Studentsí move to dispel myths on eclipse

Started by sajiv, Aug 01, 2009, 05:50 PM

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Students' move to dispel myths on eclipse

TIRUCHI: Two students of Sri Sivananda Balalaya in Tiruchi had brought laurels not only to the institution but to the State, by winning a rank in the 'National Observation Camp.'

Theirs was one of the 'top five' projects selected at the camp organised at Bhopal jointly by Vigyan Prasar, a unit of the Department of Science and Technology; Science Centre, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh and the Oriental Group of Institutes, Bhopal.

The objective of the camp was to sensitise the school pupils to the phenomenon of the total solar eclipse that occurred on July 22 and to eliminate the myths pertaining to it.

As hundreds of projects were received from all over the country, a total of 250 projects were short-listed at the camp of which 'top five' projects were selected.

The project submitted by B. Sirishree and P. Tharun, both of Standard VIII of the school and members of the VIPNET club of the school, was adjudged one among the top five projects and secured the fourth rank.

"The objective of their project was to dispel the myth or apprehension prevailing about the total solar eclipse -- the longest in the 21st century -- among the masses and to look at it as a rare celestial phenomenon," said one of the directors of the school, K. G. Meenakshi. She acknowledged the sustained cooperation from the Anna Science Centre - Planetarium in the city for guiding and encouraging the club members to participate in national competitions.

For preparing the project, Sirishree and Tharun interviewed 62 persons of various walks of life and ascertained their views about the total solar eclipse. "We had a detailed discussion with them, distributed a questionnaire and explained to them about the scientific phenomenon of the eclipse," they said adding that eclipse superstitions were rife among many they interviewed.

The school has affiliated itself with the Vigyan Prasar, for prompting its pupils to take up more projects in future.

The club co-ordinators, N. Jagadeeshwari and N. Revathi said that the camp helped the students to understand solar eclipse, applying scientific principles and planetary motion.

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