Student Scientists

A great way for students to engage with science is to be scientists and present their findings–and in December, many Avasara Leadership Fellows did just that, by representing their schools in Science Exhibitions across Mumbai.

Megha and Sheetal with their ecocolumn.
Megha and Sheetal with their ecocolumn.

Ninth Standard Fellows Megha and Sheetal spent a long time building an ecocolumn, a device which models the compartments of an ecosystem on a small scale.  The ecocolumn was built from scratch from plastic bottles, and featured a terrestrial layer, a decomposition layer, and an aquarium that could support two snails and three small fish.

Sheetal explains how the ecocolumn relates to real world ecosystems.
Sheetal explains how the ecocolumn relates to real world ecosystems.

Once the ecocolumn is set up, it is self sustaining, with nutrients provided by the decomposition layer, and oxygen provided to the fish and snails by the photosynthesis of the aquatic plant.  As a certain former Environmental Science teacher with a record of several ecocolumn-related fish deaths can testify, this is no mean feat.

Megha and Sheetal were constantly busy explaining the eco-column to curious visitors, and it was wonderful to hear them helping others understand how the ecocolumn reflects real life environmental interactions.

The aquarium layer showing some of the inhabitants.
The aquarium layer showing some of the inhabitants.

Elsewhere in the city, Deepti and Sweety M talked to people about Dengue Fever (a big problem in this city) and how it is transmitted, and can be prevented.

Sweety (left) and Deepti (second from right) with their friends.
Sweety (left) and Deepti (second from right) with their friends.

They even made a model of a Dengue-carrying mosquito, and a “snakes and ladders” game to help people understand more about the disease.

Dengue Snakes and Ladders, and a mosquito model!
Dengue Snakes and Ladders, and a mosquito model!

…And Yamuna demonstrated how to make and use biodiesel, and talked to people about the advantages and disadvantages of this fuel.  In fact, Yamuna won her Science Exhibition.

Yamuna explains how biodiesel can be made and used
Yamuna explains how biodiesel can be made and used

We are inspired by the energy that these girls put into their science exhibitions, and the enthusiasm with which they shared their understandings with others.  Many of our students aspire to careers in Science and this might be one small step towards that goal.

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