After the grand success of Geoweek 2017, 2018 and other learning events over the last two years, the Centre for Education & Research in Geosciences (CERG), organized the Geolab 2019, an Inter-school Earth Science Project competition. This year Geolab was organized on 27th and 28th August 2019 in association with Muktangan Exploratory. The overall theme for the Geolab 2019 was “Earth Science Matters”.
An overwhelming response was received from the young school students. 40 projects for the final from over 55 project entries were dsplayed at the contest exhibition. The exhibition was inaugurated by Padmashri Dr. Pramod Kale, former Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Indian Space Research Organization, Thiruvananthapuram, on Tuesday, 27th August 2019. Instead of the usual inaugural address, Dr. Kale interacted with the students in a discussion on various aspects of Earth Science including the origin of our Earth, its life, the food we eat, the environment we live in and its direct relationship with the space. Dr. Kale also highlighted the importance of earth science in our daily lives and advised the students to stick to the basics of Earth science for the better understanding of all the other sciences in general. A renowned scientist and one of the pioneers in taking Indian space research on global level, Dr, Kale was humble enough to personally interact with the students and examine their projects.
The exhibits covered a variety of topics under the over-all theme – Earth Science Matters. They ranged from some hi-tech based Water quality monitoring of freshwater bodies & Astrobot to very innovative ones like producing Air Ink (Ink produced from Air Pollution) & Electricity from Seawater Other sub-themes revolve around the environment & sustainability – conservation of water, landfills, Global warming, monitoring Freshwater bodies, use of Geothermal Energy, recycling of Ganpati idols made of POP material, Rainwater harvesting, natural disasters, South West Monsoon, etc.
The highlight of the event was a talk on the fascinating world of fossils – “Rock Trails – A story of fossils” by Chennai based & India’s youngest fossil collector and budding paleontologist – 12-year-old B. Aswatha on 27th August She also exhibited fossils from her personal collection.
The valedictory function was graced by Professor Makarand Kale, presently the Head of the Department of Geology at the Savitribai Phule Pune University, Mrs. Bharati Baxi, Dy. Director, Muktangan Exploratory and Dr. Sudha Vaddadi, founder member of CERG.
In his address, Prof. Kale complimented the young students for their very innovative and creative projects and exhorted them to keep alive their curiosity and continue their pursuit of scientific knowledge.
The first prize was won by Vikhe Patil Memorial School, S.B. Road for their project – ‘To provide information about different kinds of disasters’
The second prize was won by Sardar Dastur Boys High School for their project – ‘An innovative approach to monitor Freshwater bodies’
The third prize was won by Sardar Dastur Hormazdiar High School for their project – ‘Use of Geothermal Energy to produce electricity’
Prof Makarand Kale gave away the awards to the winning schools in the closely contested event.