Ramakrishna Mission Science Centre
ANNUAL REPORT 2019 – 6th ANNIVERSARY OF THE CENTRE
Hon. Chief Guest Dr. TGK Murty, Revered Swami Padmasthanandaji, Vice President of the Managing Committee of the Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama – Sri. D. Chandrasekar, Administrative Officer of RKM Schools – Sri Subbian, Principals of RKM Schools, Mentors of Science Centre, Invitees, Friends, Parents, Respected Teachers, and my dear Students –
In the last few years, our country has been taking giant strides in Space research and has already become one of the top 4 space powers in the world.
Recently, as we are all aware, on 22nd July 2019, we launched Chandrayaan-2 with a lunar orbiter, a Lander & a lunar rover. It would be completing its mission on the moon in the next few weeks.
The agency responsible for such great achievements is Indian Space Research Organisation. It is the space agency of the Government of India headquartered in the city of Bengaluru. Its vision is to “harness space technology for national development while pursuing space science research and planetary exploration.
ISRO built India’s first satellite, Aryabhata, which was launched by the Soviet Union on 19 April 1975. In 1980, Rohini became the first satellite to be placed in orbit by an Indian-made launch vehicle, SLV-3. ISRO subsequently developed two other rockets: the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) for launching satellites into polar orbits and the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) for placing satellites into geostationary orbits. These rockets have launched numerous communications satellites and Earth observation satellites. In January 2014, ISRO used an indigenous cryogenic engine in a GSLV-D5 launch of the GSAT-14.
ISRO sent a lunar orbiter, Chandrayaan-1, on 22 October 2008 and a Mars orbiter, Mars Orbiter Mission, on 5 November 2013, which entered Mars orbit on 24 September 2014, making India the first nation to succeed on its maiden attempt to Mars, and ISRO the fourth space agency in the world as well as the first space agency in Asia to reach Mars orbit. On 18 June 2016, ISRO launched twenty satellites in a single vehicle, and on 15 February 2017, ISRO launched one hundred and four satellites in a single rocket (PSLV-C37), a world record. ISRO launched its heaviest rocket, Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III), on 5 June 2017 and placed a communications satellite GSAT-19 in orbit. With this launch, ISRO became capable of launching 4-ton heavy satellites into GTO.
Future plans include development of the Unified Launch Vehicle, Small Satellite Launch Vehicle, development of a reusable launch vehicle, human spaceflight, a space station, controlled soft lunar landing, interplanetary probes, and a solar spacecraft mission.
One of the most distinguished space scientists, who has served a reputed organization like ISRO till recently, is with us today.
It is none other than our chief guest Dr. TGK Murty, who has published more than 100 papers and 10 patents in International Journals and some of his publications were adjudged as the best in the world literature. He developed a number of novel electro-optical systems, having applications in diverse disciplines such as Agriculture, Geology and Defence, and Space Sciences.
He was the architect of space optics and various electro-optical systems for imaging of the earth resources and atmosphere flown on Indian Remote Sensing and Meteorological satellites which stand as the best globally even today.
In this connection, I may mention that he is also the author of two books: “Swami Vivekananda-An intuitive scientist, published by Ramakrishna Math Chennai” and “Swami Vivekananda –holistic scientist”. Last year we had Mr. Gokul, another Scientist from ISRO address our students in this same forum.
It is to create Scientists of the stature of Dr. Murty & Mr. Gokul from our students, who, with true scientific temper, can delve deep into all natural observations they come across without any bias that Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama, T.Nagar chose to establish a science centre that would cater to thousands of students in and around the city of Chennai.
Thanks to the efforts of Shri D. Chandrasekar, Vice President of the Ashrama Managing Committee and donations from several well-wishers, the Science Centre came up in November 2012 in knowledge partnership with Agastya International Foundation. The agency supplied over 200 models encompassing subjects & topics like Astronomy, Optics, Mechanics, Electricity, Magnetism, Human physiology, Botany and Chemistry et al.
Our centre was formally inaugurated on the 9th Feb 2013 by Dr. Mylsamy Annadurai, the reputed ISRO scientist of Chandrayaan-1 fame.
Since then hundreds of city schools have sent over 25000 students in batches to our Centre, who benefited from observing the models, performing activities that demonstrate scientific concepts and watching Videos on science. The Centre is now in its Seventh year of operations.
