Science Express is an innovative mobile science exhibition of Department of Science & Technology (DST), Govt. of India, mounted on a 16 coach AC train. With the objective of arousing interest of the young people in the field of science and technology, the exhibition on wheels – Science Express, was launched from Delhi Safdarjung Railway station on October 30, 2007. It is a mega outreach programme of DST, Govt. of India and is being managed by Vikram A Sarabhai Community Science Centre (VASCSC), since its inception in 2007. Till date, this unique mobile exhibition has completed its 8 phases which includes 4 phases of ‘Science Express’, 3 phases of ‘Biodiversity Special’ (SEBS) and one phase of ‘Climate Action Special’ (SECAS). So far, it has travelled 1,41,800 km, had 455 halts, and in 1602 exhibition days, more than 1.56 crore people, primarily students & teachers, have visited it. It has thus become the largest, the longest running and the most visited mobile science exhibition and has six entries in the Limca Book of Records.
From 2007 to 2011 the train travelled as 'Science Express’ displaying the world of micro and macro cosmos, spreading the awareness about strengths of science in meeting global challenges, including latest discoveries and innovations in the field of modern science. The coaches of Science Express were thematically represented on Bing Bang, Nanocosmos, Building Blocks of Life, From Gene to Organism, Architecture of Mind, World of Senses, Sensors, From Data to Knowledge, Global Challenges, Spaceship Earth, Our Home in the Cosmos and The Universe. It was a retreat for the visitors specially the students to know about cutting-edge science and technology through exhibits, models and audio-visual displays put up in the coaches of Science Express.
With United Nations declaration of the current decade (2011-2020) as Decade on Biodiversity and India holding Chair of the Conference of Parties (COP 11) to Convention of Biological Diversity during 2012, Science Express was redesigned on the theme ‘Biodiversity’. It was a unique collaboration between Department of Science & Technology (DST) and Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEFCC), Govt. of India. From 2012-2014, it travelled as Science Express Biodiversity Special (SEBS). The state-of-the-art exhibition aboard SEBS created widespread awareness on unique biodiversity of India, climate change and related issues among various sections of society, especially students. Out of the 16 coaches, MoEFCC had put up exhibitions in 8 coaches that were solely dedicated to showcasing the myriad biodiversity spread across the bio-geographical zones of India like Trans-Himalaya & Himalaya, the Gangetic Plain, North-East India, the Western Ghats, the Indian Desert, the Semi-Arid Zone, the Deccan Peninsula, the Coasts and the Islands. In rest of the rake, DST had put up exhibition on the themes of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Water, Sustainable Environment and Energy Conservation. In the second part of the coach on Energy Conservation, DST’s panels on Science Education in India had been placed.
In its three phases, SEBS covered over 54,000 km across India and received over 69 lakh visitors. Besides, the first phase of SEBS (2012) was visited by the highest number of people amongst all its phases till date.
In the year 2015, for the eighth phase, Science Express was redesigned it on the theme ‘Climate Change’ and it ran on the Indian Rail Tracks as 'Science Express Climate Action Special (SECAS)'. The basic objective was to contribute towards increasing understanding of the science of climate change, the observed and anticipated impacts, and different possible responses. The state-of-the-art exhibition aboard SECAS aimed to create awareness among various sections of society, especially students, as to how Climate Change can be combated through mitigation and adaptation. It was a unique collaborative initiative of Department of Science & Technology (DST), Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEFCC), Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Ministry of Railways, Govt. India.
In its eighth phase, from 15 October 2015 to 07 May 2016, Science Express travelled across the country, halting at 64 locations in 20 States, covering about 19,800 km. It received an overwhelming response with a total of 23,24,240 visitors, including 5,89,615 students, 30,120 teachers and 13,29,373 general visitors. With over 23.24 lakh visitors, SECAS became the biggest Climate Change Awareness Programme in the country.>
Looking at the unprecedented response which SECAS received during its journey, DST in collaboration with MoEFCC and DBT, Govt. of India, decided to run the ninth phase of Science Express once again as on the theme ‘Climate Change’ as SECAS II.
The ninth phase of the Science Express as SECAS II is scheduled to run from 17 Feb. to 08 Sept. 2017, over 19000 km during which it will be exhibited at 68 stations across India. SECAS focuses on Climate Change and Science & Technology. The exhibition will convey a message about Climate Change and will also be a good opportunity to generate dialogue and discussion.The SECAS II is a unique collaborative initiative of Department of Science & Technology (DST), Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEFCC), Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Railways, Govt. of India; Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and Vikram A Sarabhai Community Science Centre (VASCSC).
The state-of-the-art exhibition on board the SECAS aims to create awareness among various sections of society as to how climate change can be combated through mitigation and adaptation. Of the 16 coaches of SECAS, exhibition in 8 coaches developed by MoEFCC, is exclusively devoted to information, case studies and material related to various aspect of Climate change, the underlying science, impacts, adaptation activities, mitigation solutions and policy approaches in a manner that is easy to understand and interesting for not just school students but also the masses. In rest of the rake, there are exhibits and activities put up by DBT and DST.
The broad theme covered in each exhibition coach is as follows:
The exhibition is open to all but primarily targets students and teachers. More information is available on the website www.sciencexpress.in. For visit to the exhibition or any queries, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the team aboard the train on 09428405407.