The Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune will soon start work on a state-ofthe-art activity centre for school and college students with an emphasis on making science more practical and accessible to underprivileged kids.
The building is expected to be named Smt Indrani Balan Science Activity Centre.The centre will be used to impart pedagogical training to teachers and to encourage students to learn science, said an official release from IISER.
Last week, a formal agreement was signed between Balan Group and IISER towards constructing a building for the activity centre.The facility is slated to be built on 60,000 sq feet area and will provide hands-on training to students.
“Development of this space through the generous support from Mr S Balan will further boost its efforts in contributing to the education sector by reaching out to the teacher and student communities across India,“ stated the release.
“The centre will be used not just for IISER's outreach activity but for much more.There will be camps held for rural students as well as underprivileged children so that they develop an interest in science. Secondary schoolteachers will be trained at the centre so that they are able to teach children better,“ said senior faculty A A Natu, who will head the program me. The project is expected to be complete in the next 18 months, said Natu. “This is a huge project and it will be done in a phased manner. This is the first phase and many more things are to follow,“ he added.
Other than an activity centre, the building will also provide space for interactive sessions on science and mathematics using the latest tools, hands-on training on experiments, a museum and a children's play area, said Natu.
“Once the infrastructure is ready , we will talk to the civic body, zilla parishad and so on. Perhaps students would be able to conduct their academic practicals here once in a while. Our focus will be on making science accessible to every child no matter what his or her economic or social condition,“ he added.