The school has tied up with NASA for the NASA Educational Programme and is the first school in the country to set up a Planetarium and Space Centre at the school premises. The school is the member of the International Space Society. The students of the school attend sponsored conferences, special events, and projects, and gain privileged access to the world’s leading space scientists and engineers, space agency and other government leaders, space entrepreneurs, leading space activists, and fellow space enthusiasts. School also has tied up with Pushpa Gujaral Science City, Jalandhar for annual sky gazing session. To further promote students’ interest in space exploration and create space awareness, National conferences on space and exhibitions are organised based on the themes of Astronomy and Space Exploration which attracts the space enthusiasts nationwide.
As a part of the collaboration between International Space Society(ISS), India with National Space Society (NSS), US, our students were chosen as ambassadors for ISS- Kalam-NSS Indo-US Space Based Solar Power project.
To further help students explore the world of space science, school has set up Prof Suresh Naik Center for excellence in planetary science at the school campus. The center provides an opportunity to explore the world of space science to the maximum potential, during their school years. The center will equip students to develop skills and knowledge in the areas like
- Telescope Making
- Sky Gazing
Designing, Testing and Launching Satellites (CanSat, Balloon and Cube Satellites)
Technical aspects linked to Coding, Sensors Interfacing, Designing and Analyzing Data
The scope of learning is vast. It goes to an extent of working on cube satellite (small satellite of around 10 centimeter cube only) with a specific mission and launch target into space.
Dr. N Sathyamurthy who is the founding director of Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali was the chief guest at the conference. Prof Suresh Naik, Former Group Director, ISRO & Chairman International Space Society (ISS) inaugurated the Exhibition.
Nearly 3000 students from as many as 40 schools of tricity visited the exhibition to know more about outer space & India’s space missions. Sixty colourful panels related to space science were put up. A majority of these included ones which explained in detail about achievements of India in space & enumerated their importance. There were many panels which explained fundamentals of space science & science in general to help young minds grasp the main concepts behind Space science.
The centres of attraction were the miniature models of Satellites that have been put into outer space by ISRO. Among these satellites, were those sent for purposes like communications, weather, remote sensing, navigation etc. A model on Mars Orbital Mission was also liked by the visiting school students. Models of the Satellite launch vehicles used by ISRO like Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) & Geo Synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle –GSLV & the latest GSLV Mark III were also exhibited.
A separate room had been earmarked for airing documentaries on space science. Interesting videos on subjects like Mars Orbital Mission, Astrosat — India’s first major space based Astronomy Satellite, how rockets are launched etc were shown to the young space enthusiasts. The students’ were inspired to delve deeper into the world of outer space through practical display of scientific principles used in rocket science. Experts showcased basic space science concepts by using a ‘Water rocket’ –a Rocket made from household items & which is propelled by pressurised water.
The Main highlights of the conference were
- Talk on “Cosmic Illusions” by an eminent Indian Astrophysicist, Padma Vibhushan, Prof. Jayant Narlikar. Narlikar is the globally renowned astrophysicist and is considered a leading expert and defender of the steady state cosmology.
- Talk on “India’s Mars Mission” by Prof Suresh Naik, Former Group Director ISRO. The session covered interesting information about the Space Craft, Launcher and scientific objectives of the mission.
- Exhibition on Mars, which was an ISRO initiative to spread awareness amongst the student community, as India’s first Mars mission was due to take place in Oct-Nov 2013. It was organised by Jyotirvidhya Parisanstha, Pune, which is the oldest Association of Amateur Astronomers in India.
- Students’ Space Settlement Design Competition –2013 – The main theme of the competition was ‘Designing a Habitat on Mars’. The contest was planned to encourage technological creativity among the students.
International Space Society hosted National Conference on Space – 2013 at Tagore Theatre on April 4-5. Over 1500 students from across the country participated in the event.
The inaugural lecture covering a fascinating topic of ‘Getting a measure of the Universe’ was delivered by Professor HP Singh. Professor Singh has held many administrative positions in the University of Delhi. He has been the Director of Center for Science Education & Communication, The Proctor and the Dean of Examinations, University of Delhi.
One of the major highlights of the event was a talk by Padma Vibhushan awardee Dr Jayant V Narlikar about the amazing world of astronomy and search for microorganisms in earth’s atmosphere. His sessions took the conference to an altitude which was of par excellence. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for students as well as the audience to listen to Prof. Narlikar. The audience also got the opportunity to ask questions on a variety of areas related to Professor Narlikar’s lecture
Pf. Sandeep Sahijpal(Associate Professor in Department of Physics at Punjab University, Chandigarh) in his talk spoke about Evolution of stars and Milky Way galaxy. Being very energetic and fervent on stage he managed to stimulate students’ enthusiasm to learn more about the science and come up with a lot of questions.
