Friday 1 March 2013

A unique centre for science education

It is has been almost 25 years since this institution has been founded.In this period, it has done yeomen service in the field of science education and it has become one of the prime attractions of Bangalore.
Situated near Vidhana Soudha-High Court and Legislators’ Home, it is right in the midst of maddening traffic. But once you enter the campus, you are met with equipments that enrich your knowledge and enhance your mental faculties.
This is the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium, the only one in Bangalore and one of the few in south India. It was started in 1989 by the then Bangalore City Corporation and from 1992 its is being managed by the Bangalore Association for Science Education (BASE).
The Planetarium has several programmes  that help us get to know about the stars and the sun-the solar system and astronomy. It has  a 15 m. diameter dome with a seating capacity of 210 people.
The planetarium is equipped with a German Carl Zeiss Space master Planetarium projector.
What makes this planetarium unique is that it has a Science center and a Science park in the premises.
The projector at this planetarium projects the night sky on the dome as seen by a normal eye. This projector can also project the pictures of constellations. BASE makes use of the projector for showing the sky and also for teaching astronomy. There are slide projectors, video projectors and special effect projectors all of which make the “astronomical” screenings special.
The shows that are held every day are held at the Sky Theater and they attract more than two lakhs visitors every year. The shows are a hit with children and scholars as visuals such as cartoons, paintings, computer animations, video clippings and special effects are used.
The Sky-theater programmes is supported by exhibition of posters at exhibition hall. These posters fill us with those details which are not given in the programmes at the Sky-theater. Believe me, these exhibitions are extremely educative to children and those interested in astronomy.
The exhibition hall of the planetarium features giant color pictures of the Galaxies. There are also a set of paintings and sculptures on the permanent display. The weighing scale here is something unique as it shows our weight on all of the planets and also gives print-outs.
There is a science kiosk donated by IBM in the Exhibition hall. You can also buy books, science kits, models, telescopes, astro-photos from here.
The science park around the planetarium is another big draw. A visitor can learn about elements of science such as DNA, PSLV rocket, kaleidoscope.
The science park also has models of  Resonant Swings, Whispering Dishes, Sun Dial and many other equipments.
By the way, the Association of Bangalore Amateur Astronomers (ABAA) is housed in the planetarium itself. Members meet once a week on Sundays at 6 pm. Access to the books and workshop is open during this time. Members also have informal ideas exchange, night sky watching through telescopes and other activities.
This association helps students and its members in building telescopes. The members also participate in night sky observation, astro-photography and other astronomical activities at  Shivanahalli, which is 35 km from Bangalore.
The ABAA has a 12" telescope and other equipments at Shivanhalli to boserve the heavenly bodies.
Over the years, the planetarium has come to be known for its workshops and special viewings of astronomical events like eclipses, comets. It makes special arrangements at the planetarium itself for the public to view comets, solar eclipses and planetary transitions.
Portable telescopes are arranged in the open area for the public to watch the event. The planetarium also conducts educational activities for students. These activities include experiments on atmospheric pressure, rocket launch, speedometer. It also holds classes for high school children and BSc. (Bachelor of Science) students on weekends between 10.30 am and 4.30 pm.
Over the years, it has emerged as a prime centre of learning and it organises summer classes during vacations.


  1. NICE BLOG!!! Education is the process of bringing desirable change into the behavior of human beings. It can also be defined as the “Process of imparting or acquiring knowledge or habits through instruction or study”. Thanks for sharing a nice information.
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