VIKRAM SARABHAI COMMUNITY SCIENCE CENTRE
FOR MORE DETAILS : www.vascsc.org
Vikram A. Sarabhai Community Science Centre (VASCSC) established in the 1960s by the eminent space scientist, Dr. Vikram A. Sarabhai is working towards popularizing science and mathematics education among students, teachers and the laypublic. Its mandate is to stimulate interest, encourage and expose the principles of science and scientific method and also to improve and find innovative methods of science education.
The very core of the Centre's philosophy is to take students, from both school and College, out of the rigid framework of textbooks and encourage them to think, explore and create.
Over the years, the Centre has combined formal and non-formal techniques to formulate many innovative methods to give students a better understanding of Science and Mathematics which not only make the process of learning enjoyable but also sustained and long lasting.
The Centre is dedicated to promote among students, teachers and lay public:
An understanding of the fundamental concepts involved in the Physical and Biological Sciences and Mathematics.
The acquisition of scientific knowledge and insights as far as possible by the process of inquiry through experiment, audio-visual media and other means.
To stimulate interest, encourage and expose the principles of science and the scientific method to elementary, secondary and college students, teachers and the general lay public.
To be concerned with the role of education and ways of improving education in relation to the individual and the community as a whole.
To make clear the social implication of science and technology.
Eminent Scientists :
The Centre has had the privilege of the association of several eminent scientists like
Sir C.V. Raman
Prof. K.R. Ramanathan
Prof. M.S. Swaminathan
Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Prof. M.G.K. Menon
Prof. P.C. Vaidya
Prof A. R. Rao
Board of Governors
Board of Governors of the Vikram A. Sarabhai Community Science Centre (Society) Ahmedabad:
Shri Sam Pitroda, Chairman, National Innovation Council, Planning Commission, Govt. of India
Shri Mohal Sarabhai, Trustee, Nehru Foundation for Development, Ahmedabad.
Shri Pradyumnya Vyas, Director, National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.
Shri Bimal Patel, President, CEPT University, Ahmedabad.
Dr. Abhijit Sen, Institute of Plasma Research, Gandhinagar.
Ms. Meena Raghunathan, Director - CSW, GMR Varalakshmi Foundation, Bangalore.
Shri B.S. Bhatia, Ahmedabad.
Shri Chander Mohan, Division Head, Dept of Science & Technology, GOI, New Delhi.
Ms. Pallavi Patel, Director, CHETNA, Ahmedabad.
Shri Kartikeya V. Sarabhai, Director, Centre for Environment Education, Nehru Foundation for Development, Ahmedabad.
Shri T.K. Balappan, Secretary, Nehru Foundation for Development, Ahmedabad.
Shri Dilip Surkar, Executive Director, VASCSC, Ahmedabad
The Centre is governed by a Board of Governors, a Standing Committee and the Executive Director is the executive head of the organization. The Centre has 36 full time staff members comprising scientific, technical, administrative and support staff, who manage the projects and programmes of the Centre. In addition there are part time staff, visiting faculty membersand volunteers who help with programmes and events of the Centre.
The scientific staff members are experts in their respective fields such as Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, Computers, Electronics, etc.
VASCSC has been pioneer in putting forth some hugely successful concepts, which allowed students as well as the community to freely explore on their own and discover for themselves a whole new world of science. A few firsts of the Centre include:
Interactive exhibition space:
VASCSC pioneered interactive exhibits in the country. The Centre has an interactive exhibition space called the ‘Quadrangle' which houses a large collection of science exhibits, puzzles and games.
The Centre has well-equipped laboratories in Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Computers, which are open for all. Every Sunday, under the ‘Open House' programme, students, teachers and even laypeople can perform experiments related either to the school curriculum or even outside of it. Experts from the Centre provide guidance wherever and whenever required.
The Centre was one of the first places to have a full-fledged Mathematics Laboratory, which is still engaged in cultivating an interest in the subject of mathematics through workshops, training programmes for teachers, students as well as parents, etc.
The Centre has been a pioneer in developing a unique concept-Science Playground. It is the first of its kind in the world. This initiative of the Centre is a unique experiment to introduce children to the fascinating world of science through outdoor participatory activities. This facilitates science learning in the process of playing and fun.
VASCSC has been instrumental in setting up six other Science Centres in India
The Centre for Science Education, NEHU, Shillong
The Discovery Science Centre, Kohima
The Baroda Community Science Centre, Vadodara
Science Centre, Dhrol
Badoli Science Centre
The Prayog Community Science Centre, Rajkot (now known as the Shri O.V. Sheth Community Science Centre
Helped develop the programmes for Satellite Institutional TeleVision Experiment (SITE) in 1971.
The Centre has played a pivotal role in the formation of the following sister organizations:
The Centre has been one of the first places to actively use computers in science education, it being the first institution to use BBC computers to develop education programmes. For this, a computer laboratory was set up which imparts training to teachers, students and general community. In fact, VASCSC was a pioneer in developing and using interactive (animated) programs for educational purposes.
At the same time, the Centre has been actively engaged in the following developmental work:
Development of new teaching material and methods
Development and production of “science kits”
Development of interactive exhibits
Development of theme exhibitions
Publication of books, booklets, wall magazines, pamphlets etc.