During my visit to Aizawl to attending National Conference on PGPR at Mizoram University, Aizawl, I visited Kendriya Vidyalaya, Aizawl, and introduce students to foldscope and world of microbiology and basic hygiene.
The students of the class 9th and 10th participated in the workshop and after some initial inhibitions, students took active participation in assembly of the foldscope. Students observed pre-prepared slides including various specimen including fungal sporangia, apical bud of plant and cross-section of fern rhizome. In the end of the workshop, students were so excited that many of them just came and gave me hug, without saying anything, maybe they were not able to express their feelings. Overall my experience with this foldscope workshop was amazing and motivated me to conduct several such, whenever I will visit a new place for a scientific conference or for leisure. After the completion of conference, few students meet me in the airport, I was overwhelmed that students discussed my experiences on importance of microbiology and basics of hygiene with their parents too.
In the month of July, I visited a remote village in Himachal Pradesh, the schools were close for two months Monsoon vacations and shared foldscopes with students and trained them in sample preparation and observation. We observed water samples, collected from a stagnant water, we could find some moving rotifers, and it was an amazing experience for all kids. The students also observed several other samples, like leaves and flowers. I also trained one of them to post their content and observation on twitter, and in response to this post Dr Manu Prakash replied with a suggestion to look into the leaves of mint plant and observe mint oil droplets
A full day workshop on foldscope was organized at NCMR-NCCS, Sai Trinity campus, Pune, a total of 69 students and teachers from different schools and NGOs attended this workshop. The students were from six schools including DSK School, St. Ussula High School, Loyala High School, Sunflower high School, Bharat English School, New English School, Maan and City Pride School, and NGOs like Being Jigyasu, Marunjii NGO and Urmee NGO.
We trained the students and teachers for assembly of foldscope and sample preparation. The feedback from many students was that, though many a times their teachers demonstrated them to use a simple light microscope in the school labs, but they never visualize anything under it and foldscope not only allow them to visualize various specimen, but also allow picture them using a smart phone.
Hon’ble members of parliamentary committee on science and technology visited NCMR-NCCS, Pune and I demonstrated the use of foldscope to Shri Anand Sharma, Shri Sharad Pawar and other members of the committee. All members of the committee were impressed with such an innovation and said it should reach every student in the country.