National Science Day Celebrations - 2020

National Science Day is celebrated all over the country to commemorate thediscovery of the Raman Effect by Dr.C.V.Raman on  28th of February in the year 1928. Welham Boys’ School celebratedthis great man and his discovery with great enthusiasm on the 28th of February 2020.

Special invitee, Mr.Rajan K. Pillai, ex CEOand MD – Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Limited (ISPRL) also known as the “Cavern Man of India” was present to grace the occasion. A pioneer in the field of underground rockcavern storages in India, Mr Pillai is currently working as a Technical Advisorto HPCL for its underground LPG storage project at Mangalore. He holds aBachelor of Technology degree in Mechanical Engineering from IIT BHU and adegree in Master of Engineering, in Energy Planning and Policy from the AsianInstitute of Technology, Bangkok.

The learned personality gave a riveting talkto the entire school on ‘EXPLORINGUNDERGROUND SPACE FOR HUMAN ACTIVITIES’.The audience understood the concept of cavernswith so much ease as Mr.Pillai made the presentation extremely interestingalong with a slide-show of the process of making caverns. It helped to transmita complicated concept to students in a simple form. The exploration ofunderground spaces for human activities is the need of the hour as today Indiais grappling with overcrowded cities, traffic chaos and urban congestions.Besides, in the time of war, fuel and necessary goods could be stored in thesecaverns to help the country tide over the unfavourable time.

The series of events for the day includedputting up handmade posters in the school campus on related concepts by theMiddle and Junior School students. After the completion of the interactive session with Mr.Pillai,students of Grades-IX and XI headed for field trips.

Students of Grade XI visited the IndianInstitute of Petroleum and The Geological Survey of India. At the IndianInstitute of Petroleum, they were able to see the making of biodiesel fromjatropha trees, the process of making fuel from edible oil, the fractionaldistillation unit and the research work carried out by scholars to convert cellwalls of microorganisms into fuel. At the Geological survey of India, thestudents were able to see theodolite, an instrument which is used for measuringangles in the horizontal and vertical planes. They also explained thecalculation of the timings of high tides and low tides using data collectedfrom water currents and various positions of the moon.

Students of Grade IX visited The Wadia Instituteof Himalayan Geology and the Subir Raha Oil Museum at the  Oil and Natural Gas Commission. The museum at Wadia Institute offered a glimpse ofthe mighty Himalayas, their origin, evolution in time and space, naturalresources, life in the geological past, earthquakes and environmental aspects.In addition,the students also visited the Seismograph Section where they weremade to understand the working of the various sensors and how the recording ofearthquakes is done. Last, but not the least, the students’ visited theElectron Microscope Section where they were able to understand the technique used for obtaininghigh resolution images of biological and non-biological specimens. At the SubirRaha Museum the students were able to understand various processes of oil production, explorationand its allied activities.The highlight of the visit to this museum wasundoubtedly  seeing the huge Foucault pendulum which exhibits the earth’srotation.

Overall,it was a day well spent with the students having a lot of fun and seeing things that they mighthave never noticed before. They were not only exposed to the infinitepossibilities of space below earth, but also could see various instruments likea seismograph, Foucault’s pendulum and fractional distillation methods used indaily lives.