The Geoweek 2019…. Third year running, and open for four days this time. Once again, a big success. It was indeed a resounding success with over 300 school children and many others participating and attending the various events. Increased awareness and an increasing acceptance of CERG… and of our objective to build Geoscience awareness…and importance of Geosciences in every man’s life.
The theme for the event ‘Earth Science Matters’ emphasized on the importance of geoscience in various aspects of our day to day life. Held from 18th to 23rd November, the Geoweek hosted a number of events – the exhibition, an international Earth Science based Photo contest, illuminating talks and off course the field trip to geologically interesting locations near Pune.
The Geoweek celebrations and the exhibition were inaugurated by of Prof. Jere.H.Lipps, Professor Graduate School of the University of California, Berkeley. Prof. Lipps is also the curator of paleontology at the University of California’s museum of paleontology on Monday, 18th November 2019 at the Raja Ravi Varma Art Gallery This was followed by a highly educative and thought-provoking talk by him, titled “History Matters”. He mentioned that Darwin was one of the first persons who observed that Present is the key to the Past. He felt that a good way to look at it is that Present is the key to Past and Future. Why is it important to us today? Because History matters in Geosciences.
The Exhibition was open to all from 18th till the 21st and had many educative posters focusing on the application of geoscience in our daily life. There were also many installations, where rocks, minerals and byproducts of oil were displayed. The exhibit on Rock cycle, besides explaining the cycle, also illustrated the use of various rock types in construction; especially in Ancient India, where different rock types were used in construction of architectural marvels. The various minerals used in the house were displayed. This was a eye-opener to many school children and common man. This also included the vast variety of minerals that go into the manufacture of a mobile phone.
The complete story of oil was illustrated with the help of a poster, that was attractively designed and up to date with information. The various byproducts of oil were displayed so that visitors could relate with the daily used objects like toothbrush, hair gel, Vaseline gel, body spray, comb, plastic containers, football, nail paint….etc.
A major attraction was the installation – ‘Bioscope’. School children and other visitors were taken back in time and shown the colorful world of rocks under microscope.
The major focus of this year’s exhibition was the Geoheritage Sites of India. A huge map of India, showing the locations of the Geoheritage sites was displayed, with a brief description, GPS coordinates and links to the source. A small quiz based on the Geoheritage sites was also designed for all the visitors. A unique feature was the display of the collection of Earth Science related newspaper cuttings.
The International Instagram photo contest like in the previous year had an overwhelming response. Out of the 270 entries received, 35 were shortlisted and displayed for the benefit of the visitors. Neelima Azad won the first place for her image Nature has become an Ashtray. The second and third positions were bagged by Sherwin O. Flores and Mahesh Talekar for their images Colourful Corals & Thirsty Land respectively
In keeping with our objective of Demystifying Earth Science, an Activity book titled –‘Fun with Earth Science ‘ and set of three playing cards (dinosaurs, minerals, geological monuments), meticulously designed and crafted by the young geoscientists – Dipal Jain, Aishwarya Ghole and Shamim Sait were also on display at the exhibition.
The penultimate day also saw Mr. Ravi Kumar, former Director of Geological Survey of India present us with a very illustrative and informed talk on the Geo-heritage sites of India. Besides the information on the sites, he also urged the audience consisting of many budding geologists to join the movement to preserve such sites and establish Geoparks across the country.
The ‘ piece de resistance’ was the Geotrail – a day long field traverse to geologically interesting sites in Pune and Ahmednagar districts of Maharashtra, India. In all 28 people took part in Geotrail. It was a mixed group, with 10-year-old kids and 70+ year old citizens. It included 6 children below the age of 14, technocrats, college students and senior citizens.
It was a fitting end to a hectic and a very successful Geoweek 2019. We are looking forward to next year’s edition of the Geoweek eagerly.