Science models from scrap

Science models from scrap

Even as the ‘cleaning drive’ is gaining momentum across the State — in towns, villages and cities — a team of enthusiasts in Dharwad have given a new dimension to the campaign.

They have been converting disposed materials into science models and equipments for the use of students. The innovative idea was conceived by Shivanand Chalavadi, head of the Dharwad chapter of Agastya Foundation, which has been inspiring young minds through its hands-on science education programmes. Designing different models to make Science enjoyable for students is part of the Foundation’s programme.

Shivanand decided to explore the possibility of making science models using waste materials. A team was formed and the members came up with ideas to make over 50 models that could be used as teaching aids in science classes. Eventually, used plastic bottles got converted into models that explain density, Newton’s laws, stethoscope and such other concepts. Collected paper cups were converted into models of phone. Plastic straws were used to make models demonstrating the working of sprinkle and water waves. “Waste management is a huge problem in all places. We wanted to address the challenge and give stress on reuse. We have made a few models from used water bottles and sketch pens in the past. We utilised the knowledge and increased the number and variety of models,” opines Shivanand.

The success of the effort lies in the fact that Shivanand passed on his idea and skills to students and people and involved them in the process. He trained enthusiasts and formed a team. A team of teachers responded proactively and made many models along with students. Students were also encouraged to come up with independent models. Vithala Patat of Managundi village has been a part of this programme for the past one year. “I have made hundreds of such models in one year. Whenever I see a waste object, my mind thinks of an innovative way of using it. While it has enhanced our creativity, it has also helped us develop a positive outlook towards curriculum,” he opines. Jyoti Badiger of Nigadi has observed improvement in the perception of kids after they got involved in the programme.

Lakshmi, a humanities student, feels that the programme has helped her develop interest in science topics. “It is a blend of art and science. The activity has caught the attention of young and old alike. Models are not limited to classrooms now, every child can afford to have one and experiment with it,” she says.

The team has distributed science equipments and models to over 20 government schools in Dharwad taluk and have taught them the method. The concept has also been tried in over 30 villages of Vijayapur district. “The objective is threefold. Reuse materials, develop teaching aids through  participatory approach and make science fun and interesting for kids,” explains Shivanand.

(Translated by Anitha Pailoor)

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