Next talk was by Prof. Ranjan Gupta, who has been working with the IUCAA, Pune since 1990 in the field of Astronomy and Astrophysics Research and teaches Astronomy to MSc students.He took the audience to an enlightening voyage of Large Telescopes. The session explained all technical intricacies of different types of telescopes used in the space industry.
Concluding the first day of the conference, Students were also familiarised with the intrigue of the night sky through a night sky gazing event.
The second day of the conference started with a quiz on Astronomy in which participating students demonstrated lot of enthusiasm and skill
With an aim to make the highest level of learning available to all, Former group director Indian Space Research Organisation- Professor Suresh Naik spoke about ‘Astronomical Space Expedition’. This lecture in its very interesting ways successfully took hold of the curiosity and involvement of student community.
Another edifying session on Origin and evolution of solar system was conducted by Prof Sandeep Sahijpal on Day 2 of the conference
Prof J S Bagla astrophysicist with IISER Mohali spoke about “The Universe in a computer”. The tech-friendly generation took keen interest in the session and inquisitive minds came up with many interesting questions
Another very interesting session on Career Opportunities in Astronomy was conducted by Prof Ranjan Gupta.
Experts from prominent institutions like IUCAA Pune, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Delhi University, Punjab University and IISER Mohali through their talks elucidated the space enthusiasts with about the fascinating world of space.
The conference was organised with the endeavour of spreading awareness, it was aimed to aspire the young students to get an opportunity to take up careers in ISRO, dream to be an astronaut or in some way get associated to participate in the great excitement offered by the challenges in the field of space exploration.
Students of Dikshant act as ambassadors for International Co-operation on space-based solar power International Collaboration
International Space Society, ISS in collaboration with National Space Society (NSS) – a US-based non- profit advocate for space economic development and settlement, has been in the forefront of spreading awareness about space science by conducting regular space outreach programmes mainly targeted at school students to create international support and collaborations for the research and development of clean energy for space-based solar power.
Under this collaboration, currently, both the organisations are working together to promote an International consensus on Space-based Solar. The NSS and ISS have agreed to jointly develop a small satellite initiative proposed by Dr Al Globus (NSS BOD) of NASA AMES and the California State University system involving a small cube-sat scale solar sail also acting as a Space Solar Power demonstrator. This project proposal is an early response to the Kampala-NSS solar power initiative and will involve university student teams. Both ISS and NSS will propose this project to ISRO and NASA as an initial collaborative international venture of the Space Solar Power Virtual Institute Power.
As part of the collaboration and on an invitation from NSS, Chairman of ISS, Mr Suresh Naik who is also a Former Group Director of ISRO and President ISS, Mr Mitul Dikshit, attended the 32nd International Space Development Conference in San Diego, California in May 2013. During the conference, they spoke and presented on recent activities of ISRO and the ISS in India, and also talked about India’s Lunar and Interplanetary Missions during the Lunar Track, which includes International Lunar program initiatives of International Space Agencies including China, Europe, India, Japan and Russia. During the conference, they also had a discussion with Space leaders from across the world, about International understanding on Space Based Solar Power.
NSS and ISS will help each other create the context and environment where leaders in Space Science meet and learn from each other.
In a statement issued from USA Mr Dave Dunlop of NSS says, “I think the key objective of the collaboration between ISS and NSS will be to work in close coordination with Dr Abdul Kalam with a focus of SBSP. Dr Kalam is both the inspirational leader and the international statesman that has proposed a broad Global collaboration on SSP.”
It has been agreed that the ISS and NSS collaborate in conferences and meetings, including the ISDC Conference held in North America and ISS meetings in India. This collaboration is also extended to other meetings and workshops, facilitating mutual support concerning issues of common interest such as space debris, planetary protection, space solar power, commercial activities in space and other issues consistent with the vision and philosophy of both organisations.
The ISS and NSS also collaborate on student education and outreach activities, including on activities such as the Space Settlement Design Competition and other competitions.
It is noteworthy to mention that the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) formed a Space Solar Power Working Group in 2012. Dr John Mankins who was formerly with NASA’s Space Solar Power Program has spearheaded the IAA initiative. Along with him Mr Mark Hopkins, CEO of NSS and Dr Nobuyashi Kaya of Kobe University in Japan are also proponents of SSP.
To enhance the scientific temperament of our students and to help them connect nature with science, school organises annual sky gazing sessions in association with Pushpa Gujral Science City, Jalandhar. A team of experts take students through the night sky tour using high powered telescopes. Students during these sessions are briefed about the basics of sky gazing, high-powered telescopes, about the moon and various planets and other concepts related to astronomy.
Students of senior secondary session attended a Model Rocketry Workshop at Pushpa Gujral Science City (PGSC), Kaputhala .