Tuesday, July 24, 2012

AstroFest on ToV2012-Nepal, July 4-6,2012

Nepal Astronomical Society (NASO) in association with Nepal Academy of Science & Technology (NAST), Russian Center of Science & Culture ( RCSC), Astrophysics and Cosmology Research Group Nepal ( ACRG-Nepal) -Tribhuvan University ( TU) and ESPRO Foundation organized three days Astronomy Festival with different programs in Nepal during June 4-6 , 2012 to celebrate the last Transit of Venus of Twenty-first Century. The next Transit of Venus will occur after 105 years in December 2117. To provide more opportunity for Nepalese to witness this rare celestial event in different regions of Nepal, NASO extended its supports to Pokhara Astronomical Society (PAS) in Kaski, Damak Astronomy Club in Jhapa and Nepal Astronomy and Space Science Association (NASSA) in Chitwan.

GTTP Session:
A half day workshop was organized on June 4, 2012 from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm as a special session on Galileo Teacher Training Program (GTTP)-Nepal. This special session of AstroFest on ToV2012-Nepal was organized in order to increase the opportunity to witness ToV2012 in Nepal. During the session, hands-on activities on safe solar viewing techniques were provided to the students from 7 selected schools.

Public Talk Sessions:
On Monday, June 4 and 5, public talks on ToV were organized at Russian Center of Science and Culture, Kamaladi, Kamalpokhari, Kathmandu by Associate Prof. Dr. Binil Aryal, Chair-ACRG-Nepal and by Associate Prof. Dr. Raju Khanal, Central Department of Phycics, Tribhuvan University (TU) at Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), Khumaltar, Lalitpur respectively.

Special Screening of “Acquainted With the Night”:
A special screening of 79 minute long Gemini Award Winning documentary “Acquinted With the Nights” held on June 4 and 5 at RCSC from 4:30 pm for the first time in Nepal with the special permission to NASO from the Michael Macnamara, Director of the documentary. “Acquainted With The Night” is a feature documentary that traces a journey through a night from sunset to sunrise. The clock dictates the stories as they change, hour by hour, from 6pm to 6am. Some stories are joined in progress; others begin in one hour, and resolve in another.

Observation Programs:
An observation program was scheduled and co-ordinated at different places of Kathmandu Valley as well as at Damak, Chitwan and Pokhara to have better opportunities for public and students to observe this rare celestial event from their nearest places.More than 5, 000 people witnessed this unique and rare celestial event in Nepal with NASO.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

B.A.G. Brothers Donates Scientific Instruments to Central H.S. School for The Deaf, Kathmandu!

On Wednesday, July 4, 2012, I had an opportunity to interact with the students of Central Higher Secondary School for The Deaf, Naxal, Kathmandu,Nepal. This opportunity was provided by B.A.G. Brothers Handicraft Center, Kathmandu, Nepal. The Center had planned to donate the scientific equipments it has been producing and marketing in Nepal since 2009. The Center donated scientific equipments of worth ~50,000 NRs to the school during the donation program.

Mr. Bijay Shahi donating the equipment to Mr. Narayan Bhakta Shrestha, Principal of the school.  

Mr. Bijay Shahi, who makes the astronomical modules, demonstrated the instruments to the students. During the program, Mr. Shahi explained that they planned to donate those sets to at least one school per year to motivate students to do science with our own materials. He also expressed that the center will gradually make its product more scientific with its accuracy with the support of Nepal Astronomical Society (NASO) and Nepal Academy of Science and technology (NAST). During the program, Mr. Ravi Raj Shahi, Director of NAMSS, stressed the importance of science education for development in Nepal.

Participants of the program posing for the group photo with donated instruments. 

Mr. Upendra Parajuli, science teacher, converting the speecch of Bijay to sign language to the students.
I was overwhelmed with the enthusiasm of the students towards science and disappointed with the lack of proper facility to them. The program was conducted on Library where I hardy found few hundred books. Mr. Nayaran Bakta Shrestha, Principal of the school highlighted that the school has been providing free education to deaf students since its establishment in Nepal (More information about the school on official site of school: http://centraldeafschool.edu.np/). NASO will soon do some programs on astronomy and space science in this school.

With my observation of the school and the enthusiasm of the students, it would be great if we could start some projects which will help them to get books for their library and well equipped science lab so that you will have equal access to science education in Nepal. The School currently offers 10+2 in management and Humanities and is planning for B.Ed programs from this year as a university program.

Let’s work to support these students with our supportive hands!