Congress and BJP get lots of votes (271 each). My MSP party gets just one vote. Shuttle over Manmohan - Storytelling Scientist becomes PM.

Storytelling Science

Tell this story to a child near you

Amitabha Mukerjee


These columns appeared in Hindustan Times Science Page. They are directed at you, the adult reader. Please sit with some children and go through these stories!!

I am afraid the "Science Page" is not carried in the metros, but it is there in all the UP editions and in some other HT editions.

Why this column

  1. Once upon a time a Helicopter (LIVE IT UP!)
    Make this paper helicopter, and let a child tell you stories about it.

  2. Why women are better at Science
    Science wears a cloak of objectivity, but in reality, all science is personal. It is what you make of the world. And in India, women have a better chance of developing a "Personal Science".

  3. Mera Bhasha, Mera Internet (LIVE IT UP!)
    How you can create Hindi documents that the whole world can read.

  4. What to look for when batting a 90mph ball?

Our Body and Mind

  1. Sehwag's Brain
    How Sehwag's brain optimizes the information coming at him.

  2. How your child gets smarter
    Are our children truly more intelligent than us? How did this happen?

  3. Why your grandchild may never die
    The coming age: Is it your grandchild? Or is it a robot?

    Bicycling Science. Lance Armstrong (left) in the Tour de France

  4. The Science of Sex Appeal
    Sex Appeal: What do women find attractive in men? And why? Isn't it time you discussed these issues with teenagers near you?

  5. Learning to Talk
    Learning language requires experiencing the world, and that requires a body. How the meaning of verbs are being learned by correlating that word with seeing those actions - a snapshot of current work at IIT Kanpur. How can a 2D shape like a circle have gender?

Stories that Move

  1. The Science of Bicycle Racing
    Tour de France: How are Racing Bicycles Different? What can you do to improve your bicycling speed?

  2. Measure the Heavens with your Bare Fist
    Can you measure how far Venus is from the Sun? Yes you can -- with just your hands and eyes!!

  3. Paper Tea Pot (LIVE IT UP!)
    Hot up your life - Make a paper cup. Lo! It is also your tea kettle!

    Sun, Venus and Earth. Why learn trigonometry the boring way when you can go out at night and measure stellar distances!

  4. Fire your own Guided Missile (LIVE IT UP!)
    Shiver me timbers!! Make your enemies quake with this jet-propelled Guided Missile!

  5. How Robots Move
    How Robots find it difficult to "see their way" tells us a lot about how we see the world.

Your Home Zoo

  1. Predators in your Home Zoo
    Your home is a zoo. Come meet its resident predator, and explore the mystery under its feet.

  2. Play God! Make a Ferocious Gecko (LIVE IT UP!)
    Don't get enchanted because it climbs! Make sure you paint this beast in ferocious Komodo Dragon colours.

  3. Your home zoo: Creatures that love to eat you
    Learn the complicated life of this tiny organism - it lives in your liver, but can reproduce only in the mosquito. As you read this line, it has killed two people on earth. [October 21, 2004]

  4. Dinosaurs that roamed in your Home
    On a winter day like this 180 million years ago, a Barapasaurus Tagorei may have walked in the forest at this very place where you are today sitting, and perhaps he looked over your shoulder to this very paper you are reading. [December 2, 2004]

The Science of Society

  1. Why you must vote for my "Mad Science Party"
    The maths of Power: Calculate your Banzhaf Power Index in your family

  2. The Science of Bureaucracy: Building a Win-Win Society
    The maths of Bureaucracy: Why different incentives between officers and staff result in such different work ethics!

  3. The Mathematics of Happiness
    Can science answer lifes big questions? How much money is your marriage worth?

  4. Rich man, Poor man
    See how marble play can teach you about the big debate between capitalist and socialist economists.

  5. Your 10,000th great grandmother
    What do you know of your 10,000-th great grandmother? Come journey with Prof V Eswaran to find out.

The Mathematics of Life

  1. What your Child Learns while Programming
    Programming teaches many real life skills, such as planning. How you can learn to program cutting pieces from straws.

    Why does the Pakistan flag have a five-pointed star!

  2. Aryabhata and Diophantes' Son
    What does Aryabhata share with Diophantes? How is Fermat related to Brahmagupta? [November 2004]

  3. Five-Sided Stories
    Stories of Apples, Paper pentagons, Pakistani flag, and calculator calisthenics . . . [November 11 2004]

LIVE IT UP: Living Your Stories

Some of the stories are marked "Live It Up!" These are stories that you have to live through - you can't just read them. . . One of the reasons why our children get alienated from life is because they are forever reading with their eyes, and not with their hands! Engage the whole brain and see how much learning stays with us. . .

Gather a bunch of kids, and rediscover your childhood through these hands-on Stories.

Who inspires us?

Find out about Arvind Gupta, who has been planting the seeds of learning in thousands of minds. Today where there was a desert, thousands of saplings are waving in the breeze.

You may also be interested in Jagriti, a volunteer group that operates several schools in rural Kanpur and for the migrant labour population that works in the brick kilns. The project is partly supported by Asha, AidIndia and by people like you.

Many of the ideas in these columns were developed while interacting with kids in the BRiCS project which promotes hands-on learning learning in Indian schools. This project is funded by the Media Lab Asia Project of the Ministry of Information Technology.