BHOPAL: All of us enjoyed working on science projects and making scrap books of dried leaves and plants during our school days. But that was all. Otherwise, science meant boring equations, abstract principles and difficult-to-comprehend phenomenon.
Sarika Gharu is attempting to change this, in her small way. And she is innovative. She uses outdoor classes, open sessions, working models, live demos and other exciting activities to help students grasp scientific principles easily. Sarika wants that science should become fun for students. In 2006, she started teaching in a Government High School in Sadiya village of Hoshangabad district after completing her B. Ed.
She saves from her salary for conducting workshops. She said, “I am not exactly flush with funds because I do everything by myself. I pay for vehicles, flex, models and other requirements of my workshop from my pocket. She focuses on organising science workshops in open areas and on special days like International Year of Astrophysics, year of biodiversity, year of chemistry, year of crystallography, year of light etc. Having received support from MPCST, Vigyan Prasar, Noida, NCSTC, New Delhi; Sarika is now focussing on the tribal belt of Madhya Pradesh to encourage the students to learn science.
“Children there take great interest in working models and in science behind magic. They not only understand but also join me in practicals”, she adds. Known as ‘Science wali Didi’ in her village Sohagpur, Sarika not only works for promoting her favourite subject but also runs a programme ‘Kishori Jaagori’.
Through Kishori Jaagori she organises interactive sessions with female role models from police, administration and public services. “The main aim of this programme is to encourage tribal girls to step out of their homes and become role models for the society”, she said.
“I feel proud when even a single girl from my classes and workshops decides to make science her career. There are many students who were pursuing engineering and have chosen to go for research after attending my workshops and this is the moment I work for”, she said proudly.
Students come up with novel ideas
Through her efforts she has been able to inculcate innovative thinking among the students. Twenty of her students from seven districts have come up with innovative ideas to solve day to day problems and these students will be awarded at a function by speaker Dr Sitasharan Sharma. The students came up with ideas like hair clip with GPS system, walking school bags, solar pen with LED light and small fan, disappearing ink pen, etc.