As a part of the placements project a field trip was organised for the kids to visit CUSAT campus.
20th of June ‘09 saw 22 boys from the YMCA comprising of kids from 6th to 10th standard decked up to visit the university. They had their bags packed and two buses ready to take them to the destination.Joseph,Justin,Antony,Gautam and I were in-charge of the kids. Sanjana,Shahnaz and Nidheesh met us at the campus and took us to C-SiS of CUSAT. C-SiS stands for Centre for Science in Society. One of the staffs set a layout of the activities for the day. Later, Dr.K.G.Nair the planning director of C-SiS,a very cordial,wise and well-spoken man addressed the kids. He spoke to them of C-SiS;on how education was imparted through experimentation and observation. A short story of Sir Issac Newton’s childhood was also narrated. He enlightened the kids on the principle of resonance through a very simple experiment. They enjoyed the experiment.After his addressal, two batches were formed; Batch A-6th and 7th std kids; Batch B-the rest. Sanjana,Nidheesh,Shahnaz and Antony left after this session.
PHYSICS LAB: Here, the younger kids were given thermometers and hot water to measure the temperature of water. The processes of heating and cooling were explained to them.They also learned to operate the stop watch.The elder boys were made to find out the time period of a simple pendulum.
There was a PHYSICS PAVILLION which had a marvelous set-up to explain transformation of energy. It was named as the “Circus Of Energy” where a ball was lifted from ground and introduced to path. While traversing, it rang a bell(sound energry),went through a loop(centrifugal force against gravity),skated down a board (use of kinetic energy) and finally came to rest.. There was a telescope through which the kids saw a distant building that we’d seen on our way to CUSAT. Magnetic levitation,the principle behind maglev or bullet trains was explained. This was one awesome place to be! :)
CHEMISTRY LAB:A very enthusiastic teacher briefed the kids about the different types of acids and alkalies present in various food items.She made them do the Litmus test. Endothermic and exothermic reactions were also taught. A small amount of potassium permanganate was taken in a paper,glycerine was poured over it and the paper was crumpled.Due to the heat evolved(exothermic reactn),the paper was incinerated in a matter of few seconds. Pop-test of hydrogen was performed.
The older kids were made to do 1.the Fountain test
2.a test to show that mercury doesn’t have wetting property and
3.a displacement reaction.
BIOLOGY LAB:(“teaching by threats”) :) Since it was really hard to get the attention of the hyper-active kids who were busy checking out the protected specimens,the very-sweet ma’m had to point at the hanging skeletons and threaten to do the same to them if they disobeyed her. She had a natural way of handling the kids,i was impressed! :)
They were asked to stick a cellotape on their hands and pull it out. It was kept on a slide,stained and watched under a microscope.Kids prepared their own slides.Bijith was appreciated for preparing a good slide. :) After watching cells of a leaf under a microscope they were let to look around the specimens.
THE LIBRARY: The joyous kids spread around and got books of their choice. Their areas of interest varied from snakes to bullet trains to the Guinness world records and Ripley’s believe it or not…well the kids actually refused to believe certain facts from the books(for eg: a man who had around 15-20 snakes stuffed in his mouth, disgusting, I know!!). In between, half of them were asked to go to the corridors and write a quote they liked the most.
THE SCIENCE PARK: This was the place where i found great difficulty to contain the ebullient kids and went berserk. Thanks to Jr, Nikhila and Gautam for their intervention. :)
Anyway, the lady showed them how pulleys made our lives a little easier by helping lift heavy loads with lesser efforts. There were three swings of different lengths to show the variation in time taken to finish a certain number of oscillations. The park also had a hydro-electric generator which lit the LEDs when operated. After visiting this park am sure anyone would say “Science is Fun!!” :D
LUNCH BREAK: The kids ate their lunch in a lecture hall which had sculptures of many renowned scientists like Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, C.V.Raman etc.
It was fun to watch the kids trying to pull the beards of the men :)
COMPUTER LAB: World became smaller to them after the visit to this lab, Google earth was at their fingertips and they were on a spree to find their hometowns! :D The Malayala Manorama’s (the newspaper) website was also opened.
MATHS LAB: An emporium of models…wooden models I mean :P .. They had cubes,squares,triangles and various other geometric shapes… The older kids proved the Pythagoras theorem through these models while the others proved that the sum of angles of a triangle and a quadrilateral are 180 and 360 degrees respectively. They also had to solve a jigsaw and form a cube.
HERBAL PARK: A variety of medicinal and ornamental plants were on display. The lady from the bio lab took the boys around the park and explained the importance and medicinal value of plants.
Time was running out and Dr. K.G.Nair joined us soon at the lecture hall and gave a talk on pixels. He held up a transparent box full of blunt nails which were closely arranged; each nail was referred to as a pixel. Only one of end the nails touched the transparent side of the box while the other was exposed to air An impression of his hands was seen through the transparent side when his hands were pressed on the other end of the nails thus explaining the formation of images in digital cameras/TV etc.Finally, kids took some light refreshments and boarded the bus back to YMCA. Not to forget their photo-session on Justin’s and Gautam’s bikes
There was a sense of accomplishment in our minds after the kids waved goodbye and safely returned to their hostel. It was one cherishable day filled with information, responsibility and fun! This marked the end of a remarkable trip…Also, the beginning for many more yet to come…