By OUR STAFF REPORTER
DEHRADUN, 10 Jan: Society of Pollution and Environmental Conservation Scientists (SPECS) has been working on popularisation of science among the masses for the past twenty-five years. It has been organising activities meant to bring science closer to the people by making them understand the concepts in a simplified manner and thus furthering the cause of developing scientific temper. As part of this, SPECS organised a five-day science popularisation workshop at its Lower Kandoli, Premnagar, Training Centre from 6 to 10 January. The participants were told about the engagements of the workshop by Neeraj Uniyal, a volunteer with SPECS, during the introductory session. The second session started with the educational field visit to Flex Foods, a mushroom supplier company located at Lal Tappar, Doiwala. At Flex Foods, Deepak Tyagi informed the participants about the techniques of growing mushrooms, such as composting, spawning, casing, pinning processes and finally the cropping to get good mushroom production. He also stated that it took around fifteen weeks to complete the entire production cycle from composting to harvesting. Earlier, Chandraveta Sati, HR at Flex Foods, spoke about the history and work of the company. Sameer Gupta apprised the gathering about the natural and human grown mushrooms. Vishnu Tyagi provided information manuals on growing mushroom and also presented a packet of mushroom pickle to the participants. SPECS, on its part, presented LED Bamboo lights to Chandraveta Sati, Sameer Gupta and Vishnu Tyagi as mementos. The third session on the first day also saw reputed science educators Darshan Baweja, Gaurav Kumar and Arun Kumar apprising the gathering with zero cost science activity. They informed participants about Low Cost Teaching Aids. Baweja also exhibited some of his science models made from plastic bottles, cardboard boxes, empty pen refills and other useless items that are generally thrown away in dust bins. In the concluding session of the first day, Prachi Saxena apprised the participants about the stone painting. The participants also made paintings on the occasion. On the second day, Darshan Baweja explained to the participants various principles of science such as Bernoulli Theorem, Law of Inertia, Law of Gravity, etc. There was a visit to Vigyan Dham, Jhajara. The participants visited the Fun Science Gallery, Himalaya Gallery and Frontiers of Technology Gallery, where they had a keen look at various exhibits. They also visited the planetarium, where Poonam Gusain informed them about the sun, stars and constellations. This was followed by a 3 D film show by Ashish. The fun science session saw Rajesh Dobhal explaining various exhibits at the Vigyan Dham. Later in the evening, the students shared their experience at the Vigyan Dham. Contents of a proposed newsletter were also discussed. Students were told about the Jal Prahri programme of SPECS, which has been working on water conservation over many years. The participants were told about what couuld be done to conserve water. The making of the ‘Tip Tip’ water bottle, designed by SPECS, was also explained, which can save a lot of water in schools. A practical demonstration was also done to show that 10 students consumed 1 litre 33 millilitres of water when they washed their hands from a tap and only 420 millilitres of water when using the Tip Tip water bottle. The third session of the concluding day saw a demonstration of low cost science models, which was followed by practice in making paper paintings. Dr Brij Mohan Sharma, Secretary, SPECS, handed over the certificates to the participants that prominently included students from Government Inter College, Devalaya, Salt, Almora, MP Hindu Inter College, Ramnagar, Government Inter College, Kaneykhalyati, Government Primary School, Thlamanral, and Government Inter College, Shankarpur, Pauri Gahrwal. Mona Bali, Ramteerth Maurya, Rahul Maurya, Ashok, Chandra, Tarun, Devendra, Ramesh Kashyap, Ajay Joshi, Shankar Dutt Barthwal were among those present at the workshop.