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Australia Fest brings together science communicators, educators in exhibition on maths and computational thinking

Australia Fest brings together science communicators, educators in exhibition on maths and computational thinking

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 05 Mar 2019, 09:44 am

Kolkata, Mar 5 (IBNS): Australia Fest has brought together science communicators and educators in a project that brings to life an innovative exhibition on maths and computational thinking.

The project was conceptualised by Dr Stuart Kohlhagen, Senior Fellow of Science and Learning at Questacon (Australia’s National Science and Technology Centre), and presented in India in collaboration with the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM).

It aims to extend the capacity of teachers in India to engage students in mathematics, problem solving and also in the area of computational thinking. 

Australia’s High Commissioner to India, Her Excellency Ms Harinder Sidhu, welcomed the growing science and innovation links between our two countries.

Sidhu said: “India is highly regarded for its contributions to mathematics and science. Australia is proud to partner with India in furthering STEMM associations under initiatives such as the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund, our largest bilateral fund with any country. We hope that such collaborations can inspire the work of the next generation of scientists and thinkers.”

“I am thrilled that visitors to India’s science museums will be able to experience a small part of Questacon through this project,” added Sidhu.

Phase one of the project took off in Oct 2018 when Dr Kohlhagen conducted capacity building workshops with 40 education professionals at Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum, Bangalore. These workshops led to the development of over 20 exhibit prototypes relating to computational thinking and mathematics. 

Dr Kohlhagen is back in India to facilitate the final development of the interactive models through workshops in Kolkata and Guwahati. The final exhibit models will be displayed at the Birla Industrial & Technological Museum in Kolkata on Feb 27 and 28 as part of its National Science Day 2019 celebrations.

"The people of India are passionate about maths and science, and the world owes a great debt to the pioneering work of their citizens in these areas, both historically, as well as in recent years. The upcoming program will extend the great work started in 2018 in Bangalore, and bring these topics into focus for teachers, education officers and exhibit curators at the prestigious NCSM.  I look forward to the enthusiasm of the participants and the outcome of the program that will enrich both of our countries," said Dr Kohlhagen.

“We want to make mathematics less intimidating and more fun by training teachers and museum professionals in computational thinking. Through such programs, we hope to create learning models and mathematics kits that could be circulated to schools across the country,” said Samarendra Kumar, Director, NCSM. 

The National Council of Science Museums is planning to roll out the program by March this year in all its 25 centres across the country, by developing learning kits based on this collaborative project.

Image Credit: Youtube/Wikimedia commons

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