I joined Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education in July 1999 as Scientific Officer. In these 20 years, it has given me immense satisfaction to work here and especially, to have been associated with the physics olympiad programme of the centre. I develop experiments and train the students representing India at the International Physics Olympiad. It has been a great learning experience, not only in terms of development of experiments but also the method of delivering the content. The physics education research in the experimental development done at the centre by my senior colleagues has helped me immensely. The inputs from the research on methodology of performing a physics experiment have been implemented by me in different colleges through lecture sessions as well as laboratory sessions.
In the course of various olympiad camps conducted by me, I could interact with the large physics teacher community of the country. This large resource pool has helped me throughout the experimental development process in various capacities. On the other hand, this continuous interaction with teachers made me aware of different problems that they face in the physics laboratories. This experience inspired me to start working on the area of “Low Cost Instrumentation”. Over the last few years, I have come up with several alternate low-cost designs for existing apparatus to suit the needs of the physics laboratory at the high school and undergraduate level.
During my tenure in the centre, I was introduced to physics education research through some of the graduate courses which developed my interest in this field. I enrolled myself as a graduate student under TIFR deemed university and started working on identification of undergraduate students’ alternative conceptions in elementary thermodynamics. I have developed two activity-based modules to address their alternative conceptions which form the basis of my PhD thesis.