Science Fun Day on Thursday 31 July 2014 at 10.15 hrs
Venue : Camp Caval Community Centre, Curepipe
· Hon. Yeung Sik Yuen John Michael, Minister of Tourism and Leisure
· Hon. Mrs M. F. Mireille Martin, Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare
· Mr Mario Désiré Bienvenu, Mayor, Municipal Council of Curepipe
· Dr. A. K. Maulloo, Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre,
· Officers of the Camp Caval Community Centre,
· DEAR PARENTS and STUDENTS
Good morning, it is indeed a great pleasure for me to address you today, in the context of this Science Fun Day at Camp Caval.
As you may all know, as Minister of Tertiary Education, Science, Research and Technology, I am often called upon to give my views on the importance of Science and Technology for our young and upcoming generations. And on various occasions, I have had the opportunity to interact with youngsters and getting to know their views and to understand their difficulties with regards to the learning of Science subjects.
I am also aware, that the Ministry of Education and Human Resources has taken several initiatives to facilitate the teaching and learning of Science at school. Additionally I am very happy to see the various initiatives undertaken by the Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre in the popularisation of Science and Technology in Mauritius.
I am sure many of you here must be of the opinion that science subjects are boring and difficult to learn. Many people also feed that there are few jobs available in the field of Science, but believe me; thanks to this new initiative of the Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre, by the end of this programme today, many of you here will leave this place with a completely new and positive opinion about science.
Well let us all have a look at what makes subjects such as science, seem so difficult to learn?
No doubt many of the concepts in science are not quite as easy to learn via rote learning or by simply reading about them in books. Moreover, the teaching of science has since long remained within the four walls of the classroom and incidentally, many have identified this to be among one of the main barriers to the learning science. The number of scientific concepts to learn about in this manner put off many learners.
One of the main roles of a science centre is to devise new strategies in the popularization of Science and Technology. Furthermore, research in relation to learning processes has shown that science is a subject that is best taught by using hands-on experimentation and relating it to the physical world around us.
Science Fun Day
The aim of the Science Fun Day therefore is to show the fun side of science. With activities designed to surprise, students and the public in general will not fail to be impressed.
The whole idea is to ignite a series of questions in our minds.
· Why did this happen?
· Why is the sky blue?
· Why are the clouds white?
· Why are the plants green?
Well there are so many things around us that involve science, and the best way to understand and know about them is ask questions? It is indeed crucial that as a child you start asking questions about your environment
The concept of limiting the teaching or learning of science within the closed walls of a classroom is something of the past. There is a lot of science around us. No doubt irrespective of age, the knowledge of a little bit of science can change our perspective about life and our whole existence in general. I am here addressing parents and the public.
The Science Fun Day therefore, is yet another attempt of the Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre to remove the fears and barriers in the learning of Science related subjects. Once the child finds himself at ease in a more conducive environment, the teaching and the learning of science becomes easier. I have been told that many of you here today have had the opportunity to see and participate in some simple science experiments, which you can later try at home. Many of you will also engage in some fun activities like quiz and treasure hunt, which I am sure, will refresh your basic knowledge of science.
The Importance of Science and Technology
I am sure many of you would agree with me, that it is extremely difficult to imagine a world without Science and Technology. There are countless inventions and discoveries that have made human life comfortable. No doubt science has done wonders for us. There is no sphere of life which has not been affected by Science.
The wide range of scientific inventions brought us to the era of the Industrial revolution. Which in turn resulted in the fabrication of good cloth, matches, fountain pens and other necessary goods in huge quantities. Science has shortened distances. Sea transport became safe, quick and affordable, so new continents and people were discovered. Now bullock carts and horse driven chariots have been replaced by modern transportation. Cars, buses and scooters, steam ships and railways have made travelling safe, short and comfortable.
The clothes we wear, the brush and toothpaste we use, the soap in our bathroom and all the appliances in our houses are products of science. There is a lot of science all around us and just imagine what our life would have been like without science.
Scientists of the month
Rosalind Elsie Franklin
Born on 25 July 1920, Rosalind Elsie Franklin was an English physical chemist and X-ray crystallographer who contributed to the discovery of the molecular structure of DNA.
Born 30 July 1863, Henry Ford was an American inventor and automobile manufacturer who first experimented with internal combustion engines while he was an engineer with the Edison Illuminating Company.
Baron Marcel Bich
Born 29 July 1914 , French inventor who built his business empire by creating throwaway Bic pens, razors and lighters. In 1945, Marcel Bich and his friend, Edouard Buffard, acquired an empty factory shell near Paris, France, and soon developed a thriving business, producing parts for fountain pens and mechanical lead pencils. Later, Bich spent two years developing his ballpoint pen design, and in 1949, he was able to produce a reliable, low cost ballpoint pen.
I therefore, seize this opportunity to invite you all to get inspired by the lives and achievements of these great personalities.
I thank the Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre for organizing this Science Fun Day and I hope you would all participate, play, listen, observe, reflect and have lots of fun as you discover the wonders of science.
And before ending, I would like to thank all the staff and members of the Camp Caval Social Welfare Centre for providing all their support and facilities for holding this event.