UP girls to learn science in the joyful way

Girls enrolled in Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV), a residential chain of schools for socially and economically weaker sections, will now learn science through games, stories, and ‘curiosity boxes’.

The UP government, in collaboration with Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Gandhinagar, has launched a ‘curiosity programme for teaching science in an experimental way’.

This is aimed at making 79,000 girls enrolled in 746 KGBVs proficient in science as a subject.

According to the government spokesman, a team from IIT-Gandhinagar will groom 50 teachers as master trainers through 100 modules prepared on teaching science in an experiential manner that involves using interesting toys, activities, stories and assignments.

Each module is a 5-to-15-minute video covering different topics from science books of classes 6 to 8.

The videos describe ways of doing an activity and the science behind it.

An integral part of the programme is the curiosity box, to be provided to each school.

These boxes contain material enabling teachers to conduct the activity with students essential for an immersive experience. It will also help students perform activities on their own.

Additional project director of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Sarita Tiwari said, “There is a notion that science is not a girls’ subject. We have decided to take this as a challenge. Through this programme, we intend to make students and, more importantly, teachers fall in love with the subject.”

She added that the idea is to make classes more engaging, provide experiential learning, foster creativity, spark innovation and focus on concepts.

Students will maintain a notebook where they pen down their experiences for each activity, their observations, scientific understanding and questions. They will also be given interesting assignments in each module to think about the concept.

Teachers from all 746 KGBVs will be trained online thrice a week.

In addition, there will be a residential workshop of master trainers at IIT-Gandhinagar after six months of the programme. Physical workshops will also take place early next year.