Science is no longer limited to laboratories and scientists. Science expert, Arvind Gupta, has a unique technique of imparting science education, using toys. What better way than to return to our childhood and make learning fun?
Breaking the stereotype
Arvind Gupta was a maintenance engineer at Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company (TELCO) in Pune. He feels scientists are stereotyped as people in white coats. At the Tamil Virtual Academy’s Varahamihira Science Forum, he discussed ‘Science through toys’.
Science is simple
Gupta explained science is the way we critically look at things around us – from a used needle to a piece of paper. Arvind demonstrated his point by building a motor and a generator using easily available materials like straw, copper wire, battery, and a disposable syringe. Electrical devices use various types of motors and generators. The materials used by Arvind cost only Rs. 20 each. He went on to demonstrate how to make more toys out of ordinary stuff while expressing concern about how mathematics and science are taught in schools. There is a lack of emphasis on the fundamental truth.
Turning Point for Arvind
The turning point for Gupta came when he took a study leave from TELCO to teach village kids in the tribal district of Hoshangabad, Madhya Pradesh. He realized turning everyday products into science experiments, appealed to the young audience. “Despite teaching students for over 35 years, he feels he has something new to learn from them each time. Arvind is a published author and gives talks on teaching science using toys.
Arvind Gupta’s work is widely appreciated and it is hoped his dream of making science more accessible and interesting for kids and young adults, is realized soon.
Image: Wikimedia Commons