National Science Day celebrated at RRCAT on 25th and 26th February 2017
National Science Day is celebrated in India on 28th February of each year to commemorate the discovery of the Raman Effect by Prof. C. V. Raman. This year Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (RRCAT) celebrated National Science Day on the last Saturday and Sunday of February by holding an open house for school and college students, teachers, family members of RRCAT staff and invitees from public. Over the years, this event has become extremely popular amongst school and college students and teachers as well as the general public. On Saturday, February 25, 2017, school students of Class XI and teachers were invited for a full day visit and the next day, family members/guests of RRCAT staff, college students and invitees were given opportunity to visit RRCAT laboratories. About 40 scientific exhibits were set up at 16 different laboratories to explain the scientific and technical activities of RRCAT and to demonstrate a few concepts in basic sciences. There were exhibits related to technologies of Accelerators, Lasers, Cryogenics, Superconductivity, Magnets, and demonstration of Fire & Safety aspects. Convener and Chairman of Coordination Committee Shri H. S. Vora and Shri Rajesh Arya had made elaborate arrangements for the celebration, with the help and enthusiastic cooperation of the Coordination Committee, sub-committees, volunteers, exhibitors, administrative staff and security personnel.
On the first day, about 1400 students and teachers of 105 schools from Indore and nearby places visited RRCAT. The program started with an address by Dr. P. A. Naik, Director, RRCAT. Dr. Naik explained the basic working of accelerators and lasers and gave an overview of the important activities at RRCAT. His lucid explanation in simple language was very much appreciated by the students and had a stimulating effect on the students and teachers alike. He also explained scientific and technological aspects about the exhibits arranged at different laboratories in a simple manner which was well understood and appreciated by the students. Deaf and mute students from different schools were also invited to participate in the celebrations. They were accompanied by interpreter-teachers from their schools. Dr. (Ms.) Rama Chari delivered a separate interactive talk to these special students with the help of interpreter-teachers. Dr. Naik was also present in this interactive session with specially-abled students. His simple and lucid explanations had a stimulating effect on the students and teachers.
After Director's address, all the students were taken to different laboratories in organized groups under the guidance of RRCAT volunteers. There were working exhibits on lasers like X-ray laser, CO2 laser and demonstrations on applications of lasers like: laser cutting, laser marking, laser additive manufacturing, use of light and lasers for biomedical applications etc. To explain some basic science and technology concepts special experiments had been set up like properties of liquid nitrogen, Raman effect, glow discharge, laws of motion, superconducting levitated magnetic train, magnetic hysteresis, induction heating, live demonstration of glass blowing etc. Videos on Indus Synchrotrons and their uses, development of SCRF cavities, indigenous 10 MeV linear accelerator, laser additive manufacturing etc. were shown. The overall response of the students and teachers was very enthusiastic. They showed a lot of interest in the exhibits and had lively discussions with the volunteers present there. Exhibits like demonstration of cloud creation by liquid nitrogen, laser cutting, magnetic levitated train and live demonstration of fire-fighting created a vivid impact on young minds and were highly appreciated by students and teachers.
A “Make in India Gallery” was specially set up to showcase recent important scientific achievements and in-house technology developments carried out at RRCAT. The achievements and developments were exhibited with the help of illustrated posters, working models, and actual components, which greatly enthused the visitors.
An “Ask-a-Question Desk” was set up for the students with an aim to create an opportunity for free discussion between these young minds and working scientists. Several RRCAT scientists were available to interact with the students who were also encouraged to ask questions. The discussions ranged from questions arising out of the exhibits at RRCAT for Science Day to basic scientific concepts. The event also encouraged the accompanying teachers to discuss their problems in teaching particular concepts of science. Participation prizes were also awarded to students. The specially-abled students also visited various laboratories and took part enjoyably in “Ask a Question” activity with great enthusiasm.
Snacks and lunch were served to all the students and accompanying faculty members. The overall response of the students was extremely enthusiastic as demonstrated by the number of queries they put in during the visits to the exhibits and at the “Ask-a-Question Desk”, when senior scientists addressed their queries in an interactive manner. They went back full of admiration for the scientific activities being pursued by DAE in general, and RRCAT in particular.
On the next day, the exhibits were kept open to the family members of RRCAT staff and invitees from public. More than 2500 persons visited the laboratories and expressed their joy on getting an opportunity to learn about the important R & D activities being carried out at the Centre.