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Science Activity Centre Launches Online Workshop Series for Maharashtra Teachers

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The Science Activity Centre at IISER Pune, in association with Maharashtra State Council of Education Research and Training (MSCERT) Pune, has initiated a series of online workshops in Marathi for school science and mathematics teachers. Ten episodes on various science and mathematics concepts will be streamed live on Science Activity Centre’s YouTube channel every Saturday at 11:00 am between October and December 2020. 

The workshop series, titled मैत्री करुया विज्ञानगणिताशी! (Let’s make friends with Science and Mathematics) was inaugurated on October 3, 2020 by Mr. Vishal Solanki (Education Commissioner [Maharashtra State]). In his inaugural address, Mr. Solanki thanked all the members of MSCERT and IISER Pune whose efforts have made the series possible and said that this beginning would lead to a greater push for making learning exciting & attracting students to basic sciences.

Prof. Sanjeev Galande (Dean, Research & Development, IISER Pune) shared a video message, emphasising the importance of hands-on activities for deeper understanding of science. He thanked the Maharashtra State Education Department for supporting this initiative and mentioned that IISER Pune looked forward to more such activities. Alluding to the mention of active learning in the National Education Policy 2020, Dr. Sourabh Dube (Associate Dean, International Relations and Outreach, IISER Pune) said that the Science Activity Centre is keen to take hands-on teaching-learning of science to a wider audience through regional languages, especially in IISER Pune’s home state of Maharashtra. Hon. Vandana Krishna (Additional Chief Secretary, School Education and Sports Department, Maharashtra State), in her video message, stressed the importance of thorough conceptual understanding of science and mathematics and expressed the confidence that the series would help teachers teach simplify concepts.

Prof. Harinath Chakrapani (Dean, International Relations and Outreach, IISER Pune) and the team from Science Activity Centre was also present for the inauguration. Mr. Vikas Garad (Principal and Coordinator, State Council for Education Research and Training, Pune), who has played an important role in bringing out this series, coordinated the inauguration function, stating it would also benefit students, parents and science enthusiasts in the state. Mr. Ashok Rupner (Program Manager, Science Activity Centre, IISER Pune) gave vote of thanks to all those who have been involved in the series.

The very first workshop of the series then took place on various experiments based on the concept of heat. Mr. Ashok Rupner demonstrated many simple activities to explore the properties of heat, using simple, household material. He explained the rationale behind the experiments, and encouraged the participants to explore further by tweaking and changing various parameters. He urged teachers to incorporate such activities in their classroom to make science fun and exciting.

The session was viewed live by over 10500 people and has already got over 89,000 views on YouTube in two days