On 2nd November 2018, Foldscope Team of Wetland Research and Training Centre, Chilika Development Authority visited Kendriya Vidyalaya, Gopalpur Military Station, Odisha to educate the students of 9th to 12th standard on Seagrass biodiversity of Chilika and use of Foldscope. The students and teachers of KV took an active participation in the interactive programme to know about the Foldscope and its application as a portable microscope. A detailed presentation on Chilika, a Ramsar site of India, its macrophyte diversity with special emphasis on seagrasses and their ecosystem services was delivered by Chilika Development Authority. The concept of frugal science and invention of foldscope was introduced to the participants through the TED talk of Dr. Manu Prakash which was well received by students and teachers. Foldscope videos of live rotifer engulfing feed, oligochaete and its internal structure, spirogyra were demonstrated.
In resource constrained locations such as Gopalpur a coastal village of Odisha, Foldscope has plenty of opportunity to offer as a first portable microscope for the school children where costly microscope cannot be provided. Students were given hands on exposure on the use of foldscope and were allowed to use it by themselves. The benthic specimens collected from the seagrass meadows were kept for demonstration and use under foldscope. The entire programme was a success in creating awareness and sensitizing school children and their teachers about seagrasses and utility of Foldscope. The programme came to an end with a short round of quiz to evaluate the attentiveness of students and educational kits on Chilika were given to winning students. The programme saw a success as it magnified the curiosity of children and the teachers and made them realize that science can be done anytime anywhere and it is not just confined to a class room.