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Thursday, September 24, 2020

CoEP virtual tech fest: ‘Work to improve science learning among young students’

Dr Soumya Swaminathan said science academies in India had not done enough in science outreach. “Tech may not solve all problems, but it can contribute to the solution. It must be used to reach out to the larger public,” she said.

By: Express News Service | Pune | Updated: September 5, 2020 9:48:20 am
World Health Organisation, World Health Organisation chief scientist, Soumya Swaminathan, CoEP virtual tech fest, science science study, indian express newsDr Soumya Swaminathan. (File)

Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist at the World Health Organisation (WHO), urged the country’s budding engineers to work towards improving science learning among young students, especially those belonging to underprivileged sections.

She was addressing the virtual inaugural session of the 14th edition of MindSpark-20, a student tech fest organised by the College of Engineering, Pune (CoEP) Friday.

Talking about her student days and the influence of early exposure to science and labs, Swaminathan said, “…in India, young students lack enough opportunities and exposure in the world of science, and know little of its benefits. There are fewer spaces for open learning outside schools.” She said engineers are able to address societal problems and there was a need for better upkeep of science museums and parks. “Science museums are…poorly maintained, with many hands-on-tools being barely operational,” she said “Engineers must…make use of virtual platforms and think of innovative ways to improve and set up more museums in the country.”

She said science academies in India had not done enough in science outreach. “Tech may not solve all problems, but it can contribute to the solution. It must be used to reach out to the larger public,” she said. The fest covers a range of events, including hackathon and coding, among others.

Tessy Thomas, director general, Aeronautical Systems of the Defence and Development Research Organisation (DRDO), who also attended the session, spoke about programmes that were using next-generation computing technologies at the DRDO.

“Due to advancement in technology, manufacturing is now completed within a few months. DRDO is working in AI, Machine Learning, Deep Learning and other areas…” Thomas said 15.

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