Festival of Science: March 3-4-5 2022
Hundreds of students from schools across the country including government schools got an opportunity to understand one of the biggest crisis faced by humanity today: Climate Change
In the past year, the focus from the impacts of the pandemic shifted dramatically towards climate change and for all the right reasons. In the year 2021, natural disasters across the globe led to insured losses of over $100 billion. Ten climate-related events cost $170.3 billion, and India witnessed two of such 10 most financially devastating climate events in 2021 alone.
Post the recently held Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 26), one of the critical issues to have gained momentum online is the need for climate change education and the key role of children in creating meaningful dialogues and driving a better future. At the year’s Festival of Science, we will explore the science and socio-politics of climate change.
Anshuman Ray, VP, Human Resources, member of South Asia Leadership Council at Synopsys
“It is so nice to see how the partnership between Parikrma and Synopsys has blossomed. All the themes that were captured over the years in the Festival of Science fair is an example of how the school sheds light on relevant issues and inculcate these values and knowledge in children. To you children, I would ask you to take this opportunity to interact with subject matter experts, learn more through these sessions… hope it inspires you to come up with innovative solutions & nudges you to champion the cause at your home and in your community.”
Dr Chandni Singh, contributing author, IPCC. Senior researcher, IIHS
Dr Singh spoke on ‘climate change and me: How is the climate changing and what can I do?’
“What is the IPCC report – what does it tell us, why is this information critical, why should we care, and what can we do about it? All of us have a role to play…”
Dr Singh shed light on what happens when the world heats – the risks and impacts at 1.5°C and 2°C, and the many solutions like greening our cities, climate-smart agriculture, climate forecast and insurance for the poorest. “But we need to do more,” says Dr Singh, sharing several ideas on how each of us can be a part of the solution.
‘When a book becomes alive’ by Bijal Vachharajani, Commissioning Editor at Pratham Books, Writer, picture book dreamer, Climate worrier
A super fun session – Bijal introduced everyone to the characters and their interactions penned in her book A Cloud Called Bhura: Climate Champions to the Rescue. In this interactive session, children shared a whole load of ideas with the author on how they will be a part of climate action, including the need for outfits like Avengers Assemble and Climate Skywalkers.
Subhankar Chakraborty from Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti (BGVS) shared several ideas and thoughts with children on how they can be a part of climate action as individuals and a community.
‘Changing Climate in the High Mountains’ by Dr Kim Gutschow and Disket Angmo, National Geographic Society funded project: Climate Z: By the People & For the People. Dr Kim Gutschow is a senior lecturer in the departments of anthropology & religion, Williams College, USA
“Climate change is happening and glaciers are melting… and what can we do about it?”, explained Dr Kim, who has been working in the Ladakh region for over 33 years, in her talk as she shared the reasons for the Climate Z project and their work that supports the local Ladakhi communities (women in particular).
‘What will we eat?’ by Edible Archives. Chef Anumitra Ghosh Dastidar and writer Shalini Krishnan travelled around India for nearly three years to collect indigenous varieties of rice that were getting lost. The result was Edible Archives.
“Climate change is a problem that we can taste,” starts writer Shalini Krishnan. What are we eating and what does it contain? Where is our food coming from and how is climate change impacting our access to food? How are our consumption patterns leading to climate change? How can we become conscious eaters, how can our diet aid climate action target?” Shalini Krishnan and Chef Anumitra Ghosh explained the threat by citing an example of palm oil extraction and consumption and its impact on landscape and wildlife.
‘Warming in the oceans’ by Chetana Purushotham, a biologist, educator and the co-founder of Spiders and The Sea, a social enterprise focused on nature education and research.
“What are coral reefs and why are they important and how is the warming of the oceans killing them?” Chetana Purushotham in particular shed light on how climate change and warming impacts the health of coral reefs. Chetana also shared ideas on how children can be a part of the solution – through being connected with nature, learning, sharing knowledge and engaging and supporting sustainable tourism.