In the one year since last Annual Day, over 2000 students have visited us. Many of them attended sessions on Curriculum Aligned Learning specifically designed to be in alignment with the Term syllabus. Apart from our own Ramakrishna Mission Schools, students from hostels like Ramakrishna Mission Students’ Home & Schools like Ananya Learning Centre, Nursing Schools, Sarada Vidyalayas, PS Senior Secondary School, MR Matric. School, MKM Matric. & Govt Schools in T.Nagar as well as outlying areas have visited the centre. Organizations like Rotary club and Inner Wheel club have been supporting some of these visits.
Since last 2 years, with the help of TickLinks.com, we have been training our Science Club member students and a few teachers on how to create videos on science activities and to catalogue them for repeated use using Social Media.
We conducted a summer workshop for 18 Science teachers from the 3 RKM schools for 3 days starting 2nd May 2019 on the pedagogical aspects of Science teaching. First day Biology activities were covered and mentored by Ms. Prema Veeraraghavan and Dr. Mangathayaru.
On the forenoon of 3rd May, we had an inspiring session by Sri Arvind Gupta, renowned for his website on Toys from Trash. In the afternoon, Sri Balagurunathan mentored the teachers on Chemistry topics. On the third and final day i.e. 4th May, Ms. Rani Subramanian covered the Physics topics.
Since 2014 we have been celebrating Science Centre anniversary every year in a fitting manner. From 2015, on the occasion of the annual day we have also been conducting a day long exhibition in which several schools participate. The table given below shows how we have celebrated the last four Annual Days at the Science Centre.
On the Annual day celebration this year we have chosen the theme “Reduce, Reuse & Recycle” as we strongly feel the earth is facing acute crisis of resource availability because of unbridled use of scarce resources, pollution and waste generation. Over the last century, many of the scientific inventions & innovations (like for example plastics) have turned into Frankenstein monsters because of greed of vested interests. It is now in the hands of students – our future scientists and technologists – to provide appropriate solution.
As the Administrator, I am proud to be associated with this service organization and grateful for the opportunity to contribute my mite to the cause of Science education. The four teachers associated with the centre viz. Lavanya, Bakthavachalam, Suba & Ambujam, and Lab Assistant Prakash have been doing excellent job in maintaining the Science models & equipment as well as in facilitating students and other special visitors to the Centre. I would like to thank other teachers & non-teaching staff of the RKM Higher Sec School (South) for their dedicated work in support of the Centre.
The principal of this school, as site administrator for the centre, is also administratively responsible for the centre and also for coordination with other schools along with her primary task of maintaining high excellence in performance of her school. She has been admirably managing the dual role and my special thanks are due to her.
But for the support and cooperation from principals, teachers and students of RKM Matric and RKM Main schools, running Science Centre programs including this Exhibition would be unthinkable. We thank all of them.
Coordination between schools is something we take for granted. But for timely advice and guidance to the principals and me personally from our AO, Mr. Subbian smooth functioning of the Centre and effective organization of special events like Science Fest cannot even be imagined.
My special thanks to the mentors – senior teachers and alumni of reputed institutes – who volunteer their time and effort for improving the quality of our services, particularly the Three Musketeers of the Centre – Ms. Prema Vraghavan, Ms. Rani Subramanian & Mr. Ravi Kannan.
I owe a lot to the Ashrama staff members who are quite responsive to the needs of the centre for proper maintenance and for organizing special events. I thank them.
DC, Vice President of the Ashrama Managing Committee, has been playing a pivotal role in the centre right from inception. His regular reviews help us resolve issues as they arise. It has been a great experience working with him and my special thanks to him.
But for the overall guidance and blessings from Swami Padmasthananda, the Centre could not have taken shape, achieved this stature and continually plan for greater activities. I offer my pranams and special thanks to him for resolving all challenges and lifting up our spirit when they are in a low.
I end my speech with my prayers to the Holy Trinity for a glorious future of this organization dedicated in the service of students.
JAI SRI GURUMAHARAJ KI JAI !
JAI SRI MAHA MAYEE KI JAI !!
JAI SRI SWAMIJI MAHARAJ KI JAI !!!
To be Presented by NT Nathan, Administrator