Roll up your sleeves, IIT to open DIY museum Vinayashree J| TNN | Mar 7, 2017, 06.59 AM IST

Roll up your sleeves, IIT to open DIY museum

Vinayashree J| TNN | Mar 7, 2017, 06.59 AM IST

 Indian Institute of Technology -MadrasIndian Institute of Technology -Madras
Students staring at museum exhibits is passe. Soon, they will be able to break a chemical compound, make an aircraft engine or do a virtual rocket launch at this Chennai museum. Indian Institute of Technology -Madras (IIT-M) will put together the ‘experimental museum’ at the Periyar Science and Technology Centre in July. Enabling students to tinker with technology, it will be fashioned on the lines of the MIT Museum (Masachussets Institute of Technology, Cambridge), Maritime Experential Museum in Singapore and Boston Children’s Museum in the US which house interactive exhibitions, public programmes, and experimental projects.

MManivannan, professor at the department of applied mechanics at IIT-M said children would be encouraged to participate in model building. “Tools will be provided at the museum to make things. Whether it is putting together parts or breaking them up and rebuilding different models, the emphasis will be on doing things on their own,” he said. The initial idea was to house the museum on the IIT campus, but because of space crunch, the institute is in talks with the Periyar centre which attracts some 2,000 visitors daily.

The museum will display contributions from IIT in the past, present and future, and also from students, faculty members and alumni of the institution. Some of the best projects and patented ones will be showcased at the museum. These will include pieces from the Centre for Innovation, IIT-M Research Park and start-ups. “We hope to have the best from IIT-M to be part of this museum,” said Prof Manivannan.

Faculty members of the institution said IITs had been associated with doing things differently and this museum was one way of exhibiting that trait. IIT-M is in the process of seeking funds for the museum with a budget of Rs 6 crore for five years. The state government is willing to fund half the amount while the institute is relying mainly oncorporates and alumni support. It also plans to approach the Union government and corporates.

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