Taramandal is MIEF’s own galaxy of stars!
With the support of Rashtriya Vigyan Evam Prodyogiki Sanchar Parishad, Dept.of Science & Technology, Government of India, MIEF as a part of their aim to increase scientific curiosity and awareness amongst children, launched the mobile planetarium – or Taramandal project in 2011. Star gazing in the mobile set up was conducted in the National Science Centre, Pragati Maidan, and it has also been possible for schools to conduct these shows in the school premises for the students. During school examinations and vacation time these star shows were also extended for viewing by other audiences.
In an attempt to build audience engagement, on the spot quiz competitions have often been conducted for the students. Over 5000 students have participated in these events. Participation has been from both government and private school students.
Some of our statistics that we are happy to present:
- 2193 star/ astronomy shows were conducted during the first year project implementation period from April 2011 to November 2012. Of these, 1113 shows were exclusively for school children
- 49672 people and school children from Delhi NCR participated in this project
- 29631 students saw the astronomy shows during the period April 2011 to November 2012
- 287 schools including 2 overseas schools from Muscat,were covered under this program. It included 44 schools from other states and 61 Government schools of Delhi NCR
- 8 professional institutions (colleges, academies, engineering colleges etc.) were also covered under this program
- Shows were also conducted in rural areas, which included Hissar, Aligarh, Faridabad, Agra, Gurgaon etc.
- More recently, 517 shows have been held for 36 schools and general audiences from November 2012 till March 2013
But the things we are most thrilled with is the feedback we have been receiving from our main audience, i.e. the school children. We also received few wonderful feedback notes from the teachers.
While the project has seen strong success, we have also had a few implementation hurdles. This has mainly involved government schools in Delhi, where schools do not undertake such activities unless directed by the Director of Education. While MIEF did met with the Director and the officials on several occasions, we were unable to get the ‘circular’ issued to these government schools due to which they could not hold star shows in their school premises. We did however invite many of these students to the National Science centre where they were able to see the shows. Private schools in and around Delhi make this decision themselves and have are welcome to hold any of these shows in their premises.
Currently with the help of our trainers, we are running the Taramandal shows on demand for various schools in their premises or at Pragati Maidan. If you want to see one of the shows, don’t hesitate to drop us a line 🙂 !