27 Jul Siragugal 2010: An exhibition that was not just about Science
Sharanya Bharath’s home became our laboratory and all of us got together a month before the D-day to get our preparations for the Science Exhibition started. Thermocols, cardboards, clay, charts, crayons, scissors… Ganesh, Muthuram, Paarthipan, Varun, Karthik, Sharanya, Arihant, Srividya, Barath Akshay, Abirami, Sriram, Ashwin, and I…. Everything and everyone found space somehow and, voila, work began!!. Special mention to Vishnu who travelled from Kerala to help us with the exhibition.
Siragugal 2010 was nearing and all of us were determined to make the Science Exhibition bigger and better. We were quite surprised to see that the Exhibition in 2009 was a huge success, despite the limited efforts we put in. But we missed something last year – “take away” for our children…“take away” in terms of knowledge. We emphasised more on entertainment and this time, we wanted to learn from our mistake.
The theme chosen was “Environment Conservation”. The idea was very simple: Spread awareness about the degrading environment and provide simple suggestions that can be implemented in everyday life. Many volunteers turned up, many ideas were exchanged and we happily took up responsibilities.
At Siragugal 2010: The Science Exhibition was held in two rooms.
Models – Several models were displayed by both the volunteers and the children.
The winners were (in order):
1) A paper mash model of a dinosaur and a shivalingam
2) An eco-friendly house – Rainwater harvesting, and the do’s and don’ts around the house were beautifully shown in the model.
Models prepared by volunteers included:
- A working model of a windmill that demonstrated the importance of renewable energy – by Muthu Raman and Paarthipan
- A model on air pollution to portray the impact of acid rain on aquatic animals. – by Sharanya and Muthu Raman
- Models of a dam, a solar distiller and a model to demonstrate the soil permeability – by Siddarth Raman and Ganesh
- A model of a Solar Cooker – by Srividya
In addition, a model demonstrating how leaves cause rain, and two interesting backyard science experiments demonstrating surface tension and centre of mass were also made.
Re-Use Zone: This was the children’s corner with Sriram taking the front seat. They were given an opportunity to show their creativity and make something useful from the ‘waste’ materials provided to them. Things like empty soap boxes, cards, old magazines, paper cups, straws, ice-cream sticks and so on. The objective of this workshop was to create awareness about the 3 Rs- Reduce Reuse and Recycle. Children made beautiful bookmarks, houses, clay elephants and a lot more! Ashwin’s idea of painting faces on paper cups was an instant hit.
Sarath Kumar from Siragu Montessori deserves a special mentionfor making a fountain with the help of thermocol sheets, paper cups and straws. By the end of the day, he was aptly crowned the “Go Green Champion”, for his brilliant creativity. As a reward, Srividya made him a special certificate from scrap paper.
Christmas tree: Small chits of paper with a question related to the environment were tied to a Christmas tree. Every correct answer won a prize. Abbiramy’s simple yet effective questions (like How can we reduce noise pollution?) made the children ponder on how small things make a big difference. Excellent work, Abbiramy!
Go-Green Classroom: This was a cracker! Two volunteers, Barath and Arihant, made a “Go Green Classroom” completely out of thermocol and scrap material. Many issues like rainwater harvesting, terrace farming, recycling chalk powder, segregating domestic waste into biodegradable and bio non-degradable etc were covered by this model classroom.. Splendid efforts, Barath and Arihant!
Snake and Ladder Game: By far the most sought after activity at the Science Exhibition! The game, purely environment related, had 20 blocks and was designed in such a way that the children could stand on each block and roll the dice. For example, they climb up the ladder if they use paper bags and slide down the snake if they use plastic bags. The winner was given a gift on the spot. Full credit to Vinu Chakravarthy and his friends for coming up with this concept.
Pollution Game: Four bottles, each having the name of one type of pollution, that is, NOISE, AIR, WATER & SOIL were placed at a certain distance and the children had to knock down one of these bottles by throwing a ball. Based on the pollution (or the bottle) they hit, a question wase asked. For each correct answer, they received a gift on the spot.
Name-the-Activity Chart: Eight images, numbered from 1 to 8, relating to factors that affect the environment were placed on a chart and the children had to pick up any number and explain what the image is and the solution to overcome this problem.
Chemical Factory: The chemical factory intended to amaze children and that’s what it did. Vishnu and Karthik were not sure if everything would work fine, but in the end the children really loved it. The glowing water, slime, galore of exothermic and endothermic reactions, burning of magnesium ribbon, everything left children mesmerised.
Secret Message: The only concept retained from previous year. A ‘blank’ piece of paper when placed on fire shows a secret message. It was enticing for children and they won for themselves whatever the message read – chocolates, badges, pens, pencils and erasers.
Videos and Presentation: Preethi and Akshay did a fantastic job with the presentation which spoke about the reason and effects of climate change. It also included the tips and tricks to an eco-friendly life style, small steps which can save our planet from a debacle.
We are extremely thankful to Mrs. Prema Veeraraghavan and Ms. Malathy, two of the most able teachers in Chennai, who supported us throughout and ensured we never lost our ways. She showered us with her valuable ideas and feedback. Prema Ma’am also judged the Science Exhibition. Malathy Ma’am played a crucial role in throwing some light about the decoration. She gave us ideas on how to re-use scrap material for decoration purposes. She was the mastermind for the Re-Use Workshop, which proved very useful and interesting for the kids.
The Little Einsteins team will be back at Siragugal 2011, with more innovations and ideas..See you all, very soon!