While schools were either closed or functioning online due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Science Activity Center (SAC) at IISER Pune harnessed the online medium to reach students, teachers, and science enthusiasts all over the country. SAC initiated various online workshops and webinars during this period, including the immensely popular online demonstration series called “Next - Gen Science Camps: Exploring Fun Activities at your Doorstep”. Since June 7, 2020, the SAC team has conducted these hour-long sessions every Sunday morning. The format of the episodes is approximately 40 minutes of demonstrations of science and mathematics activities, followed by 20 minutes of IISER Pune faculty members answering questions received in the previous weeks from members of the audience.
This series has received an overwhelming response from all parts of the country. On December 6, 2020, the SAC team hosted their 25th episode. This ‘silver jubilee episode’ began with opening remarks by Prof. Jayant B Udgaonkar (Director, IISER Pune), and Mr. S. D. Pradhan (Mentor and Advisor – Corporate Social Responsibility, Tata Technologies Limited). Both Prof. Udgaonkar and Mr. Pradhan emphasized the need for such activities to develop and promote enthusiasm for science and mathematics especially in school students, as well as to help teachers engage their students effectively. They commended the excellent work being done by SAC towards this goal.
The episodes are designed with school curricula in mind but organized by topic. Some of the previous episodes have focused on sound, mechanics, pressure, light, area and perimeter, chemical reactions and indicators, electromagnetism, fossils, classification of organisms, and some very interesting topics like the magic of an A4 sheet! This workshop series has collected over 6 lakh views so far and all episodes are can be viewed on IISER Pune Science Activity Centre YouTube channel.