Conference on Integrating Science with Society, 15-16 December 2018, Jadavpur University, Breakthrough Science Society
Session 4: Reforming Science Education
The session was chaired by Prof. Narayan Banerjee, Professor, IISER Kolkata.
Prof M C Arunan, CUBE Lab, Homi Bhabha Center for Science Education, TIFR, Mumbai
In India, there is a serious dearth of spectators for Science, unlike, say, in a game of cricket. A game like Cricket is a rule-following activity where the players as well as the spectators are immersed in it. The idea was to see if Indian science can learn anything from Indian street cricket. With this aim a new model of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education called CUBE (Collaboratively Understanding Biology Education) was launched 6 years ago at the Homi Bhabha Center. STEM is taken as a set of games scientists, engineers and mathematicians play. The idea is to develop groups of people who understood some rules of the game and they would constitute the STEM spectators. For creating the STEM spectators, groups of students and teachers working in collaboration were encouraged to do experiments using the resourcesin their neighborhood on problems that they observe in their everyday life. Several such groups in under graduate colleges and schools across the country were set up. Prof Arunan narrated examples of such experiments as the pea study, the Dafnia study, the flowering patterns of mangoes in different geographical locations etc. It was observed that some of these studies matured from curiosity to frontier sciences.