IIT Gandhinagar celebrated ‘National Science Day’ by organising scientific demonstrations for school and college students

IIT Gandhinagar celebrated ‘National Science Day’ by organising scientific demonstrations for school and college students

 Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN) celebrated ‘National Science Day’ on its campus today by organising an ‘Open Day’ with several exciting and hands-on activities and scientific demonstrations for school and college students. Around 1000 school students from 15 schools and 200 college students from six higher education institutions/universities from Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, and nearby districts visited the IITGN campus to explore, experience, and enjoy Science and its wonders.

The Institute, with support from the Royal Society of Chemistry, arranged several exciting activities and scientific demonstrations for visiting students with an aim to popularise STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) learning and inspire them to pursue careers in various fields of STEM. The demonstrations by IITGN’s undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD students explained different scientific concepts in an interesting and fun way. It included activities such as viewing the black spot in the Sun through the telescope, characteristics of dry ice, ice-cream making through liquid nitrogen, robotics, understanding the climate change, production of oxygen, disappearing styrofoam, explosion of ping pong balls using liquid nitrogen, electromagnetism, wire loop game, peeking inside the diaper to understand the concept of hydrogel among others. Moreover, students also visited IITGN laboratories and the Sports Complex. The students, along with the Centre for Creative Learning (CCL) team, also made Sir CV Raman’s portrait with 625 Rubik’s cubes as a tribute to him on his birthday, which is celebrated as the National Science Day.

Explaining the objective behind the celebration, Prof Sivapriya Kirubakaran, Dean of Student Affairs, who is also the coordinator for the event along with Prof Sriram Kanvah, said, “Events like this prove to be a valuable experience for students and provide them with inspiration and motivation to continue pursuing their interests in Science. National Science Day is a great occasion to encourage our young generation of students to experience the wonders of Science. They could see the innovative and exciting work that our students have been working on throughout the year, and this will provide them a stimulus to pursue STEM subjects creatively.” I am also amazed to see a young student bring his own invention to display at our campus.

Dwiti, Rohan, and Dhruv, a group of 7th standard students from Jamnabai Narsee School, Gandhinagar, said, “We were amazed to see and experience several magic things and scientific experiments like oxidation, ice-cream making through liquid nitrogen, explosion of ping pong balls using liquid nitrogen. We also understood how the telescope and rocket work. We thoroughly enjoyed this visit to IITGN and various labs.”

Mr Mahesh Tripathi, a Physics teacher from the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, said, “Every experiment being demonstrated here was very stimulating for students and they are very happy to see them. It can ignite students’ curiosity and motivate them to explore more.”

The event concluded with a popular lecture on the topic “Development and Innovations in Pharmaceutical Industry” by Dr Rajamannar Thennati, Executive Vice President and Advisor to MD and Head of High-impact Innovations and Sustainable Solutions, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. Addressing the students and explaining the significance of innovation during different processes of Chemistry and drug discovery, Dr Rajamannar said, “In any field, the breadth and depth of knowledge are very important to advance your work. In the field of life sciences, you need to think beyond your perception, have imagination, and try doing things differently, even if it sounds like a stupid idea in the beginning because it will lead you to success. Today India is regarded as the “Pharmacy of the World”, and India’s medicines are preferred worldwide. Our young generation should think of pursuing life sciences outside merely job prospects and develop the passion for making more things happen in India.” He also talked about the significance of innovation in process Chemistry that is novel, environmentally benign, high in productivity, and meets quality requirements at a commercial scale. He also explained the drug discovery process to students.