Sunday, February 15th 2009, Times of India, Pune Mirror
IIT-ian Arvind Gupta gave up his MNC job to make toys out of scrap and help students understand the concepts of science better. Arushi Chaudhary learns some tricks of the trade from him
Has science given you nightmares? Have never understood what Newton’s laws mean or what centrifugal force is all about? We can only wish this scientific magician was around to help you out of your Waterloo with science! But some are born luckier! Arvind Gupta, an IIT graduate, gave up a lucrative career to help students understand the concepts of science better. “Using things available offhand to make exciting and innovative things was the idea behind coming up with these toys. Science is not hardware, it is a viewpoint. It’s about having a critical angle to look at things. Having great labs and wearing white coats doesn’t mean one is a great scientist,” says Gupta. “There is an insane notion in the society that the more expensive the education, the better it is. But people don’t realise there is nothing more effective than using humble material for explaining scientific concepts to kids because they can relate to it immediately,” he adds. Gupta, whose current workstation is at Children’s Science Centre, IUCCA, University of Pune, has dedicated almost 30 years to come up with these innovative toys made out of waste material. It all started in 1979, when he went for the Hoshangabad Science Teaching Programme (HSTP). “After graduating from IIT, Kanpur, I got employed with TELCO. It was a well paying job and would have brought me materialistic success and acclaim but I wasn’t happy. I was looking for something that required more involvement, something that gave me an opportunity to grow. I took one year’s study leave from TELCO and worked with an NGO - Kishore Bharati. It was while working there that I went for the Hoshangabad Science Teaching Programme. It was a small town in MP and there I realised it was very... [continues]
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