‘What Can Kids Do?’ by Bittu Sahgal, environmental activist, writer, and the founder of Sanctuary Nature
“You children are helping us as young nature warriors. And, I promise you can be a part of the solution and you will be successful. Nature is your friend – and no one hurts a friend. It’s our only home and our only hope. Everything is going to be better – and that’s thanks to you young magicians,” Bittu Sahgal pumped up the children with a whole amount of positivity, inspiring them to be champions of change and save wild places and nature.
‘Tracking climate change through trees?’ by Dr Geetha Ramaswami, Programme Manager – SeasonWatch, Nature Conservation Foundation.
How is tress reacting to climate change? Are they moving? Are they shedding early or late? Dr Ramaswami explained further the efforts by scientists to understand this shift & the impact on trees. “You young children can help by becoming citizen scientists and be a part of several interesting citizen science projects,” encouraged Dr Geetha, by further sharing information on current projects kids could sign up for.
Viewing climate change crisis through music: Ricky Kej, Grammy awards winner, US Billboard #1 artist, UNCCD Land Ambassador, UNESCO MGIEP Global Ambassador for Kindness, UNICEF Celebrity Supporter, Earth Day Network Ambassador.
“Parikrma is one of the most inspiring schools I’ve seen in the world – I have collaborated with the students and the school on several projects before and I am thrilled to be a part of the festival this year,” said Ricky Kej, as he took us on a personal journey, sharing his story on what inspired him to stand for nature and wildlife right from his younger years. He also played two of his songs – one on plastic waste and carbon footprint. “The constant threat to climate action is the thought that someone else will make a difference. We should be the change we want to see!”
‘Biodiversity, climate change and cities’ by Dr Harini Nagendra, Director of Research Centre and leads the Center for Climate Change and Sustainability at Azim Premji University.
Over 75% of the world will live in the city in the future – so, climate change and cities are very much intertwined in their fate – how can nature in our cities make a difference, explained Dr Nagendra, citing an example of Bengaluru, and enlightening why building climate-resilient cities are very crucial.
‘Stories of Inspiration’ by Ashish Kothari, Founder-member, Kalpavriksh; member, many people’s movements.
Ashish Kothari shed light on climate change and social inequality. “Climate change is real, but all hope is not lost. There are also many bringing about a change too,” said Mr Kothari, while sharing several such stories of inspiration with us. “Democracy is about us taking decisions – we are at the centre of decision-making. Young people need to ask the right questions to be a part of an equitable and just world, we all can make these choices individually to bring about a change,” he further urged us on.
Introduction to Conference of the Parties 27 (COP27 Climate Summit) by Dr Sanjay Vashist, Director, Climate Action Network South Asia. “Mitigation is the answer and everyone needs to be aided – equally. I have been participating in COP conferences for several years now, and most often, all were marred by politics – I am looking forward to this COP27 at Parikrma Festival of Science, and for children’s solutions and ideas,” expressed Dr Sanjay.
Judges for today’s COP27 Climate Summit: Dr Sanjay Vashist, Dr Chitralekha Massey, Ayesha Tabassum (senior journalist), Dr Pardip Dutta (former corporate VP of Synopsys). Tejaswini, Aruna and Bhagyashree from Synopsys.
First place: Team Alps, Switzerland
Second Place: Team Tien Shan, China
Third Place: Team Atlas, Morocco
‘Climate Change’ in the Sustainable Development Goals of UN’ by Dr Chitralekha Massey, OHCHR Regional Representative, United Nations
“I enjoyed reading up about the Parikrma Festival of Science and listening to everyone today. I am impressed with the sessions – presentations by children in the COP27 event,” said Dr Chitralekha., who cited several examples of climate change impacts and how even at times of crisis and emergency, people still discriminate and equality is far-fetched. “Is your right to life at stake because of climate change? Are all people being treated the same in the climate solution narrative? Human rights are intimately linked with climate change,” she stresses.
We want to thank Synposys for its steadfast and continuous support over the years. This relationship has provided us with strength and encouragement each year, to make the Festival of Science one of the best science festivals for children in India.
A big shout out to our host alumni Kruthi Murthappa