A detailed outreach plan was developed with all the places where the project would target. The outreach map was divided into 2 phases. Phase 1 was focussed on outreach activities in Nandod Taluka and Phase 2 was focussed on outreach activities in Dediapada Taluka. The phase 1 was conducted in February 2015 and phase 2 was conducted in the months September to December. Some of the activities are still ongoing.
All the schools were selected and exact venues were planned with the details of coordination. The schools were informed and cummunity members were invited as per the plan.
Outreach Process and Content:
Manthan designed a Travelling Astronomy Outreach Project targeted to young rural population and through them to their teachers and. Usually, Manthan has always preferred Camel Carts for Astronomy education since Camel Carts seemed more convenient, slow, steady, easy to venture into narrow lanes of Indian villages as they are quite open, flexi-travel having an inviting approach to education as villagers can connect with Camel Cart more than any other mode of transport. It has a significance of vintage travelling making it more appealing and interesting.
But as per the inputs from the IAU this time Manthan experimented with a Mobile Van as it is more convenient in terms of speed and faster, reaching more people in effective and efficient manner, maximising the capacity. Along with the Mobile Van, a camel cart is also travelling currently in the Taluka of Dediapada.
Astronomy Exhibition Mobile Van reached out both the talukas of Narmada District –Nandod and Dediapada. Manthan designed the Astronomy Mobile van Exhibition and a few static exhibitions. The modules were composed of Presentations and Stellarium, Hands on Activities, Astronomical Observations, Class-room discussions and activities. These modules were child friendly educational materials created by expert designers adopting hands on learning approach with indigenous knowledge.
- School students (Approximate 50 Schools) (More than 35,000 School students outreached)
- Parents of the students (20 Community programmes) (More than 20,000 Parents and community members outreached)
- Members who visit the markets (8 Markets outreach programmes) (More than 20,000 members outreached)
Number of Villages: 8 Villages
Taluka/ Block of Outreach: Nandod Taluka
Approx 2 schools per day in each village with approximately 500 students. Total 14 Schools.
Other: Exhibitions were also taken to 2 market areas where the exhibition was open for public between 8 am to 6 pm.
Night time Sessions: There were a total of 4 Night observations sessions conducted with a community gathering of approximate 600 to 800 community members.
September to December, 2015
Number of Villages: 35 Villages
Taluka/ Block: Mainly Tribal area of Dediapada Taluka and few parts of Nandod and Sagbara Taluka in Narmada District
Approx 2 schools per day in each village with approximately 500 students. Total 35 Schools.
Other: Exhibitions were also taken to 6 market areas where the exhibition was open for public between 8 am to 6 pm.
Night time Sessions: There were total of 16 Night observations sessions conducted with a community gathering of approximate 600 to 800 community members.
At Dediapada 6 haats (flea market areas) were selected in Dediapada areas. These haats had approximate 4000 – 5000 people as visitors who visited in each haat. As the exhibition was placed right on the entrance of the Haat, most of the visitors viewed the exhibition.
In the night, the School children, school teachers, and their parents were all gathered at the School Campus to see the sky above them. They saw through the telescope, watched the exhibition and learnt to decipher and identify their constellations in the sky.
Manthan reached out to approximately 50 schools in total, 8 Haats (markets) in Nandod and Dediapada Talukas of Narmada District (Gujarat) in the western region of India. More than 35,000 students, 20,000 parents and community members and more than 20,000 community members were educated on astronomy and its linkage with everyday life under this project.
Currently the project is ongoing and almost 10 more sessions will be conducted.