Film-centric promotion of scientific temper: A study of screening grassroots technological innovation short science films at schools across India

RAHMAN, M ; KUMARI, N K PRASANNA

Abstract

Film-centric promotion of scientific temper has been attempted the world over to influence audience perception of themes allied to science and technology which often reflect shades of social as well a cultural concern. This paper attempts to see how students in 77 under-resourced schools in 15 states of India have comprehended the science content through screenings of short science films themed on grassroots technological innovators who have had no formal technical education and yet have been able to innovate products that answered a sorely and regularly felt local need. All the short science films screened offered an amazingly simple technical solution to a real-life challenge. In a large number of instances, the challenges faced by the grassroots innovators in their daily lives were also the problems encountered by the school children who formed the audience of these films. The fact of audience identification with the films emanating from a striking similarity with the socio-economic background of the grassroots technological innovators drove a large part of this study. The analysis establishes how gender distribution of audience among nine to eighteen years of age have received the short science films and what competing ratios did the responses indicate about the degree of engagement during post-screening interactions in both rural as well as urban locations.

Keyword(s)

Documentary;Science films; Rural India; Grassroots Innovators; Grassroots Technology; Science fiction

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