Gandhinagar: The National Children Science Congress (NCSC), a flagship programme for the students of 10 to 17 years of age, has turned 30 years old. In its three-decades of journey, it has inspired millions of students to the process of method of science, which is fundamental to scientific career and research.
In order to discuss the journey of NCSC and its way forward, Gujarat Council on Science & Technology (GUJCOST) has organised a brainstorming session among the expert members from different premier scientific organisations across the country at Gujarat Science City during 18 – 20th May 2022. A total of 25 scientists, science educators from different parts of the country attended the programme and brainstormed on the different components of this prestigious scientific programme for children.
Dr. Praveen Arora, Advisor and Head, National Council for Science & Technology Communication (NCSTC), Dept of Science & technology, Govt of India presided over the session. Er Sujit Banerjee, Director, NCSTC, DST, Govt of India coordinated the discussion on different aspects of NCSC programme.
Dr Pullin Bihari Chakravortty, Chairman, National Academic Committee (NAC) of NCSC programme along with all other members have deliberately worked on the new focal theme of the NCSC programme, i.e., Understanding Ecosystem for Health and Well-being.
The focal theme has five sub themes including (i) Know your ecosystem, (ii) Fostering health, nutrition and well-being, (iii) Social and cultural practices for ecosystem and health, (iv) Ecosystem based approach for self-reliance, and (v) Technological innovation for ecosystem and health.
Ecosystems are the planet’s life-support system. It is essential not only for human beings, but for all living and life-forms. Human survival is fully dependent on the betterment of the ecosystem. The focal theme and the sub-themes will encourage students and teachers to explore more on the subject and to undertake basic research studies and seek solutions for solving local problems in their neighbourhoods.
Speaking on the programme, Dr. Praveen Arora, Head NCSTC informed that, the beauty of the NCSC program is its inclusiveness in participation. It invites all students, both rural and urban, from state board to municipal schools, CBSE, ICSE, Navodaya Schools and Kendriya Vidyalayas in all the districts in the States/UTs in the country. It also attracts students and teachers of ASEAN and Gulf Countries to participate and to celebrate their first step into the scientific research career in their life.
NCSC programme celebrates unity in diversity. All the students are encouraged to present their research project and findings in their regional and local languages, so that it enhances their creativity without any fear or complexity. In other ways, the programme has a great link to the new National Education Policy 2020 – expressed Er Sujit Banerjee, National Coordinator of NCSC Programme.
Among the NAC members, Dr. T. P. Raghunath, Shri Jayanta Kumar Sarma, Dr Bibhuti R Bhattacharya, Dr Dinesh Kumar, Dr Sudipta Chatterjee, Ms Kalpana Nagthane, Ms Seema Hardikar, Dr Syeda Azeem Unnisa, Er, UN Ravikumar, Mr Dhritiman Das, Dr E. Kunhikrishnan, Mr Sandeep Bhattacharjee, Dr. Kumari Nimisha, Dr B. S. Sooch, Dr. Poonam Bhargava, Dr Megha Saklani attended the session
As per the brainstorming session, the members discussed the focal theme as well as each of the sub-themes in detail and worked out the detailed guidelines in identifying the local problems, working procedures, data-collection, data-compilation, designing the hypothesis and the conclusion of the research. The members also discussed various tips on the projects which will be helpful for the local teacher to guide the students during their project work.
During the meeting it was also discussed that the Activity Guide Book will be ready by July 2022. In the line of the Activity Guide Book, there will be five regional training workshops, each at North, South, North-East, Central and Western part of the country to orient the state coordinators, district coordinators, evaluators and guide teachers about the focal theme and their execution plans.
Once the orientation will be over, then each of the state coordinators will start their student’s registration and conduct district and state level Children Science Congress at their respective State and UTs. The 30th National Children Science Congress will be held during 27 – 31st December 2022.
The NCSC program methodology orients the students about methods of science, which is very significant for their career and future. Here the child scientists are doing the same type of research, similar to the many research scholars do in their careers.
Technology continues to enhance our ability to understand the world by improving our ability to accurately monitor natural events. It is also crucial in sustainable development when we become more resource-efficient by finding ways to improve our quality of life while at the same time reducing the number of resources we use in providing these new goods and services.
Science is an effective process that we use to help us understand the world. By making testable predictions and then observing what actually happens, children are able to explain the underlying systems of nature with increasingly accurate models – explained Dr. Narottam Sahoo, Advisor, GUJCOST.