Science Tour to the Planetarium and Science Museum

In our commitment to learning beyond the physical walls of the Museum, our Study Circle (Marie Curie Science and Technology Study Circle )team has developed this blog as a resource for learners to promote a deeper level of engagement with the collections and to showcase how Study Circle learning can supplement and enrich individuals learning.

The Marie Curie Science and Technology Study Circle of Swecha has planned to take us to a Science Tour as part of their second study circle on March 1st 2020, Sunday. Science tours are rare and almost unheard of these days. So the announcement of this study circle sparked my interest as I’ve never been to the Planetarium and Science Museum before.

Science and Technology Tours are open to all participants who simply wish to explore an interest in the field and these tours do not require participants to prior knowledge, qualifications or experience, as all tours can be tailored to suit any skill level. The purpose of the tours is to contribute to scientific development on a global level and to acquire scientific temper.

On the day of the event, we left our houses very early, to be at the destination on time. – it turned out that the early start was well worth it! A number of 35 people has assembled at the destination on time. Our destination, B. M. Birla Science Museum comprises of a Planetarium, Museum, Science center, Art gallery and a Dinosaurium. Birla Planetarium, located at Naubat Pahad in the heart of Hyderabad city, is one of the most modern planetariums of the country. The planetarium is the first phase of the Birla Science center in Hyderabad, which was nothing less than a landmark in bridging the gap between science and the common masses.

A Visit to the Solar System:

The Sky show is the most attractive feature of the Planetarium. It unfolds the mystery of the Cosmos like the Comets, the beautiful mysteries of the Universe, the Hubble Space Telescope, Eclipses, black holes, etc. The sound effects give the feel of being in an outer space, which added up to the thrill and excitement.

After sitting and leaning back, I could see a number of stars and objects in the ceiling of the doom shaped theater. Starting from Mercury till Neptune, each and every planet were described in detail along with some videos and an illusion of what one would see, if he/she is landing in that particular planet. Being a lover of Space Science since my childhood, I enjoyed the journey to the Solar System. I learned that the dome shaped structure was developed with the technological help from Japan. This place presented us with the latest information about Universe and about various invention and related theories. It is a good experience to sit back on recliners and look at the simulated sky and take a walk through the solar system, milky way and draw the constellations. After a 45 minute travel in the solar system we had a screening of the 3-D marine life documentary, ‘Secrets of the Universe’. I sat on the first seat, with my eyes glued to the tape showing underwater reefs, corals and other marine life.

Science Museum :

Science Museum shows the highlights in Science, Technology and Industry. There are educational exhibits at Science Museum that take visitors through important and proud discoveries in the various fields of Science like Mechanics, Optics, Acoustics, Computer Science, etc.

Interactive Science Centre :

As the name suggests, it is an interactive arena where visitors based on various Physics laws, Mechanics, Perception, Vibration and Sounds, Energy and Motors, Electricity and Magnetism and intriguing concepts of Optical Illusions and many other concepts.

Principles of Science are demonstrated through simple working models. Every one of us interacted with all the experiments which made us understand basic concepts like gravity, pendulum, optical illusion, circular motion and many other scientific principles which were only taught as theory in our schooling. Understanding theory is one thing but to see and experience those scientific principles being implemented in life size models is a whole new experience to me.

Some of the experiments which I liked were, the depiction of Pythagoras theorem, optical illusion experiments, density and refractive index variation of water with change in temperature, periscope which shows the activity on the first floor from the ground floor.

Space Museum :

Then we went to Space museum, which has around 65 models of various spacecrafts, satellites and rockets of varying sizes. This museum exhibited scale models of Indian Launch vehicles GSLV Mark III, GSLV Mark II and PSLV, Chandrayaan-1, Mars Orbiter spacecraft, APPLE, Aryabhata, Bhaskara, Rohini RS-1 and a model of the International Space Station (ISS).

There are 24 exhibits on display to encourage young minds to explore Space Science and Technology. There is also a section on the diverse range of images sent back by the Indian Remote Sensing satellites on the countries natural resources and utilization of that imagery for development purposes.

Among the models on display, I liked the giant GSLV Rocket most, which would be approximately 60 feet tall. The GSLV (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle), Mark 3 version has powered the launch of the Chandrayaan Mission of the ISRO on July 22 to land on the lunar surface on September 7.

There are also a models of other rockets like the PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle), which is the most successful launcher of smaller payloads into the near earth orbits with nearly 40 straight successes in a row.

Dinosaurium

Later, all of us went to see the Dinosaurium where a huge skeleton of a Dinosaur is put for display. It is a truly breathtaking facility which displays a rare and magnificent fossils of the Dinosaur, Kotasaurus Yamanpalliensis, belonging to the Lower Jurassic age, going back to about 160 million years. It has been put up in a natural and dynamic posture and measures about 14 meters in length and over 5 meters in height. The fossils were collected from Yamanpalli in the Adilabad district of Telangana. There are also a few fossils of tree trunks, marine shells, dinosaurs parts, eggs that are on display.

Another impressive section is the Archaeology and Dolls Museum, which displayed a wide range of excavated materials from pre, early historic and Megalithic Periods along with various manuscripts including palm leaf manuscripts, carvings, paintings, temple wares, etc.

Birla Museum is on top of a hill the birds eye view of the surrounding city is absolutely beautiful even before we entered the museum. After the visit of Science Museum & Planetarium, we had a discussion among us to share our experiences for Science Museum & Planetarium and doubts session over there with some Professionals and then we all together moved to have a wonderful lunch and dispersed with taking a group Photo.

All-in-all, it was an amazing day and a great tour and made me look at understanding of Science in a different light, and has definitely made me think about Science & Technology. It was great to have it in this Study Circle and I am glad that I took part in it.