Categories: INDIA NEWS

Pandemic forces Science Day celebrations in Pune to go virtual this year

WITH NEWER restrictions coming into effect from Monday owing to a rise in the number of coronavirus infections in Maharashtra, the Science Day celebrations this year will be a muted affair, with just a virtual programme themed on ‘Future of Science, Technology, Innovation: Impacts on Education, Skills and Work’.

The National Science Day is observed on February 28 every year. Pune, being home to numerous national-level scientific institutions, observes the occasion as an Open Day.

It is a common sight to see students, parents, and educationists from the city as well as far-off districts of Maharashtra throng laboratories and science parks on the day. Popular science lectures, screening of sci-fi movies, science games and activities are organised to mark the day. This year, however, most city-based research institutions and organisations have lined up several online events, webinars, lectures, and competitions for students and teachers. A few institutions have even planned to hold the celebrations on February 26 as Science Day falls on a Sunday this year.

The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) will host an educational webinar, ‘Our Atmosphere, Air Pollution and Ozone Hole’ with scientist Ravi Yadav of Indo-UK Air Pollution and Human Health on Friday noon on its YouTube channel. Besides, it will also hold an online quiz competition for students.

The CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory plans to organise a half-day online talk for a selected audience on February 26.

The TIFR-National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA) has invited school and college students to partake in a science video-making competition this year. A mobile-based application, named GMRT Science Day — Growing Dots, has been specially developed where participants can upload their project videos. Selected projects will be screened on February 28 and the top projects will be awarded. In addition, the centre will host talks by eminent scientists and hold presentations on works and functioning of the centre’s own Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT), located at Khodad in Junnar taluka of Pune.

The Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research (IISER), Pune, will organise day-long events Sunday, the highlight being a screening of ‘The Trials and Triumphs of GN Ramachandran’ at 5 pm on its YouTube channel iiserpunemedia. Live demonstrations will include toys made from trash, hands-on mathematics, and a virtual tour of its science gallery — all streamed via the institute’s Science Activity Centre YouTube channel. Popular talks will cover topics like Covid-19 vaccines, theoretical research and its applications, space science among others scheduled between 10 am and 6.30 pm.
The Centre for Science Education and Communication, formerly known as Science Park, at Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU), is observing a Science week in the run-up to the actual day. On Sunday, the park will host a virtual tour of the laboratories on its premises, screen a show on aero-modelling and a session on ‘Fun with Chemistry’ via the centre’s YouTube channel.

Between February 24 and 27, four popular science talks will be streamed online at 4 pm on topics ranging from hobbies in minerals, astrobiology, exploring calendar and teen care.

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