DST Inspire Science Camp
Inaugural session: The five-day DST Inspire Program was successfully held from January 27, 2014 to February 01, 2014. The session was inaugurated in the gracious presence of Prof. Sangram Mudali, Director, NIST, by honorable Chief Guest Prof. Baishnab Charan Tripathy, Vice-Chancellor, Ravenshaw University, and Guest of Honor, Prof. Yashwant Gupta (S. S. Bhatnagar Awardee), Dean, GMRT Observatory, National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.
Day-1: Later in the day, Prof. Tripathy gave an interesting talk about Life Sciences on the topic “Plant Development and Productivity in Space”. His talk was followed by an engaging talk by Prof. Gupta, who spoke on the subject of ‘Pulsars, Interstellar Scattering’ with specific details on “Exploring the Universe with Radio Waves: Frontiers and Challenges in Radio Astronomy”.
While giving an introduction to Radio Astronomy, the electromagnetic spectrum and different windows, he gave students a basic idea on what radio astronomy is all about and how radio telescopes work. He also touched upon some of the frontiers of Radio Astronomy including a few techniques and instrumentation, Jupiter and the search for extra-solar planets, Centre of our Galaxy, Pulsars – exotic neutron stars, Radio Galaxies and other aspects of astrophysics.
Day-2: On the second day of the Inspire program, Prof. Asok Kumar Nanda, Professor, Dept. of Mathematics and Statistics, IISER Kolkata, opened the session with an interesting talk on “Mathematics and Statistics” and managed to convince students on how “Mathematics is Fun and Entertainment” if the subject is approached in the right spirit. He proved with many relevant examples and solutionsto seemingly complex problems how Math can be made interesting.
This was followed by a lecture by S.S. Bhatnagar Awardee, Prof. Uma CharanMohanty, School of Earth Ocean and Climate Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Bhubaneswar. His talk was based on ‘Atmospheric Sciences’on the topic “Tropical cyclone and other extreme weather events over India”. He discussed at length on the various Weather, water and climate-related natural disasters, how extreme weather conditions can be predicted using ‘Mesoscale Models’; what are the characteristics of tropical cyclones and what kind of measures can be taken to prevent such disasters, etc.
The concluding session for the day was by Prof. Sangram Mudali who gave an engaging talk on “Access to Sustainable Energy for All…Scaling Challenges”. He gave pointers on how to expand the access to electricity by employing methods like Grid expansion or Off-Grid expansion. Prof. Mudali also made students aware of the challenges that one faces in expanding access to electricity.
Day-3: On the third day Prof. Suman Chakraborty, S.S. Bhatnagar Awardee, Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Kharagpur, delivered an amazing lecture on how Engineering can help in the Healthcare Sector. His talk focused on “Microfluidics and Microscale Transport Engineering in Healthcare: Current Indian Scenario”. He spoke about Biosensors and how malaria can be detected on CD/ paper-based microfluidics, thanks to the recent advancements in the field.
Prof. Shankar Prasad Pati, Emeritus Professor, NIST, Berhampur, andFormer Professor of Physics, Sambalpur University, gave an encouraging talk motivating the students to “Get Inspired for Entering Academics (Physics Family)”. He dealt with the idea and aim behind DST’s Inspire program for students and spoke about how the program enlightens young mindsabout various tracks/ paths available to them to tread on. His talk also recalled the contribution of great Indian Scientists like C.V. Raman, Prof. J.C. Bose and S.N. Bose among others.
Day-4: Prof. Girish Kumar, Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Bombay,spoke on “Cell Tower/ Cell Phone Radiation Hazards & Solution”. He touched upon topics like Cell Phone and Tower statistics, Microwave heating principle, Radiation pattern of cell tower antenna, EMF exposure safety norms, a few biological effects and possible solutions to minimize the effects of radiation.
Prof. A.K. Padhy, gave a talk on “Frontiers in Chemical Science” where he spoke about the Prospects and Future of Science Education. He drew the attention of students towards the various opportunities available for students who take up Chemistry for further studies, and what kind of careers are available both in India and abroad.
His talk was followed by a motivating talk on Entrepreneurship, titled “Innovative Plan” delivered by Dr. B.S. Pani, Span Resources Management Services, Bhubaneswar. The final talk for the day was given by Prof. Basudev Bhattacharyya, President, Sky Watchers' Association, delivered an amazing visual treat to the audience on “Mysteries of The Night Sky”. Students were transported to a whole new world of Astronomy by touching upon topics like The Milky Way, Super Nova Explosion, Elliptical and Sombrero Galaxy, Orion Constellation, Birth and Death of a Star, etc.
Day-5: The last day’s session was started by our honorable Placement Director, NIST, Prof. (Mrs.) Geetika Mudali who gave an excellent talk on ‘Personality Development’ and made students aware of how students need to develop a handful of skills like communication, leadership, motivation, inter-personal, GD and interview skills, besides Academic excellence. She also gave wonderful tips on how qualities like desire, commitment, responsibility, positive thinking, hard work, courtesy, and character will help one can develop these skills.
Prof. G. Panda, Former Deputy Director of IIT Bhubaneswar, concluded the day’s events with his inspiring talk on “Current trends on Science and Technology” and formally closed the five-day session of the DST Inspire Science Camp.
The participants of the DST Inspire Science camp were divided into several groups and they were offered hands-on experience in the most popular fields of science including Electronics, Robotics, Multimedia, CAD/CAM, etc, thanks to the labs conducted as part of the program. The lab activities for the DST Inspire students were conducted and supervised by different clubs at NIST like Electronics Hobby Club, NIST Robotics Club, Renewable Energy Club, Multimedia Club, Astronomy club, CAD/CAM Lab, and Sports & Culture Club.
It was good to see youngsters take part quite enthusiastically in various cultural activities held on the last day of the five-day event. Students proved their mettle yet again by showcasing their talent not only in academics (both in theory and practical labs) but also in cultural events like singing, dancing and skits.
Valedictory session was organized on the last day of the program i.e. 31st January 2014. Prof. (Mrs.) Geetika Mudali, Placement Director, NIST, presided over the function. Guest of Honor, Prof. Pratapsinh Kakaso Desai, delivered an inspiring speech to the students. The Chief Guest at the Valedictory Function, Prof. G. Panda, Former Deputy Director of IIT Bhubaneswar, engaged the students with his motivational speech. The Closing Ceremony and Prize Distribution marked the grand finale of the five-day DST Inspire Science Camp program.