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4 Vigyan Pratibha — enhancing science and mathematics learning experiences in Indian high schools

writerDeepa Chari, Ankush Gupta, and Arnab Bhattacharya (Vigyan Pratibha HBCSE, and Apex coordinator team)

Vol.34 (Feb) 2024 | Article no.11 2024

4 Vigyan Pratibha — enhancing science and mathematics learning experiences in Indian high schools by Deepa Chari, Ankush Gupta, and Arnab Bhattacharya (Vigyan Pratibha HBCSE, and Apex coordinator team)

Vigyan Pratibha is a Department of Atomic Energy, India, funded program aimed at increasing high school students’ scientific and mathematics proficiencies through capacity building of their teachers. The program is operational under the leadership of Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education and TIFR with 11 other national science and mathematics research centers including IMSc, NISER-Bhubneshwar, IoP-Bhubneshwar, IISER-Mohali, IISER-Kolkata, IISER-Bhopal, and SINP that form regional centers, partnering in various educational activities conducted under the program.

Vigyan Pratibha also connects these centers with students and teachers of three major nation-wide school systems (Atomic Energy Commission Schools, Kendriya Vidyalayas, and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas) encompassing a network of approximately 1700 schools across India. Thus, Vigyan Pratibha provides unique channels of communication about science and mathematics across multiple stakeholders, and ideas are exchanged through high-quality teaching and learning resources (called learning units), workshops, online discussion sessions, school visits, exposure visits, and many more roofed under the program. In the first few years, we have reached out to 100 + schools, oriented 600 + teachers about Vigyan Pratibha activities via ~ 150 workshops, and online discussion sessions, a number that is increasing rapidly, as more regional centers join the Vigyan Pratibha network.

Physics learning units are among the most popular within the school community as students explore many known/unknown phenomena, and nothing is taken for granted. Students go beyond the procedures/tasks, challenge their peers, and delve deeper in richer scientific discourse. Learning units such as moon and its shape introduce students to carefully analyze their own observational data and use it to predict rise and set time of moon on another day, and the unit on measurement challenges students to explore the wealth of information a seemingly simple measurement can carry. Figure 4 showcased at the event shows two such learning unit examples where (4A) students explore a pin-hole camera as a measuring device and (4B) students challenge popular tales of thirsty/witty crow through a model design and experimentation.

Fig. 4
figure 4

Glimpses of A pin-hole camera B measuring volume physics learning unit activities

Similarly, mathematics learning units provide opportunities to engage deeper with practices similar to mathematicians or scientists in their endeavors. For instance, Fig. 5 shows how students during mathematics learning units with dot grids explore relationships of area and perimeters in specific geometries by uncovering mathematical proofing practices.

Fig. 5
figure 5

Glimpses of exploring dot grids mathematics unit activities

High school teachers across Asia are encouraged to explore, modify, and utilize these openly available science and mathematics learning resources (developed in English) with their students. Many learning units are translated in regional Indian languages including Marathi, Hindi, Tamil, Gujarati, and Punjabi and can be explored for dissemination in local non-English medium schools.

Teachers interested in contributing to the program by means like disciplinary education research, material development, and dissemination at local levels are welcome to reach out to us at vp@hbcse.tifr.res.in or via the Vigyan Pratibha website.

Contact details are as follows: deepa@hbcse.tifr.res.in, ankush@hbcse.tifr.res.in, and arnab@hbcse.tifr.res.in.



  1. The T2K Collaboration, Constraint on the matter-antimatter symmetry-violating phase in neutrino oscillations. Nature 580, 339 (2020)

[Source: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s43673-024-00116-8]