Now, a planetarium at the doorsteps of Karnataka's rural schools

22nd Aug 2017
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The Government of Karnataka is all set to launch five mobile planetariums to educate school students in rural areas. This is the first project in India where a planetarium will be taken to the doorsteps of schools, said the Minister for Science & Technology, MR Seetharam.

Source: Karnataka.gov

The planetarium, which uses inflatable domes and can accommodate 30–40 students, has been designed and manufactured by Bengaluru-based tech company Varnaaz Technologies, said a report by UNI. It will be used to teach students of government schools between classes eight and 12, although there are plans to extend the programme to private schools once more vans are procured. A pilot project has already been carried out in Chikkaballapur district's Gauribidanur and Bagepalli taluks, where a mobile unit reached out to 10,500 students. Over 33 government high schools in the state were benefited through the project.

Seetharam further added,

Now there is only one planetarium in the state capital and for students, it becomes difficult to visit the city to know about the galaxy. So the government had decided to introduce mobile planetariums and this is happening for the first time in the country.
Source: Karnataka.gov

The first vehicle will be inaugurated on August 23 and will travel in Bengaluru division. The vehicles will recreate the opto-mechanical projection that the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium in the capital uses in its popular sky theatre, where visuals of planets in the solar system are projected on a dome. Each show will last 25–30 minutes accompanied by narration, added a Deccan Herald report.

The idea is to take the planetarium experience to students in rural schools, who can only dream of visiting the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium in Bengaluru. By February 2018, we hope to cover all schools. By March, the units will be made available for public exhibition, Seetharam said.

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