Sukanya sees the world as an endless wonder, a world where children are excited and curious about learning science. She was the founder director of Curiouscity Science Education with the mission to enable children to look at science as a special way of viewing the world. Since 2004, she has been a visiting scientist at the Indian Statistical Institute, Bangalore.
Sukanya also writes (in English and Bengali) to share her passion for science with her readers. She was awarded the prestigious Rabindra Smriti Puraskar in 2010 for science writing in Bengali.
She has M.Sc., M.Phil. degrees from the University of Delhi and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland College Park.
Science: The Pleasure of Finding Things Out
“I think we should teach them [students] wonders and that the purpose of knowledge is to appreciate wonders even more.”
Richard P Feynman, Nobel Laureate, from his book "The Pleasure of Finding Things Out"
Open to All Students entering Grades 8,9,10 in 2022-23
Science begins with questions, and then tries to answer these questions through developing hypotheses and conducting experiments. In this course, students will explore the world around us through science and hopefully experience the “pleasure of finding things out “, as Richard Feynman puts it. While students will learn specific science concepts, the larger goal is to experience science as a special way of viewing the world. Through various hands-on activities, students will get a feel for how real scientists work and realize that science is not confined to hi -tech laboratories but is all around us.
Take water, for example, a liquid which is most familiar to us from everyday life. We might think we ‘know water’… what more is there to know about it? But consider the questions below-
How do astronauts wash their hands on a spacecraft?
Why don’t we find water in liquid form on Mars?
Is it possible to boil water without a stove?
Will melting icebergs raise the sea level?
How do aquatic creatures survive in frozen lakes?
A scientist must have the curiosity that leads to such questions (even about things that appear familiar). This curiosity must be backed by the knowledge and skills needed to go about answering them.
In this course, we will work on a variety of experiments to discover extraordinary properties hidden behind this “ordinary” and familiar substance called water. Along the way students will learn various scientific thinking skills such as how to:
Sharpen skills of observation, the need to record observations honestly without bias of prior knowledge and develop confidence about one’s own experimental observations even when they appear counterintuitive.
Interpret observations to draw conclusions about observed patterns to “discover” an underlying property or principle
Uncover multiple ways of looking at the same problem
Work cooperatively in groups, compare observations across groups and discuss and constructively criticize agreements and anomalies.
The simple experiments in this course will equip us to find clues to the more complex questions posed above.