On April 12, a bright summer’s day, 600 children from Akshara, Sahyog, Vidya India, Khel Khel Main and Shishuvan participated in S.T.E.A.M Ahead, a festival of science stories organised by Pratham Books. The event was hosted by Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, one of Bombay’s oldest museums. The popular children’s bookstore, Kahani Tree, was the Books Partner.
The festival featured 13 events spread across the day at different venues within the museum, where authors, illustrators and subject matter experts shared the joy of science through their stories.
After a reading of There’s a Hole in My Galaxy – a day after which the very first image of a black hole was released – children interacted with renowned astrophysicist, Shiraz Minwalla and tried to decipher the mysteries of the black hole. Shabnam Minwalla, author of Are you a Fish? and Are You an Insect? discussed how nature inspires technology and helped the children come up with their own ideas and drawings of futuristic tech!
In another session, children imagined drones with Ruchi Bakshi Sharma, illustrator of Tell Me, What is a Drone?, and brought them to life with charcoal on paper. In Natasha Sharma’s session featuring The Best House of All, tables and chairs became houses, with bedsheets for walls and roofs, and tiles made with M-seal. Sejal Mehta shared her pufferfish story, Whoop, Goes the Pufferfish, and spoke about the fascinating sea creatures from the beaches of Bombay that inspire her stories.
Rya Jetha, who wrote A Shade of Green, took children and their parents on a walk in the botanical garden next to the museum and showed them tree adaptations. She also spoke to the children about Greta Thunberg, and her book about the need for artificial leaves.
All in all, it was a thoroughly engaging and entertaining festival that, we hope, fired the curiosity and imagination of all the children who attended.
Read these stories in multiple languages on StoryWeaver.
Pratham Books would like to thank Cisco for the support in developing STEM-inspired storybooks for children.