“Real science is about getting your hands dirty – being curious about what the guts of your DVD player look like or how acidic that Coke you’re drinking really is.”
A farm visit that explores how food is grown and how animals are raised is an ideal way for city children to understand and connect with where their food comes from. By learning how a farm works, children experience the natural world in a new way and make a vital connection between the social, ecological, and economic importance of agriculture in their lives.
To fulfill this objective, an educational trip to CISH and SIMA was planned for the young Stafordians of classes VI to IX.The Central institute for Subtropical Horticulture (CISH) and State Institute of agriculture management (SIMA) are research institutes for subtropical fruits, medicinal plants and have modern nursery facilities, well established orchards and fully equipped laboratories.
The students of Classes VIII and IX visited the STATE INSTITUTE FOR MANAGEMENT OF AGRICULTURE, (SIMA) while classes VI and VII were taken to the CENTRAL INSTITUTE FOR SUBTROPICAL HORTICULTURE. The visit was based on the study of various means to conserve the top soil cover along with retaining the fertility of it and study of medicinal herbs.
At SIMA, the students visited the Herbal Garden managed by the institute where they had a chance to see a variety of medicinal herbs like Tulsi, Ashwagandha, Chandan, Sindoor etc. They learnt the importance of these herbs in curing common ailments and the simplicity with which these plants can be managed at home. The importance of Ayurveda, traditional, age old and time tested pattern of treatment of India was brought forward through this garden. The students also learnt about the alternate and safe methods of treatment which the nature can provide them.
An hour long interaction with the agricultural experts and associate professors of the institute embellished the knowhow of Stafordians as to how and why to conserve the top soil, effects of chemical fertilizers, population and constantly decreasing levels of ground water on agriculture. There was a healthy interaction with the experts satisfying the students by answering their queries related to facilities provided by the government to the medium scale farmers, pursuing a career in agricultural development, training the human resource etc. The visit was supplemented by witnessing of the use of latest equipments used in modern day agriculture like motorized thresher, grinder, tiller, plough etc. by the students.
At CISH, Dr. S Rajan, director of CISH, volunteered to guide our students and encouraged them. Over 56 students had the opportunity to visit the labs and facilities at CISH and learn about the bio-medical research currently underway.While at CISH, students attended presentation by Dr. S. Rajan and visited the labs and the nurseries, where bio-medical research is currently conducted. Each student got the chance to listen, learn from the scientists in their respective fields of study and interact with them.
The trip aimed to engage, excite and educate the Stafordians and highlight the importance of creativity in the fields of science and technology. The students got to see what a real future as a scientist might be like.