National Science Day celebrated at RRCAT on 23rd and 24th February 2019

National Science Day is celebrated in India on 28th February of each year to commemorate the discovery of the Raman Effect by Prof. C. V. Raman. Every year, RRCAT celebrates the National Science Day on the last Saturday and Sunday of February by holding an Open House for the school and college students, teachers, family members and guests of RRCAT staff members and invitees from public. Over the years, this event has become extremely popular among the school and college students, teachers, as well as the general public.

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On Saturday, February 23, 2019, students of Class XI and teachers from schools in and around Indore, were invited for a full day visit. On the next day, family members and guests of RRCAT staff, college students, and invitees were given opportunity to visit RRCAT laboratories. About 40 scientific exhibits were set up at RRCAT Convention Centre and in different laboratories to explain the scientific and technical activities of RRCAT and to demonstrate a few concepts in basic sciences. There were exhibits related to technologies of accelerators, lasers, cryogenics, superconductivity, magnets, along with demonstration of Fire & Safety aspects.

On the first day (i.e. 23rd Feb. 2019), about 1150 students and teachers of 80 schools from Indore and nearby places visited RRCAT. The program started with an address by Dr. P. A. Naik, Director, RRCAT. Dr. Naik explained the Raman Effect for which Dr. C.V. Raman got the 1930 Nobel Prize in Physics. He also explained the basic principles of working of accelerators and lasers, which are the main areas of research and development at RRCAT. His lucid explanation in simple Hindi language was very much appreciated by the students and the teachers. He also explained, in a simple manner, the scientific and technological aspects about some of the exhibits arranged for the students at different laboratories, which was well understood and appreciated by the students. A few small movies depicting importance of hygiene and cleanliness were also shown to students and teachers just before the Director’s address under “Swatchha Bharat Abhiyan”.

Hearing and Speech impaired students from few schools were also invited to participate in the celebrations. They were accompanied by interpreter-teachers from their schools. Dr. Vinit Kumar, Head, Accelerator & Beam Physics Section delivered a separate interactive talk to these 50 special students with the help of interpreter-teachers. The students participated actively in this talk cum discussion.

After the Director's address, all the students were taken to different exhibit places at laboratories and RRCAT Convention Centre, in organized groups, under the guidance of RRCAT volunteers. There were working exhibits on lasers like use of light and lasers for biomedical applications, demonstrations on applications of lasers like: laser cutting and concrete drilling, laser additive manufacturing and Nd:YAG and CO2 lasers etc. To explain some basic science concepts, special experiments had been set up like Raman effect, Michelson interferometer, glow discharge, laws of motion, gas laws, conservation of momentum, change in physical properties of materials at low temperature, etc. To explain some technology applications, live demonstration with models of superconducting magnetic levitated trains, hyperloop train, plasma cutting, CNC machining, induction heating, glass blowing etc. were shown. Videos on Indus Synchrotrons and their uses, development of SCRF cavities, indigenous 10 MeV linear accelerator, optical diagnosis of cancer, laser additive manufacturing, laser cutting etc. were shown.

“Make in India Gallery” was specially set up to showcase recent important scientific achievements and in-house technology developments carried out at RRCAT. About 20 developments and achievements were exhibited with the help of illustrated posters, working models, and actual components, which greatly enthused the young visitors. These included instruments like TuBerculoScope, Raman Probe Oncodiagnoscope, Vision Enhancement Module and laser micro welding machine and development of technologies related with REEFER, SCRF cavity, superconducting corrector magnets, solid state RF amplifier, high stability power converters, non-evaporable getter (NEG) coating, thermionic electron gun, crystal growth, mask-less fabrication of semiconductor devices, Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG), fiber polishing, and refurbishment of commercial Sealed-off CO2 Lasers etc. The overall response of the students and teachers was very enthusiastic. They showed a lot of interest in the exhibits and had lively discussions with the volunteers present there. Exhibits like demonstration of laser cutting, taking ride on magnetic levitated train, shaping glass using glass blowing technique, cloud creation by liquid nitrogen and live demonstration of fire-fighting created a vivid impact on young minds and were highly appreciated by students and teachers.

An “Ask-a-Question Desk” was set up for the students with an aim to create an opportunity for free discussion between these young minds and the working scientists. Several RRCAT scientists were available to interact with the students who were also encouraged to ask questions. The discussions ranged from questions arising out of the exhibits at RRCAT for Science Day to basic scientific concepts. The event also encouraged the accompanying teachers to discuss their problems in teaching particular concepts of science. Participation prizes were also given in the form of “NSD-19 souvenirs” to curious students. The NSD-19 souvenir this year was a laser cut SS disc with laser engraved images on both sides. On one side of the disc the image of the Voyager Golden Disc Record was engraved and on the other side the relative size of the planets of our solar system was engraved. A pair of posters were also put up in the dining area to explain to the students the significance of the images and information on the NSD-19 souvenir discs. The specially-abled students also visited various laboratories and took part enjoyably in “Ask a Question” activity with great enthusiasm.

Snacks and lunch were served to all the students and accompanying teachers in the morning and noon, respectively. Caps were also distributed to all the students and teachers to protect them from sun during the visit. Buses were arranged for movement of the students and teachers from one exhibit place to another and also to take them from RRCAT Convention Centre to the laboratory area and back. In addition, pamphlet covering recent achievements and developments carried out at RRCAT and also pen were distributed to all the students and teachers. The overall response of the students was extremely enthusiastic as demonstrated by the number of queries they put in during the visits to the exhibits and at the “Ask-a-Question Desk”. They went back full of admiration for the scientific activities being pursued by DAE in general, and RRCAT in particular. They were also impressed by the cleanliness, greenery and lakes in the RRCAT campus.

On the next day, the exhibits were kept open to the family members of RRCAT staff, college students, and invitees from public. More than 2500 persons including 430 college students and teachers visited the laboratories and expressed their happiness on getting an opportunity to learn about the important R & D activities being carried out at the Centre.

The whole event was managed by a Coordination Committee with Shri Rajesh Arya as the Convener. The committee had made quite elaborate arrangements for the event with the help and enthusiastic cooperation of a large team of volunteers, exhibitors, administrative staff, and security personnel.

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