Friday, 10 August 2012

Some thing like this also happens...

Say Quiz.. 

Straight from Science Communicator's diary..

Being Mumbaikar, local train is part and parcel of my life. Though office was 45 minutes away from home via local, for assignments and other stuff I had to travel by local train. At that time I never thought of having a job on Indian Rail Tracks. But all of sudden life took a sharp turn and I landed on meter gauge.

But this journey is something different. It is not just any tour or trips neither picnic. It has proper route which is taking each and every individual attached to this train. I don’t know what route others will choose but I have not decided any of them; so just decided to note down different routes.

Journey started on 5th June for train, but for me it started on 27th May. I and one of my colleagues from Times, were going home. Usually, train is the mode of travel in city. But sometimes four wheels are better than 36. So we decided to go by taxi. Journey to this place and coming one started that day. Got a call from Vikram A. Sarabhai Community Science Centre offering post of Science Communicator on Science Express; a train dedicated to promotion of science. It travels across the India to popular science among youth as well as school children. I had given a test and interview but could not make it. I was on waiting list since it is a train. But I guess I got RAC i.e. reservation against cancelation. Andrenaline Rush was at its peak again and it never got down till the last word I typed in this sentence.

As soon I came to know about this offer, further decisions and procedures geared up. It was not easy though. Leaving an organization like Times was really difficult task for me. It was official agreement of course but emotional particles were densely occupied my whole body. Cutting that connection might have made me little matured though. I never wanted to leave those people that corner seat and lots of human bodies filled up with emotional fluids. Somehow it happened. Sudden exit.
That taxi dropped me at my place but took totally different route. I told each and every thing to Mr. Arvind Mishra, driver of that taxi. That middle aged fellow couldn’t believe it. I took his blessings, hugged him and got down to take new route.

I was completely unaware of till the date science express was inaugurated. Being studied IT and Masters in Communication and Journalism with two years experience in media house like Times, I had pinch of knowledge about biology and related stuff. Somehow I started studying, reading and asking colleagues about various stuff. Slowly I started grasping and understanding the things. But to explain them one has to be clear with concepts. That took and is still taking some time.

We are here to explain content given coaches, give some knowledge or gyaan, clear few concepts and above all spread awareness and message of save biodiversity to janata coming for exhibition. Apart from that SEBs i.e. Science Express Biodiversity Special provides is Joy of Science lab, outreach activity and platform activity. Explaining is the domain for each and everything on board. Making people aware about losing biodiversity, saving trees, water, energy and more on suggesting them some new and innovative ways to help them in making this world a better place; is fun, enjoyment, entertainment, experience, learning-teaching and sometimes frustrating also.

Two months are passed and we have come to Southern India from North via North-east. We have not only crossed and passed just directions or states but also the way of communication. Many of us use innovative ways and ideas to convey the message and spread awareness. Planting a tree, recycling plastic, starting eco-clubs, adopting some trees or endangered animals are few examples which many of science communicators have used. Whenever I get coach of climate change, I tell students to save paper. School children have this strange impression in their mind that in exams, more number of supplements means more marks. So I keep telling them that no teacher gets impressed with number of supplements but with quality of answer. If one starts improving quality then there will be no need of quantity.

Explaining and other things are there but one of the best parts which I have had till now is quiz competition on platform at Cuttack with Rishabh Asthana. We both were assigned platform activity. Our plan was to start something new other than climate captain, who am I etc. We just came up with idea of quiz and we implemented it. We used to go into each coach and ask that particular science communicator to give some questions about that particular coach. On second day we were ready with few questions and started it. For right answers we had bought alpanlebe chocolate to give. We also gave those chocolates as token of appreciation to kids who solved all the puzzles on platform.

On third day we were ready with more questions and that too little difficult. This time we had bought three books – Tell me Why, Puzzles by Shakuntala Devi and Crossword. We decided to give these books to a person who will answer all questions. On third day we got only one guy who could answer all questions. Not only that but he could answer the most poisonous animal in the world, which was something not there inside coaches. We were impressed by his answers and awarded him with puzzle book.

Last and fourth day in first half we did not get good crowd. But post-lunch some interesting students started showing up. We started quiz competition and announced via microphone that winner will get some nice prizes. We were asking questions one after another, for some we were getting answers whereas for some we got silence from students. But suddenly one group of boys and another group of 3 girls came and joined the quiz. There started something like competition between boys and girls. Both groups were answering right and made tie. So we planned to ask last one question and those who answer correct will be announced as winner. Question was which – Gum of this plant is beneficial in treatment of diarrhea. Name it. We had made this question on the basis of content in coach 6 i.e. Indian desert and semi-arid zone. None of them couldn’t answer so we gave little hint. As soon as we gave a clue, girl replied with correct answer and she got the award.

We conducted other activities also but quiz was something I and Rishabh always loved and we do. It is not just answering correct but knowing things related to the answer of that question and there lies the fun as well as interest of quiz.

-          Pushkar Samant

1 comment :

  1. I just want to know , how can i join SEBS? please let me know....