We are excited to host an astronomy themed evening at Courtyard Koota, with a workshop, a slide presentation and star gazing to wrap up the evening. You can join us for all the sessions or choose any one.
3.30pm to 5pm
Make and play with some interesting toys and models of astronomical instruments, for example a sundial, planisphere, sextant and moon-phase box. These are all very simple, intuitive DIY activities developed by ThinkTac and inspired by pioneers such as Arvind Gupta. This workshop is to stimulate participants for the stargazing event that follows, by getting an introduction to some of the simple-to-make instruments used for millennia, as well as to impress upon some of the challenges and visualisation techniques required to understand astronomy concepts more effectively.Open to all children (8+) and adults. Children in the 6-7 age-group are also welcome to register, but will need an accompanying adult at all times. Children 5 and under may not find the workshop meaningful.
Orientation to the Night Sky
Introduction to an evening of stargazing, with a short presentation and orientation to the night sky.
Stargazing is one of the most ancient and enthralling of human scientific endeavours. From ancient times till now, people have looked up at the dark night sky and been fascinated by what they have seen. Amateurs, artists and scientists alike have made the study of the heavens one of the most compelling of hobbies and inspiring of activities. However, this basic joy is getting harder and harder to experience as our cities and countryside have become brighter and brighter with electric lights. Astronomers consider this light pollution the worst kind of hindrance, made even worse by the air pollution in our big cities. Bangalore still has a couple of oases at night, where some basic stargazing is possible. One such location is Courtyard Koota, at Good Earth Malhar in Kengeri. Set amidst rural farmland in southwest Bangalore, the area is protected from the worst of Bangalores light pollution.
Dr. Procheta Mallik, an astronomer by training and the Principal Scientist at ISPF/ThinkTac, organises stargazing nights for children and adults at locations across Bangalore during the observing season December to March. The nights are best in January and February. June to November are typically complete washouts as both monsoons render Bangalore overcast for half the year.
From the moon, to planets such as Jupiter and Saturn, to star-forming regions such as the Orion Nebula and the Pleiades Cluster, Procheta shows them all through his 10cm Celestron GoTo Telescope.
Procheta is supported by a passionate group of team-mates from ThinkTac and elsewhere. Srinivas V is an amateur astronomer, with a vast knowledge and interest in anything cosmic. Lakshitha Nama Mahesh is a telescope-maker and an M.Sc. from IIT-BHU, after which she has done projects at the Kodaikanal Solar Observatory of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics; she is currently applying to reputed institutes for Ph.D. positions in astronomy. Proteep Mallik is faculty at the School of Liberal Studies, Azim Premji University, a trained Optical Engineer from the Optical Sciences Center, University of Arizona, where he worked in building and testing some of the largest telescopes on Earth; he brings with him bags of technical knowledge, enthusiasm and a couple of wonderful manual telescopes from APU.
ThinkTac (thinktac.com) is a social enterprise committed to hands-on science education. Our mission is to empower every child to engage, enjoy and innovate with science as they learn. All ThinkTac programmes consist of a series of tactile activities termed as TACtivities. The TACtivities are developed after extensive research, with experiential learning pedagogy. The material and processes are carefully designed to encourage making, tinkering and other forms of tactile activities, and consciously create situations that force the learner to problem solve and think critically and creatively. The ThinkTac programme is facilitated by Educators using a scaffold approach. The Educator assesses the current capabilities of the learner and provides just enough support to enable the learner to take the next step, building confidence and capability at each step. More information on our pedagogy and methodology on thinktac.com/about
Procheta Mallik graduated with Physics Honours, B.Sc. (University of New Hampshire, USA, 2005) and completed his Ph.D. in Astronomy (University of Glasgow, UK, 2009), followed by a year of post-doctoral research. Since returning to India in 2010, Procheta has been a freelance sports journalist (Pitch Invasion), a cricket coach (Frontiers Group) and done astronomy popularisation activities for schools such as The Valley School and Mallya Aditi International School as well as for the general public. Also an avid traveller and classical musician, Procheta joined the Innovation and Science Promotion Foundation (ispf.ngo) team in October 2014 to pursue his passion in science education and is responsible for the development and content creation of ISPF and ThinkTac programmes.