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Science is the poetry of reality but sadly science is viewed within the boundaries of the laboratory. To break this limited perception towards Science, Dr. Rajeev I. Jha inaugurated the “Science Corner‟ on the Saturday, 15th October, 2016 to rekindle the “Scientist” within all the student-teachers of all academic disciplines. Dr. Jha, in his inaugural speech, dedicated this best practice in the fond memory of his young and talented beloved nephew, Late Mr. Gaurav Neeraj Jha. Late Mr. Gaurav Jha, was also his first student of Science and his inspiration behind this idea.
“Nothing happens until something moves.” – Albert Einstein
Science is the poetry of reality but sadly science is viewed within the boundaries of the laboratory. To break this limited perception towards Science, Dr. Rajeev I. Jha inaugurated the ‘Science Corner’ on the Saturday, 15th October, 2016 to rekindle the ‘Scientist’ within all the student-teachers of all academic disciplines.
Dr. Jha, in his inaugural speech, dedicated this best practice in the fond memory of his young and talented beloved nephew, Late Mr. Gaurav Neeraj Jha. Late Mr. Gaurav Jha, was also his first student of Science and his inspiration behind this idea. Dr. Jha explained the meaning and role played by a ‘Science Corner’ in a school setting.
Dr. Rajeev I. Jha led from the front and presented the very first experiment in which he surprised everyone when he effortlessly pierced a raw potato with the help of a plastic straw. With a series of other experiments one by one within a span of 10 minutes triggered everyone’s curiosity. It became an instant hit!
The practice was initiated in this context from 2016 – 2017.
The aim is to popularize Science, Technology &Society (STS) relationship.
After the inaugural session, Dr. Rajeev Jha provided a platform for student-teachers to perform experiments. Student-teachers from the science background performed experiments but what was surprising was that student-teachers from a non-science background too performed experiments with much ease and enthusiasm. These were conducted as part of the morning assembly, within a span of 10 to 15 minutes. Students of both F.Y.B.Ed and S.Y.B.Ed, successfully demonstrated 60 experiments along with explanation of the basics of the experiments and their applications in everyday life.
This methodology of observation and experimentation helped everyone get richer in their knowledge banks and also built confidence in students to present and express themselves in front of other classmates, seniors and professors.
Demonstrations are the core component of science teaching. The traditional approach has been DOE (Demonstrate, Observe &Explain). However, the science corner demonstrators followed the metacognitive and constructivist strategy promoting active learning amongst leaners either through a POE (Predict, Observe &Explain) approach or a PEOR (Predict, Explain, Observe and Reflect/React/Review/Rethink/Revisit/Reinforce) approach.
The idea of the science corner is to develop scientific attitudes & science process skills, such as observing, question-raising, hypothesizing, predicting, finding patterns & relationships, communicating effectively, designing & making, devising & planning investigations, manipulating materials & equipment effectively, measuring & calculating, arranging, classifying, describing, explaining, etc.
The students were also engaged in preparing scientific toys, herbarium sheets & improvised apparatuses as part of Science Corner activities.
Thus, the Science Corner is a transient place of activity & change in the premises.
The institute appreciates the performances of student teachers at the Annual Function by giving an award of ‘Late Gaurav Neeraj Jha Trophy for Contribution to Creative Science’ in recognition of the outstanding work done by him/her during the academic year.
It was difficult to monitor the use of the science laboratory equipment, chemicals and apparatuses by the student teachers. The Science Pedagogy Students and the Students’ Council looked after the allocation, rotation and maintenance of the science laboratory material. A record is also maintained for the same.
Every day it entailed a makeshift arrangement and at times a little extension of the time period of the morning assembly due to intensive discussions and feedback by both the faculty and peers. Hence, a reasonable time-limit of 15-20 min was assigned to the demonstrators, on prior intimation to the in charge, to execute their act comfortably.
To enable the students of other classes, absentees and future batches to view the demonstrations conducted, still photographs and videos were taken by the peers and archived in the college computer lab.
The students were also encouraged to submit via email, the details of their activities along with references. The same were compiled under the guidance of the in charge teacher.
The practice has given student teachers an experience of team work as the activity requires a lot of cooperation and team effort. The practice has also led to a constructivist approach and experiential learning.
With the scientific inquisitiveness rekindled, the student teachers were successfully able to impress the NAAC Peer Team Members as well as the Scientists at the Homi Babha Centre for Science Education. The F.Y.B.Ed students also went on to win the Rotating Trophy in the “Science Teaching Aids Competition” organized by the Gokhale Education Society in 2016-17.
It is evident that the impact of the practice has gone beyond the activity itself.
The way the Science Corner has taken shape, it can be rightly said that it will go a long way in acting as a catalyst in shaping the professional lives of the student teachers, as is evident by the following thought:
“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin
Science Laboratory equipment, chemicals and apparatuses are advisable; daily life household items/objects and plants; daily newspaper articles and news; NCERT videos, YouTube videos, books (print and digital) on practical aspects of science; school textbooks & practical handbooks; other aids such as computer, LCD Projector, Internet, Sound System, Television, DVD player, etc. would enhance the presentation of the demonstration.