnudas, director, Hume centre, told The Hindu .
Four students among them had participated in the State-level Children’s Biodiversity Congress last year and two of them became winners for their presentation on carbon sequestration by trees in farms and how maintaining old trees could help check climate change in the long run.
“The success of the children inspired us and we are planning to expand it to 25 more schools in the district this academic year,” he said.
“As the COVID-19 lockdown compelled us to go online, we started a WhatsApp group named Chuttu Vattatharokke (who are all around us) that gets children to record and share biodiversity around them and subject experts interact with students about various organisms,” Mr. Vishnudas added.
The organisation has started community digital learning centres at Vantyampetta and Panamaram for students from tribal communities who do not have access to online learning.
Providing smart television sets for village clubs, where tribal children can attend online classes with the support local mentors, and launching a Kids Science Learning Channel are also on the anvil.