FOLDSCOPE- A microscope for schools
Biology lessons in a school laboratory can be made exciting and educative with a microscope. Plant cells, tissues, onion peels, insect body parts can be seen through a microscope to reveal a whole new world for the children.
A nature walk, garden lessons need a simple and portable microscope to use on the spot. However, even the simplest microscope is expensive and cannot be carried to the garden.
Foldscope – on the other hand, is a Paper Microscope, is  portable and versatile which magnifies the wonders of the microscopic world, without the bulk and expense of a conventional research microscope. The instrument is made of materials that cost less than a hundred rupees. Foldscope is designed to bring microscopy out of science laboratories and into the hands of people around the world. Foldscope lets you explore world of microscopic shapes and life forms. The website is an online community where one can find documentation of experiences by users from around the world. Foldscope was invented by Manu Prakash and Jim Cybulski while Jim was a PhD student in Mechanical Engineering in Prakash laboratory at Stanford University in the year 2014. The inspiration for the Foldscope came from field work around the world. These pocket-sized tools are now making their way to biodiverse, yet remote parts of the world. The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India and Prakash Lab at Stanford University, USA signed an agreement in September 2015 to bring the Foldscope to India to encourage curiosity in science.
“Science to the Masses” has been one of the main mandates of Indian Women Scientists’ Association (IWSA), Vashi, Navi Mumbai. On the 7th of September, 2018, as a part of its SCIENCE AWARENESS activities of IWSA for school students, under the projects sanctioned under DBT-Foldscope, a workshop was conducted for the VIII and IX std students of two schools- Sainath English High School and the NMMC school at sector 15, Vashi.   Ms. N.Prathibha, Assistant Professor, Dr. M.Rajyalakshmi, Professor and  Dr. Saisha Vinjamuri, Assistant Professor,  Department of Biotechnology, BMS College of Engineering, Bengaluru and members of IWSA-Bengaluru branch,  along with other members of IWSA conducted this workshop for about 100 students. The students were taught the assembly of Foldscope, to prepare microscopic slides with various plant parts, and how to mount the slides on Foldscope and view the samples. Many students were excited to see a compact microscope which can be carried in pockets and which is at an affordable price. They were amazed to know that they can easily explore nature not only in schools but wherever they travel if they carry the Foldscope with them.
This is only the starting step of IWSA in this direction. IWSA plans to hold many more  such workshops on a much larger scale. There are two DBT projects with Dr.Pratibha and Dr. Rajyalakshmi respectively-  "To test and analyse the indoor air quality parameters and suggest recommendations for improvement in air quality" and  “Development of DNA based targeted drug delivery system" “Development of DNA based targeted drug delivery system".


"Technology Day" Video 1

Report on “Technology Day” to be celebrated by Indian Women Scientists’ Association (IWSA) on Saturday, 5th May, 2018.
National Technology Day is observed every year on 11th of May in India, in the memory of ‘Shakti’. Shakti is the Pokhran nuclear test which was held on 11th of May, 1998. This was a matter of pride for all the citizens of India. The day highlights the important role of Science & Technology in our daily lives and encourages students to embrace Science as a career option. Various events are organized in schools, different technical institutes and engineering colleges to mark the day. 
Here at IWSA, we constantly encourage students of schools and colleges to embark on careers in Science and Technology by organizing various events such as- Science exhibitions, workshops, Training programs etc.
This is the first year when IWSA would be celebrating Technology Day on 5th May, between 10 am and 1 pm. An exhibition of projects on- “Robotics, 3D printing and Electronics” has been organized in collaboration with Techshiksha. Students of nearby schools and colleges are encouraged to visit the exhibition, get hands on experience of building and operating various robots.
On this occasion, Dr.G.S.Rautela, former Director General of the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) would be the chief guest and would be delivering a talk on- “Wonders of Nanotechnology” at 11 am at IWSA’s ICICI Multipurpose Hall at Plot no 20, sector 10A, Vashi.




Science Academies’ Lecture Workshop on “Lasers and their Applications” 20th and 21st January, 2018 Organized by
Indian Women Scientists’ Association(IWSA), Plot No 20, Sector 10A, Vashi, Navi Mumbai 400703

The Science Academies’ Two Day Lecture Workshop on Lasers and their Applications for Graduate and Post Graduate level students, Researchers and Teachers was held on 20th and 21st January 2018, at the ICICI Multipurpose hall of Indian Women Scientists’ Association (IWSA) at their head quarter premises at Vashi, Navi Mumbai. The workshop was sponsored by the Science Education Panel of Indian Science Academy, Bangalore(IAS); Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi (INSA) and National Academy of Sciences, India (NASI), Allahabad.

