“I didn’t know that hydra could dance!!!! ”: Biology Team Field Visit to Mizoram – Part II

We began the implementation of the CLIx biology module in the Mizoram schools witha brief interaction with students and teachers. Students had said that biology was boring and difficult, especially the chapter ‘Biodiversity and Classification’.

To convey the beauty and diversity of the biological world, we showed studentsvideos on microorganisms in their textbook. They watched with awe and curiosity, and when they recognised an organism, they found it in their textbook and show it to their peers.

In the hands-on session that followed, students tested the presence of chlorine in water. Groups of four students were given the apparatus for estimation and the water samples with different concentrations of chlorine (created by adding bleaching powder to water). Students were enthusiastic and very pleased when the colour developed in the test tubes.

The groups that did not get the expected colour (owing to variation in chlorine content) advanced their own theories to explain their results. We allowed them to empirically test their hypotheses, which ranged from the wrong volume of chemicals to notshaking the test tubevigorously.

Students had fun in the session and demanded more experiments. The science teachers of both schools were highly supportive.

Students filled an open-ended questionnaire about their textbook, curriculum etc. and their views on and interest in biology. The team discussed teaching biology with the science teachers. This information will provide insights for fine-tuning the biology module and making it more appealing to students and teachers.

There is no doubt that students should do more experiments in the classroom if they are to develop the scientific temper and a passion for science. Let us hold “involve me and I learn” as the mantra for science education.

(Sruthi Pillai, Akhila C M and V V Binoy, Biology Team,  CLIx)