Giving malls and movies a skip, hundreds of students, parents, and children spent their day at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) to take part in the annual Open Day. Visitors saw fire, chemicals, electricity, drones, and more in action in the many departments of the prestigious institute.
At the airfield of the aerospace department, there was a buzz in the air. Not just of the excited crowd but of the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones being displayed. Children watched with excitement as the drones zoomed back and forth in the air. The capabilities of the drones, developed in the UAV Lab, were shown through tasks such as rescuing victims from an obstacle-rich environment and even completing lemon-and-spoon races. Mr Krish Manoj, a Class 5 student, and Mr Samruddhi Pal, a Class 7 student, from Gurukul High, Attibele, were at the institute with their teachers. “We were very excited to see experiments. We loved the helium balloon which can go very high up into the sky. We also saw the drones at the aerospace department,” they said. The Centre for Product Design and Manufacturing (CPDM) had long queues for viewing the projects of students there. People watched with fascination as a student demonstrated a device he developed which could operate a computer by tracking eye movements and hand gestures.
Posters and kids zone
Myths about snake bites were being dispelled at the Centre for Ecological Sciences. “Relatives of killed snakes don’t come seeking vengeance, snakes can’t listen to the charmer’s tune and they don’t have gems in their hoods,” posters declared. For children, there was a special kids zone where they could watch live experiments on basic concepts in science. Lovekush, a first PU student, decided to skip classes for the day and spend time at the institute. “One of my teachers is from the IISc and he always talked about it. So I wanted to check it out. I attended a talk on optic fibres and it was good,” he said. He is interested in studying DNA and would consider joining the institute after Class 12.