The objective of this lecture workshop was to clear the fundamental aspects of lasers as well as introduce some of the advanced topics. Topics were chosen after going through the BSc and MSc syllabus of Mumbai University. The workshop was thus designed to enhance the knowledge as well as trigger the curiosity in the participants.

Experts from the field of Lasers from BARC, TIFR at Mumbai and RRCAT at Indore were invited give the lectures. Each of the speakers was allotted 90 minutes for lecture and discussions as per the Academies’ guidelines. In addition to the lectures, four demonstration experiments on Lasers and their applications were arranged. The announcement along with the application form were put up in website of IWSA in the end of November 2017 and also was circulated, both as email and as hard copy, to about 50 Science, Engineering and medical colleges in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.  120 participants registered at the workshop. 15 nos of organizers and resource persons were present.  
The lecture workshop started with a brief inauguration, in which Dr. Surekha Zingde, President, IWSA informed the participants briefly about the various Science Education as well as community welfare activities of IWSA. This was followed by Prof. Nagarajan describing the various programs of the Science Education Panel of the Academies. He presented the slides covering the fellowship programs, Refresher courses and Lecture workshops conducted and publications by the Academies. He particularly stressed Science Academies' Summer Research Fellowship Programme for Students and Teachers. This was followed by a brief overview of the Lecture workshop by Dr. Lalitha Dhareshwar, Coordinator of the workshop. Shri U.K. Chatterjee, former Head. Laser and Plasma Technology Division, BARC, Mumbai, who was the first person to demonstrate and put to use a semiconductor laser in India, reminisced about early days of Laser in India and expressed his appreciations for the workshop on Lasers being organized.
The lectures in the Workshop started with two lectures by Prof. Ravindra Kumar of TIFR, who is a very well known Indian researcher in the field of basic research in applying lasers (Fellow of the Academies and recipient of Infosys Prize). He covered the fundamentals and overview of Lasers. Further lectures covered different types of lasers, high resolution spectroscopy, and application of lasers in the field of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Medicine, Industry and including exciting frontier areas such as, Laser Plasma simulating astrophysical conditions in the laboratory, fusion etc.
In addition to the lectures, there were four major demonstration experiments were set up by Prof. Nagarajan and his team from Univ. Mumbai-Dept. Atomic Energy Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences (UM-DAE CEBS). The apparatus belonging to CEBS were transported and set up at IWSA. Prof. Nagarajan and his colleagues also set up some additional minor, but interesting, demonstrations and also arranged display of a CO2 laser system. To make efficient use of time, lunch and tea breaks were used as working time and utilized for the demonstrations.
Reliance Jio set up a communication network module using lasers. New Age instruments also displayed some of their instruments. They both contributed towards the Science Awareness activities.
One of the highlights of the workshop was the Lecture cum demonstration on the topic-“Sculpting Light- Holographic applications of Lasers”. In this lecture, Dr. Ajith Kumar gave a hands-on experience to the participants in recording holograms with a laser. This session and the experiment demonstrations were appreciated by one and all.
Every participant was given a booklet (about 45 pages) of about “A Tribute to Laser pioneers” containing brief biography and valuable contribution of 20 pioneers (starting with Einstein and ending with Nakamura who invented the blue / violet diode laser and recipient of Nobel Prize in 2014) in the field of laser science, produced by Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (RRCAT), Indore. A copy of this booklet is enclosed with this report for your record. We are indeed grateful to Director, RRCAT for providing this booklet free of cost for distribution at this workshop.
Participants interacted actively with all the speakers during the lecture as well as during lunch and tea time. A feedback was taken from the participants in a form, summary is given below-
Participants, in general, were very comfortable with the level of the lectures as well the topics covered. They were very happy with the manner in which the topics on lasers started from the very fundamentals and were built gradually to the more complex and frontier topics which were not covered in the syllabus. They all found the Lecture workshop very useful and a good initiative by IWSA. However, undergraduate students found some of the advanced topics difficult to follow, which is inevitable considering that the lecturers were also addressing Faculty level participants.
All without exception enjoyed and appreciated the experimental demonstrations with lasers set up by Prof. Nagarajan and his team from UM-DAE CEBS and the lecture cum demo on holograms by Dr. Ajith Kumar.
Some of the special comments are as below-The green initiatives of IWSA complex were admired by one and all and the students. found the campus very beautiful.The Lecture workshop was well organized.Selection of speakers was perfect and topics were interestingSome students even volunteered for our Science Nurture program for school students.Some students found the level a bit too high.They said, “Such weekend workshops are good for enhancing our knowledge and our careers”.Some of the topics the participants suggested for future workshops are as below-Holography techniquesNanomaterial science and applications Astrophysics Neuroscience Plasma science Non-linear optics Material Science Experiments in basic scienceHigh energy physicsPhotonicsElectronicsNon-conventional energy sourcesIndian Women Scientists’ Association would be happy to conduct such short term Lecture workshops on the above topics with a good component of practical experiments.


