Noida: Shiv Nadar School, Noida, (a not-for-profit initiative of the Shiv Nadar Foundation in K12 education) organized the first-of-its-kind Energy Boot Camp as part of its STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) program to bring awareness about clean energy, climate change and sustainability.
The Boot Camp was organized virtually in association with the Indian Youth Nuclear Society (IYNS), from November 6 to 8, 2020 and witnessed participation from around 2000 students (Grade 6 to 12).
Renowned scientists participated in the camp to help students understand the dynamics of nuclear energy and its socio-economic and climatic implications in the world. These included Dr Nitendra Singh, founder and president of IYNS and visiting scientist at Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire, France; Dr Arvind Kumar from CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories, Bangalore; Dr Nikhilesh Iyer, Scientific Officer, Hydro Metallurgy Section, Materials Group, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, and Dr. Joyeeta Sinha, Plasma Physicist, ITER France; among others.
To ensure that students truly benefitted from the boot camps, Shiv Nadar School conducted various awareness sessions for a month prior to the camp to help students prepare for the same. Sessions covered contemporary issues surrounding environment, nuclear science and sustainable energy. Students were oriented on how nuclear energy can be harnessed for the benefit of mankind, for instance the use of nuclear medicine in treatment of cancer, power generation through nuclear fission and its use in forensic science and space exploration. They also conducted experiments learning kitchen thermodynamics and applying energy saving hacks and simulation of a nuclear reactor, among others.
To further enhance students’ learning, participating scientists took sessions with students in groups consisting of 100 each and shared more on nuclear disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima Dacchii, while helping them understand the need for nuclear energy as a possible solution for the complex problem of global warming. Students also deliberated on problems such as pollution, climate change and sustainable alternatives. The three-day boot-camp held interactive sessions on nuclear radiation and radioprotection, nuclear waste management and fusion reactor technology. This event was held under the able guidance of Ms Vinita Sharat, the STEAM Co-ordinator of the Shiv Nadar School, Noida.
The key highlight of the boot camp was the e-visits to nuclear facilities in India and abroad. Students virtually visited the Irradiation facility of Nuvia India (Mathura Road), which is a part of the international Nuvia Group specializing in nuclear products and services in support of India’s most complex civil nuclear projects, Tarapur Atomic Power Station, the first commercial nuclear fission reactor built in India and ITER(France) where students delved deeper to understand what they were taught in class about nuclear energy. ITER, France has collaborated with 35 countries including Korea, Japan, European Union, and India among others to produce nuclear fusion.
Dr Nitendra Singh, Nuclear Scientist and Nuclear Safety Expert; President, Indian Youth Nuclear Society (IYNS) congratulated the Shiv Nadar School for coming forward and successfully organizing a one-of-its-kind camp for the students.
“Creating awareness among the students on climate change and sustainability is the need of the hour. School students are going to be the future decision-makers so giving them the right exposure and helping them understand the key issues surrounding the environment is important. We also aimed to discuss nuclear energy from the scientific perspective to explain its demand and benefits while equally highlighting the safety concerns. Young minds are very inquisitive and keen to seek logical solutions. It was an exceptional experience for all IYNS team members and scientists across the globe.”
Shashi Banerjee, Principal, Shiv Nadar School Noida said, “Shiv Nadar School regularly hosts unique, experiential STEAM-based programs to develop scientific temperament among the students and allow them to freely use their reasoning and critical abilities. We nurture the joy of learning through experiential learning pedagogy and extensive use of technology in all our engagements. The Energy Boot Camp is an initiative in the same direction to create awareness in school about clean energy and saving our environment.”