India Uses Railway System to Bring Science to People

August 29, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. stopover [STOP-oh-ver] (n.) – a place where travelers temporarily stop during the course of a long journey
Example: Passengers often buy food at the train’s stopovers.

2. exhibit [ig-ZIB-it] (n.) – a collection of things displayed for the public
Example: Many people went to the museum to see the science exhibits.

3. hands-on [HANDZ-ON, -AWN] (adj.) – interactive or involving actual participation
Example: The school gives hands-on training to newly-employed teachers.

4. educator [EJ-oo-key-ter] (n.) – a person who teaches
Example: The students thanked their educator for teaching them lessons in life.  

5. mobile [MOH-bahyl] (adj.) – having the ability to move from one place to another
ExampleMobile classrooms travel from one region to another to reach children in far places.


Read the text below.
The Indian government is using its railway system to provide children with Science and Math education through a moving classroom.

The Science Express train is travelling 19,000 kilometers all over India from April to October. In 62 different stopovers, teachers display exhibits showing information about biodiversity, climate change, and conservation.

India’s prime minister launched the Science Express project in 2007 to draw children back to science. Currently, 40 volunteers are spending six months of their time for the project. Raghav Pandya, one of the passionate volunteers, said he wanted to spread awareness of scientific knowledge to many people.

The Science Express allows young people to participate in the hands-on laboratory where educators perform experiments about math and science. The mobile classroom stays at each station for three to four days.

The government decided to use the national railway system for this project because the network reaches even the farthest corner of the country. With easier access to different places, the mobile classroom can become closer to achieving its goals.

Most children from India’s small towns have very limited opportunities to go to schools. So instead of bringing people to science, India’s Department of Science and Technology aims to effectively bring science to people.

Today, this extraordinary project has already reached over 8.5 million people from different towns in India. The government, however, expects to reach the 10 million mark when the Science Express moves to West Bengal, Orissa, and other towns before the year ends.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         How else do you think can the Science Express benefit the children in India?
·         Do you think the project can help adults as well? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         What are the benefits of knowing more about science and math? Discuss with your tutor.
·         Do you think the government should invest more in improving science and math education? Why do you think so?


August 29, 2013