A 25 feet by 25 feet space on the campus that transforms into a galaxy, transporting students into the world of stars and planets — welcome to the city’s first moving planetarium at Lakshmipat Singhania Academy.
When folded, the Rs 40-lakh mobile planetarium set up by Orange Education is no larger than a CPU can be fitted into a suitcase to be carried around.
“We are the first to come up with a moving planetarium in India to get students interested in astronomy. We take the planetarium to schools instead of taking children to the planetarium. It is cost-effective for both the school and us,” said Akshay Jain, senior marketing executive, Orange Education, which has presented 15 different types of shows in schools across the country.
There are shows for all age groups starting from kindergarten to Class XII. Puppy on the Moon and Story in the Sky were two animated shows that had the little ones at Lakshmipat enthralled, while Journey to Wonderland took students of classes V-VII on a trip across the solar system. For students of classes X-XII, there was the information-packed We are but Stardust.
“I have gone to many planetariums but this one is different since the shows have been made keeping us in mind. It even covered a part of our geography syllabus. This is a fun way of learning,” said Rahul Agarwal, a Class VIII student.
Debiprosad Duari, director (research and academics), at MP Birla Planetarium, welcomed the initiative. “The endeavour was much-needed. Astronomy is both an important and interesting subject and is gaining importance across the world. Scientists have realised that astronomy is a subject that will become more and more prominent in the near future. The moving planetarium will help children learn the current perspective on astronomy and generate interest in the sky.”
“Kids these days learn faster with friends around them. So when they watch the visuals along with their friends, it’s a faster learning experience. Moreover, what you see, you remember longer than what you read. Astronomy as a subject is spreading its wings,” said Meena Kak, the principal of the school.