IWSA celebrated ‘Science Day’ by organizing a Science Exhibition- on the theme “ Wonders of Light ” on 3rd February, 2018, from 9 am to 6 pm at the IWSA campus.

Science day is celebrated every year in February, in  honour of Sir.C.V.Raman who was awarded the Nobel Prize, to mark his breakthrough discovery of Raman Effect in light.
Announcement for the Science Exhibition was posted to more than 40 schools of Navi Mumbai in the end of November, 2018. There were 26 registrations from 30  schools. 4 projects of Techshiksha were also registered.
The exhibition was inaugurated by the Chief Guest, Dr. B.A. Dasannacharya, Former Director, Physics Group, BARC at 9.00 a.m. He was also one of the judges. The other two judges were- Dr.Meena Sharma, Assistant Professor, K.J.Somaiya College and Dr. Lalitha Mittal. The exhibition was open to school children and teachers from 12 noon to 4 p.m.  The prize winning schools and their corresponding projects were as below-
First Prize- Vishwajyot International School, Kharghar for “Laser Interferometer”.

Second Prize-DAV International School, Kharghar for “ Solar Bulbs”.

Third Prize- St. Mary’s Multipurpose school for “ Light is Life”.

Science Exibition on 3rd February 2018

Science Video 1

Science Video 2



The telescope from Science Lab was set up on the 4th floor terrace by TechShiksha team on 31st January, 2018. Initially, the moon could not be seen due to tall buildings and the haze due to pollution. Pictures of the moon seen through the telescope are seen here. Almost 25-30 persons, IWSA members, their family members and Day care children with parents were present.


Science Exhibition organized by the Indian Women Scientists’ Association (IWSA) on 21st February, 2017

Indian Women Scientists’ Association (IWSA) has been engaged in nurturing the scientific and innovative talent amongst young students for the last several years. IWSA’s Science Nurture Committee  celebrated  ‘Science Day’ by organizing a Science Exhibition- “ Science for Learning, Science for Fun” on the theme of “ Sustainability” on 21st February, 2017, at their campus at Vashi.

In the present day scenario of extremely fast scientific and technological developments in the world, there is a widely growing concern about the ‘Sustainability’ issues. It is desired that young students are made aware of the need for protecting the environment and natural resources amidst the necessary development in all spheres. This exhibition was therefore organized on this theme to nurture innovative ideas from the younger generation. Projects on various topics such as- Renewable sources of energy, water conservation, good agricultural practices, food preservation, robotics in everyday life and healthy lifestyle were presented by fourteen schools from Navi Mumbai. There were a total of 42 projects by students from class VI to X from 15 schools of Navi Mumbai on the above theme.

The Science exhibition was inaugurated by Mr. Kalyanaraman, who is a well-known entrepreneur in the area of specialized transportation for Rocket Propellant Fuels for ISRO etc.

Judges for the event were Ms. Anisbert K Sequeira, Ms. Lalitha Ramaswamy (eminent teachers of science who are recipients of the President’s medal as best teachers) and Mr. Amit Modi, a young technology entrepreneur and an alumnus of IIT, Mumbai.
The First Prize was won by Sacred Heart High School for their project “Integrated Farming” and the second prize by, Anjuman-I-Islam High School for “Smart City” and the third prize by Vashi English High School for “Aquaponics Water Cycle”.  All prize-winning students got individual prizes as books and the
I and II prize schools won a trophy each.
About 100 students participated in the exhibition by setting up the projects.  They were all presented with a medal and a participation certificate each.  More than 300 students from different schools of Navi Mumbai visited the exhibition.


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