News / Science & Technology

India Uses Railway as Mobile Science Classroom

India’s Railway Used as Mobile Classroomi
X
June 26, 2013 6:07 PM
India's railway system is one of the largest and busiest in the world. But it is not just for passengers. The Indian government is utilizing this vast network to provide children in the remotest corners of the country with a moving classroom. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from New Delhi.
Aru Pande
India's railway system is one of the largest and busiest in the world. But it is not just for passengers. The Indian government is utilizing this vast network to provide children in the remotest corners of the country with a moving classroom.
 
Raghav Pandya loves science, so much so, that he spends six months out of the year on this train to help share his passion with youngsters across India.
 
“I am passionate about spreading and popularizing awareness regarding scientific knowledge and mechanisms that are surrounding us. People want to know why it is and how it is,” said Pandya.
 
Pandya is one of 40 postgraduates who make the Science Express train their home as it travels 19,000 kilometers throughout India from April to October of this year.

The train will stop at 62 different locations, including here in the Indian capital, where hundreds of students line up to get their chance to see exhibits focusing on biodiversity, conservation and climate change.

Crowds flock to Science Express

More than 8.5 million people have visited the mobile exhibition - a project that India’s prime minister launched in 2007 to attract young people back to science.
 
Department of Science and Technology advisor Chander Mohan was tasked with finding a way to reverse what he says was a growing disinterest in the field.
 
“Why not take science to the people instead of taking people to the science? And what better way than the Indian railway network, which is so vast that it is the largest network in the world. And it is stretched across the country. Each and every nook and corner of India is connected by the railway network,” said Mohan.
 
The train stops at each station for three to four days and young people have a chance to take part in the hands-on laboratory where educators help them conduct experiments highlighting math and science principles.
 
Educators reach out

For some of these children, particularly from small towns in the farthest corners of India, this is a rare opportunity to learn beyond the four walls of their classroom.
 
Seeing their reaction makes riding the rails worth it for educators like Pandya.
 
“Fascinating experiments or sort of things - when they come to know - they say ‘oh wow.’ So this 'wow factor' you see it in their eyes. In our childhood we have not gotten such sort of exposure,” said Pandya.
 
The Science Express train is making its way through eastern India, with stops planned in West Bengal and Orissa states in July. The moving exhibit is expected to attract its 10 millionth visitor by the end of this year.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs