18 December, 2023
Open Space Foundation recently organized a telescopic observation program for the students of Government High School, Se Nachipattu, a remote village in the Tiruvannamalai district. The village, nestled in the Chengam taluk, is surrounded by picturesque paddy fields. The Government High School serves as a crucial center for education in this slowly developing region
As the OSF team brought the telescope into the school premises, the excitement among the students was inexplicable. Placing the telescope on the terrace, the team aimed to make distant object observations, creating a sense of anticipation among the students who were encountering a telescope for the first time. However, the misty surroundings posed a challenge.
Before diving into observations, the students were given a comprehensive explanation about the telescope's role, its components, and the interplay of lenses and mirrors in an optical telescope to lay the foundation for the students to understand the mechanics of the telescope and appreciate the upcoming celestial observations.
Despite the misty conditions, around 200 students from classes 6 to 10 eagerly took turns to observe through the telescope. The first-time observers were awestruck, and the excitement they felt was contagious as they shared their observations with their peers. Some students were so captivated that they took multiple turns to explore the wonders of the telescope.
The teachers, equally enthralled, joined the students in observing towers, buildings, and even attempted to locate their own houses through the telescope. A wave of excitement swept through the school as they spotted farmers working in fields far beyond the school premises. The essence of happiness and a shared enthusiasm enveloped the entire school.
Not limited to the school, the event drew interest from common people in the village. At first, they were unsure about this weird thing, but when they looked through the telescope, they were amazed with what they observed. One farmer, in particular, expressed his desire to own a telescope to observe the fields all around more closely.
The experience reaffirmed the timeless truth that the universe has the power to inspire people of all ages. OSF remains committed to bringing astronomy to remote villages, and this event in Se Nachipattu was a special chapter in our journey. The sky, indeed, is for all, and the success of this program encourages OSF to continue their mission of making the wonders of the universe accessible to even the most remote corners of Tamil Nadu.