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Junk park bags award
- Design for Change honour for Jusco school innovation in teaching

It was an idea that children came up with to make science easier for themselves, and now that simple solution has gathered recognition at a national contest.

Jusco School South Park’s recently inaugurated Science Park, which is entirely made out of waste material, has been judged among the top 20 ideas at the Design for Change contest, a global programme involving school students, founded by Ahmedabad-based educationist Kiran Bir Sethi.

The contest that began in August and ended in October, received 55,000 entries from around the country.

Students were asked to identify a problem, chalk out a plan to solve it and then implement the plan. Based on a simplified design thinking process, the contest asked students to feel the problem bothering them, imagine a way to solve it, do an act of change and share their story of change with the world.

“Students had a tough time understanding the various concepts of basic science, and the teachers realised the problem too. They, too, were finding it difficult in making concepts clear. So, we thought about a Science Park where the theories could be explained practically. That was the project that we submitted for Design for Change because the contest required identifying a problem and then solving it. We are happy to win the ninth position,” said Shovana De, principal of Jusco School South Park.

The Science Park uses models made from junk materials like iron pipes, chains, door frames, asbestos sheets and old grills to explain concepts like direct proportionality between time period and length of pendulum, structure of DNA, illusion disc, persistence of vision and the like.

“First we thought of procuring materials from an agency, but it was too costly. Then we thought of using waste material from the nearby Jusco junkyard. The students and teachers went there, sorted out materials, spoke to a local blacksmith and came up with innovations. Now the students are taken to the park whenever required to make them understand the concept of basic science,” said De.

Among the other city schools who participated, Little Flower School and Kerala Public School won the 20th and 21st positions respectively. While Little Flower School worked on saving electricity, KPS-Kadma worked on the concept of equality.

Design for Change seeks to empower children to be the change they wish to see in this world.