This Phunsukh Wangdu lives in Mysore!

Simplifying science

Shivappa conducts a demonstration at a school. DH photoActually, his ideas predate Amir Khan/ Rancho the on-screen crusader against curricular monotony.

For 23-year-old Shivappa, who hails from Katavalu — a remote village in H D Kote taluk in the district here — finding a job as a teacher wouldn’t have been difficult, soon after completing his DEd in Vivekananda College in Hosahalli in the taluk, two years ago. But he followed his heart and set out to kindle interest in science among students.

Charity begins at home and Shivappa targeted his alma mater, the government school in his village, to begin his campaign.

A bundle of energy, Shivappa devised  simple experiments using easy-to-access resources like water, balloons and straw among others, that clicked with the students. His next stop was a school in Kodagu district.

“When compared to towns, students in rural parts are more wary of science, mathematics and also English language, thanks to teachers for sowing this ingrained feeling that has become synonymous with pedagogy,” Shivappa told Deccan Herald.

While the urban students have access to technology like internet that could help clear haze, rural students are forced to rely on teachers. Himself a victim of a bookish teacher whose first lesson began with the cliche, ‘Science is a juggernaut’, Shivappa thought of taking over the mantle.

Apart from demonstrating experiments, he allows students to get a feel of them, by coaxing them to do experiments on their own. It helps in answering questions that students neither ask, nor if they do, get an answer from teachers, Shivappa added.

His plans were sharpened after watching ‘3 Idiots’ thrice. Identifying himself with the role of Rancho, Shivappa recalled ‘how he (Aamir) pulls out the infant from the mother’s womb, using a vacuum cleaner’, in a scene. Also, he supports a fellow student, whose remote copter fitted with a camera does not excite the dean.

Shivappa’s tryst with science has taken him to places like faraway Bijapur and Dharwad, besides Mandya, Hassan and a few institutions in Mysore city. And the list is growing with his diary full of schedule for the coming days.

Like the filmy hero, Shivappa too has plans for the future — opening a special school emphasising more on facilitating students honing their skills in their area of interest.

Shivappa’s experiments

Water can be heated even when it is in a plastic bag. Many think plastic burns if it is held over flame. But the bag filled with water transfers heat to water.

 Cut the end of the straw in a V shape and blow it. The vibration created by air particles clashing with each other at varying speeds produces a sound. 

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