By Dr A. Samanta
Scientific temper comes out of questioning and children must be encouraged to question. Teachers should also ensure that proper answers are given to their questions. This will help immensely in creating a scientific temperament.
This thought of one of the greatest scientists of the country and the President of India Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was the genesis of the National Children'sScience Congress. Ever since its first convention in 1993, the Congress has become a forum for the vast number of enquiring young children to pursue their natural curiosity with pragmatic imagination under the guidance of experts and teachers. The inauguration of the Congress by the President of India since 2002 has remained symbolic in the sense that the Congress represents the vision and forward approach of the nation through its young scientists.
With the objective to enhance the natural curiosity in a child to provide the medium to quench the thirst for creativity, to enable the young mind to relate the facts of science to activities in daily life, to develop the problem solving attitude in a child through the knowledge of science, to generate interest in the child about the surrounding environment and adopt measures to conserve nature and environment, to inculcate a scientific temper in the child by adopting the methodological process of observation, data collection, experimentation, data analysis and arrival at conclusions, and to encourage children from all over the country and abroad to visualize the future of their nation and adopt steps to become sensitive, responsible citizens, this Congress continues to inculcate the scientific temperament in the minds of children.
13th National Children'sScience Congress-2005
National Children'sScience Congress was an opportunity for child scientists from all over the country to present their project prepared on a focal theme assigned for that year. This is organised every year by NCSC network in all the states and Union Territories of India by involving children of 10-17 years age and teachers of all the districts of the country.
The event was catalysed and supported by Rashtriya Vigyan Evam Prodyogiki Sanchar Parishad (RVPSP) and Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. The qualitative and quantitative expansion of NCSC has drawn the attention of different countries. It is encouraging to note that the propramme besides motivating the children to ?learn science by doing? has inspired ?team work?, ?leadership? and ?social responsibility? in them, which any civilised country will be prized as a national asset.
The NCSC has been holding its annual conferences at various places of the country. It is for the first time that the prestigious conference was held in Orissa. It was indeed an opportunity for the state and its children to interact with the world class scientists coming to encourage the child scientists. More than 2000 children from all over the country and abroad participated in the event. Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) was the venue of the Congress. KIIT is one of the few institutions in the country, which integrates formal education with social service. Its commitment towards the society is best illustrated in the establishment of a fully residential Higher Secondary school for 1500 Vanvasi children.
In order to make the Congress successful, the KIIT geared up its machinery to look into the minutest detail. The arrangements for accommodation and food to the little guests were properly taken care of by the friendly student volunteers of KIIT.
The theme for this year'sNCSC, ?Harness Water Resources for a Better Future?, was to generate awareness about the scarcity of water and enact measures for its judicious use and conservation.
The theme was apt in the sense that in today'sworld despite abundance of water, people in most parts of the world are deprived of clean and potable water, the elixir of life. The deliberations in various groups and the exhibition showcased the creative and scientific approach of the children to the theme project. The technical session and the activity corners benefited not only the participants but also the state.
National Children'sScience Congress was an opportunity for child scientists from all over the country to present their project prepared on a focal theme assigned for the year. This is organised every year by NCSC network in all the states and Union Territories of India by involving children of 10-17 years age and teachers of all the districts of the country.
This NCSC had a special significance because of the fact that for the first time children from all the districts of the state took part in the Congress along with the children coming from several foreign countries.
The organisers including NCSC network, Science and Technology Department of the State and the Union and BJGVS deserved all credit to invite eminent scientists like Prof. Yashpal to address the children of Orissa.
(The author is Chancellor, Kalinga Deemed University Bhubaneshwar.)