Monday, 24 August 2015

Grasping Power of knowledge at Science Camp 2015

The third day of the INSPIRE Science Internship camp started with the interactive session which was held on learning mathematics with Prof. S.N. Chibber, retired Principal from Directorate of Education, and Secretary, Delhi Associate of Mathematics teachers, a resource person with NCERT, SCERT and CBSE. He shared his vast experience of teaching Mathematics with the students and also taught tricks to make classroom teaching interesting. He gave a very interesting talk on the aspects of Mathematics in day to day life using very simple rules of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Through his educative lectures students became familiar with the difference in external appearance of glasses and their volumes which are being used in homes and hotels .Using very simple techniques he explained differential and integration equations, calculations of the largest number and the smallest number divisible by 2,3,4,5,6,8,9. He also explained very lucidly the determination of complex figure areas by simple squaring and addition of numbers. His lecture made students very keen to learn mathematics, develop interest and apply the subject in every aspect of life. He also correlated mathematics with biological sciences giving very simple examples of medicinal dose taken by patients.

This was followed by lecture of Prof K.K. Bhasin, Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Centre of Advanced Studies in Chemistry, Punjab University, and Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, India. He has seminal contributions to the Chemistry include that of Organosulphur, Selenium and Tellurium compounds. Dr. Bhasin is a recipient of prestigious Commonwealth Fellowship Award, Science Research Council fellowship (U.K) and DAAD fellowship (Germany). He gave a lecture on “Civilization: Man’s relationship with Materials” which was based on the application of materialistic chemistry in the society that has ingrained well and is overlooked or under appreciated. He explained with an example of lead pencil which has been used since a long time and is a part of our education, but had been rarely thought of as such what material has been used to prepare it? How much concentration of lead may be present in it?
Then he explained periodic table which includes 118 elements out of which two has not yet been discovered.
He stated that generally all elements are named after the death of scientists but one element is named when the scientist was alive and that is Seaborg with atomic mass 106. Grignard Reagent (RMgX) was named after scientist Victor Grignard and has been used to prepare a number of compounds. He then moved to the explanation of another compound NH4NO3 which is a very unique molecule, also used as fertilizer and a highly hygroscopic compound. He related the hygroscopic nature with a story in which a large amount of NH4NO3 was being shipped to Texas city. Due to hygroscopic nature the compound was coated with wax. Someone in the ship dropped a burnt cigarette near the NH4NO3 box and it caught fire which resulted in the death of about 500 people. With this story he explained the reaction between NH4NO3 and hydrocarbon fuel which forms the basis of crude bombs that had been prepared in Russia and also used during the blasts of Bombay and Bihar. He explained the Redox reactions by the ionic nature of compound. Then he gave introduction about the Memory metal ‘NINITOL (Nickel Titanium Naval Ordinance Laboratory)’ a fatigue resistant alloy for missile nose and that its discovery was the best example of Serendipity (discovery by chance). He included small explanatory notes on Reinforced cement as a revolution in modern architecture and the introduction of Chromium and Nickel as impurity to develop photogrey glasses. He also explained chemistry of soda azide (NaN3), a versatile compound, and shock sensitive and because of the property it finds its use in air bags, white wash and lime light.
The students solved their queries such as the working of soda azide by chemical reactions and also about the comparison of white wash and distemper to be used in houses. Bhasin Sir satisfactorily solved the queries of students.
The students had a break after the session for tea.
The next section continued with the lecture by Dr. Sampat Kumar Tandon, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, University of Delhi (2005 onwards), on the topic ‘Science- A Global Enterprise’ Dr. Sampat has pioneering contributions in physical stratigraphy and sedimentology, geomorphology and quaternary geology with reference to the Indian regions. His presentation was on the topic of “Exploration in Earth and Planetary Sciences”. He explained about the rovers and satellites that have been launched and as well as in process of launching to detect the traces of life on planet Mars. He explained Martian sedimentology including soil sciences and water traces. Through the rover such as sojourner , spirit/ opportunity and  curiosity  launched on mars since 2000, the scientific agencies such as NASA has been able to detect the chances of life on Mars through the material brought by them. He also explained the configuration of the rovers which includes number of instruments almost equal to that of big machine, 17cameras and much more. He gave a diagram to give the overview about the entry, descent and landing of rovers onto mars. He also explained the unpooling of electrical and communication cables before landing of rovers on the planet. He also briefly discussed about the Mars Orbiter Mission of India, also called Mangalyaan, a space probe orbiting Mars since 24 September 2014. It was launched on 5 November 2013 by the Indian Space Research Organisation. He explained the basic differences between the NASA’S Maven and India’s Mangalyaan Mars Orbital mission (MOM) which include the different payloads packages, as befitting their separate objectives.  MOM's instruments are mainstream, broad spectrum, and intended to give ISRO experience at measuring different types of planetary data ranging from atmospheric to surface morphology.  MAVEN's instruments are all focused on upper atmosphere and are cutting edge, measuring to greater limits, sensitivity, and accuracy than previous missions.
He also motivated the students with the biographies of various Indian scientists whose research had been published in the journal ‘Nature’ and ‘Science’.
Students asked various questions regarding the time limit of landing rovers on any planet, difference between rovers and probes and of what material the tyres of rovers are made.
The laboratory session included the forensic sciences section in Chemistry Lab of KIIT college of Engineering where Ms. Kanudeep Kaur from Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College of University of Delhi elucidated about the development of finger prints on papers using Silver nitrate solution and Ninhydrin solutions. She started with the types of markings on hand and that there are three types of fingerprints i.e. arches, loops and whorls which are different for each and every individual. There are 85 characters on fingertip out of which 8 are to be detected to identify a person. She gave a brief lecture regarding the obtaining of finger prints on the paper and other uneven surfaces. Using charcoal and iodine crystals she gave a live demonstration about the developing of finger prints. The students found the lab session very interactive and were keen to develop their own fingerprints. All the students were given some graphics as to categorize the various demarcations in a fingerprint.
After this the students enjoyed cultural evening in which the students of KIIT College of Engineering presented dance. The participants had an enthralling response towards the cultural programme. The evening was a huge success, filled with music, dancing, crafts, food & drink.

Games such as chess, carom board, badminton were held where children proudly participated. Everyone enjoyed taking part in drumming workshops, which provided a perfect background beat. A troupe of dancers showed off their steps. Craft stalls enabled children to make friendship bracelets and choose a bindi to wear. Students enjoyed a lot with the hip-hop performances and bhangra dance. Students among the participants also participated in singing where they sung old songs of Kishore Kumar, Md. Rafi as well as songs of KK and Honey Singh. Some of them also acted in the mimicry event where they acted the personalities as Devanand, Shahrukh Khan and many other heroes. Food and drink from around the world was donated and available to try, including various fruits and juices, pavlova, bhajis, samosas and Caribbean snacks, to name but a few!

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