Creating Scientific Curiousity with LEADer Prajwal M

Posted on Saturday, January 16, 2016 by LEAD

"Science is all about understanding the workings of Mother Nature. Every second, nature has something new to show. We can learn many facts and figures about science from library or from google. But the real learning of science comes from by doing things practically. Practically means you don’t need a big laboratory! What you need is good observation skills and a curious mind. The rocket fuel of science is curiosity." - Prajwal M

This curiousity about science is the reason why LEADer Prajwal M's, from NIE First Grade College, Mysore, created his project Vigyan Santhe, a bi-lingual (Kannada/English) science website and app for school children. He wanted to show science in a new and fun way. "Vigyan" means science and "Santhe" is the Kannada word for the weekly fair, and Prajwal wanted the same excitement and curiousity about science as there is about the santhe. 

Vigyan Santhe website
The website is "by the students, for the students, to the students", and also includes a "Student Santhe" section where students can submit their own content. This encourages participation and is an exciting moment for any student to be featured online.

For Prajwal, it wasn't just important for the Vigyan Santhe to teach science. The website also helps to teach computer and internet skills to children, as they learn to navigate and use the website and app. The website is also used as an English teaching tool, whereby students are involved in translating content between Kannada and English. In fact, Hebbal Government School students are actively and regularly involved in translating the English website pages into their native Kannada.

Vigyan Santhe app
So far, the Vigyan Santhe website has over 30,000 visitors and averages 150 visits a day. Three workshops reaching over 200 students in the Mysore region have been conducted to introduce the students to Vigyan Santhe and encourage students and teachers to continue using the website and app.

For Prajwal, his Vigyan Santhe project has helped him both learn HTML coding and improve his English writing skills. He has also realized that simple science can often impact students easier than big and complicated science.

In the future, Prajwal hopes to makes Vigyan Santhe accessible to students with different needs, including the differently-abled, and create an audio library of their articles so that students who struggle to read or are blind can listen to the articles. He also plans to create a mobile library of science-related books as well as science toy printables which students can download on the website, print, and then build like origami.

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