Arvind Gupta’s space in Pune University’s IUCAA campus looks like a laboratory from a Roald Dahl story. A hydraulic crane made of disposable syringes and saline tubes, a water squirter made of a drinking straw, a periscope made of pencil boxes, a levitating pencil, puppets that climb on a wall. And these are the inhabitants of a single shelf in this colourful, crowded room.
Toymaker, writer, scientist, engineer and bibliophile - Gupta wears epithets with disarming humility. Dressed in a lavender khadi kurta and brown corduroys, carrying his famous ‘toy bag’. Anyone who has met him has doubtlessly noticed this Army surplus canvas bag, filled to bursting point with every manner of odds and ends. Things that most of us would discard as junk - discarded wool and buttons, used straws, match boxes, rubber slipper soles, pencil stubs, empty ball point pen refills. The bag has traveled with him to over 1500 schools and 20 countries.
Arvind Gupta moves continuously. There is rarely a still photograph to be had. When he pauses, it is to pull out an interesting newspaper cutting, or carry out a quick demo - make a tone-changing flute, for example. His toymaking is always accompanied by riveting stories about people, about the world around us, about science. His official job at the Muktangan Vigyan Shodhika is to figure out ways to make science irresistible to children via low cost science toys that they can make on their own. Another ongoing effort is to make educational books and resources freely available online and to translate books on education into various Indian languages.
Registration :No need to register for the event. All the parents of the school are invited.
Date :8th Feb. 2014, 10:00 am to 11:00 am
Venue :Badminton Hall, Millennium National School. Pune
‘Toying with Science’ Workshop: Arvind Gupta
As the news spread among Millennium parents, of our next Fit for Future workshop, ‘Toying with science’ by Indian Toymaker Arvind Gupta, we knew the ground was already set for the workshop.
Curious parents gathered at the Badminton Hall to attend Arvind Gupta’s seminar on 8th February. Besides, our honorable guest speaker, we also had Mr. Madhav Khare, founder-director of Shastravahini on stage. They were welcomed by Mr. Anvit Phatak.
The man who dared to challenge parents by stating, "The best thing a child can do with a toy is break it!” left the parents mesmerized and amazed by his sheer intelligence clubbed with his tint of humour.
Arvind Gupta who popularizes science for children has had travelled to more than 1200 schools and 20 countries over the last few decades.
His obsession and passion with the trash was totally stunning for Millennium parents who are used to being submissive when it came to buying expensive and giant plastic toys for their children.
Gupta tutored the parents on preparing best out of waste and how very less money or sometimes no money was required to build entertaining science toys for their children.
His ‘toy bag’ comprised of junk items like discarded tetrapaks, cycle tubes, toothpaste tubes, paper, battery cells, refills, film rolls, cartons, bottles, straws and many more.
Rethinking trash and how a parent can spend quality time with their child was the message that Millennium parents took back home. The CD’s and books provided by Arvind Gupta were picked up by parents within few minutes of the conclusion of the workshop.