Children’s Day 2020: Tribal kids conduct experiments away from artificial labs in Bhopal

Bhopal: The advent of technology has aided children to study science better. The ambit, however, has always been limited to urban areas. The tribal children in state have now found a way to learn science practically amidst nature.

Through Tola Manjeera, the children Gond, Korku, Bheel and Bhilala tribes, have begun learning the wonders of science in a laboratory set up unlike that in the urban schools.

Tola Majeera has become the new science laboratory for students from grade 1 to 12 in Betul, Hoshangabad and Harda districts. Against shelves and cupboards, there is nature embracing the children while they learn scientific phenomena. The children in Morpani village, about 23 km away from Itarsi city, run to a lake and pluck an aquatic sapling.

They are given a beaker to put the plant into. The beaker is then kept in sun to experience the phenomenon of photosynthesis. They pick their plant for photosynthesis from the lakes and hills nearby. They hide under the shade of huge mango tree when they try to determine the difference between acid and base. They sing and learn the household items that react with red litmus paper.

The children in areas beyond internet connectivity like Morpani, Shahpura, Mariyarpura and Kukra learn through posters and hand-made equipment without fear of chemicals and fire.

A group of grade 9 students popped their corns in a solar cooker, they made themselves. The kids painted cardboard boxes black and covered it with cellophane paper. The boxes are kept in sun where the corns pop out of heat.

The children test the acidity of lemon on pH scale. They dip a blue litmus paper in the lemon juice to find it turning red. They match the colour to the pH scale and realize the acidity of the liquid.

The children in Mariyarpura study dispersion of light when the white light from sun passes through a prism. There, they discover how sun emits seven lights that people are unaware of. They use broken pieces of glasses found by the lake to study the refraction phenomenon. The kids have been performing experiments to verify many other scientific phenomena. They make models of windmills and try volcanic eruptions with baking soda and limejuice.

Their guide, teacher and science activist Sarika Gharu told Free Press children of tribal areas fail to get the opportunity to have practical experience. She says that she aims to travel throughout tribal belt in the state and guide children to the advances of science. Apart from the school children, their parents and other villagers too gather around to learn, she adds.

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Free Press Journal