Science exhibition on wheels educates millions across 57 cities

June 4th, 2008 - 12:28 am ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, June 3 (IANS) The Indo-German Science Express, a science exhibition on a train that was flagged off by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in October 2007, returned to the capital Tuesday after traversing 57 cities and educating over two million visitors. From Aryabhatta’s mathematical landmark of working out the value of the Pi nearly 1,500 years ago to India’s upcoming moon mission - India’s major scientific developments and some major innovations from Germany were proudly displayed aboard the train.

The Science Express was a cooperative venture between the German Max Planck Society (MPG) and India’s Department of Science and Technology (DST).

Authentic photographs and films from the Max Planck and Fraunhofer Societies and the European Space Agency (ESA) were also on display. India’s Vikram Sarabhai Community Science Centre, Ahmedabad displayed its latest research.

The 13-coach train in pristine white had as its mission the kindling of scientific curiosity among the Indian youth.

The train travelled more than 15,000 km in 217 days and played host to a wide range of science enthusiasts from all age groups across India.

It’s journey will culminate Wednesday at the Safdarjung Railway station, from where it had embarked on its journey.

“The Science Express is a massive success which has surpassed our expectations,” said Peter Gruss, president of Max Planck Society. “With the help of Science Express we have managed to prepare a worldwide communication platform for education and research in Germany,” he added.

With its special interiors, the train resembled a science laboratory. It was fitted with flat screens to display various scientific developments, prototypes of space missions of India and Germany, mathematical inventions, pictures and explanatory write-ups about outer space, the sun, black holes and many such matters.

“Aryabhatta worked out the value of Pi 1,500 years back as 3.141 and India invented zero - the foundation of mathematics and computer language,” said an electronic plaque on one of the coaches.

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