Science Hack Day India 2016!

Announcing Science Hack Day India – 2016

We are excited to announce our 1st Science Hack Day India!

The event will take place on 22-23 October 2016 at Belgaum, a small city surrounded by some splendid nature, in Karnataka State of India.

We welcome you all to join us at SHD  India. Let’s collaborate, learn, hack, build cool stuff and have lots of fun.

Registration is now open at eventbrite.

For more announcements follow us on…


What is Science Hack Day?

Science Hack Day is a two-day event where anyone excited about making weird, silly or serious things with science comes together in the same physical space to see what they can prototype within 30 consecutive hours. Designers, developers, scientists and anyone who is excited about making things with science are welcome to attend – no experience in science or hacking is necessary, just an insatiable curiosity.

The mission of Science Hack Day is to get excited and make things with science! People organically form multidisciplinary teams over the course of a weekend: particle physicists team up with designers, marketers join forces with open source rocket scientists, writers collaborate with molecular biologists, and developers partner with school kids. By collaborating on focused tasks during this short period, small groups of hackers are capable of producing remarkable results.


We have an amazing place called Sankalp Bhumi  Farm Resort for this event. It was once an abandoned quarry,  today natures glory restored. The resort resembles an enchanting oasis, with a thick set of trees, sprawling lawns, and a large lagoon surrounded by picturesque expansive rock walls as backdrop.


Tentative Program

Day 1:

09:00 Arrive, check-in, eat breakfast (provided)

10:00 Welcome, introductions

10:30 Hacking begins!

10:45 Lightning talks

12:00 Lunch (provided)

13:00 Hacking continues

18:00 Door closes

Day 2:

09:00 Doors open, breakfast (provided)

12:00 Lunch (provided)

13:30 Hacking stops

14:00 Hack demos begin! (Typically 2-3 minutes per demo)

16:00 Winning teams announced & given awards/medals

Science Workshops

Along with hacking we also have Science Workshops for kids. Workshops will run parallel to the SHD. We will be making amazing science toys and solar lanterns 🙂


FOSSASIA India Team.

Praveen Patil, Hong Phuc Dang, Rahul Khanolkar

Google Code-In 2014 with FOSSASIA

fossasia logoFOSSASIA, best known for their Open Technology Event in Asia, is a non-profit organization that supports Free and Open Source Projects that range from Open Source software, to design, graphics and open hardware in Asia and around the world. The aim of FOSSASIA is to develop and adapt new technologies for social change.

Attending FOSSASIA back in Feb-2014 was a life changing experience for me. It was full of fun, joy and a lot of knowledge filled learning experiences. I could meet some of the amazing FOSS contributors, learn lot many things and got inspiration to do something positive and contribute back to the society.

With the encouragement, support and guidance from my mentors Mario Behling and Hong Phuc, I could successfully complete my GSoC-14 Project on ExpEYES – An Open Source Pocket Science Lab. This was an inspiring moment that motivated me to keep learning and contribute to create better learning resources and opportunities for students.

GCI2014 being FOSSASIA’s first year of participating in Google Code-In as a mentoring organization, brought yet another excellent learning opportunity for me and my students. FOSSASIA’s admins Hong Phuc and Mario Behling encouraged me to take part in GCI as a mentor and help Pre-University students to take their first step in the world of FOSS, learn and make tiny little contributions.

fossasia mentors

Proud to be a FOSSASIA mentor

I started interacting with the students to spread awareness about GCI. I gave presentations in the classrooms and also tried to communicate with other students through face book. On December 1, 2014 when GCI contest started, most of my tasks were claimed by students from outside India and there was hardly any response from students of my own institute or neighboring pre-university colleges. Very few students participated and they were finding it difficult to complete even beginner level tasks. We decided to explore this situation, find the reasons and do something to motivate the students.

Ours is a small city in South India and we found that the main reason for students not able to participate was lack of IT infrastructure in schools. Less than 1% of high school students have access to computers and Internet. They get a chance to learn coding only in 11th standard, that too if they opt for computer science. In rural India the situation is even worst. I realized that students are willing to participate but are unable to do so because of absolute lack of basic computer skills. Some of those who could participate claimed very simple tasks involving only documentation and none of them claimed tasks with coding.

With the suggestions and guidance from Mario and Hong Phuc, we organized a series of workshops for students on every Saturday, Sunday and on holidays at my house. The first workshop in the series was on “Introduction to Free and Open Source Software” and “Google Code-In”. More than 100 students turned out for the session. We also had a session on installing Gnu/Linux, Libre Office and softwares like Gimp, Inkscape etc… I was happy to see students engaged with FOSS learning  till late in the evening even though their final exams were approaching.

Introductory session at our college

gci1 (2)

GCI with FOSSASIA – workshop in progress


Learning FOSS…

The next few workshops/sessions were focused on using FOSS for documentation, basic Image processing, designing, basics of Blogging and Python Programming language. These interactive sessions were of great help in developing confidence and motivating students to participate in GCI. More than 70 students registered for GCI. Many expressed that it was the first time that they could have such hands on experience on computers and that they enjoyed learning and creating with FOSS.

Many of our friends encouraged and helped us by providing laptops, Internet dongles, Projector and most importantly their valuable time during workshops. My best friend (My better half … 🙂 ) Minal Patil took care of snacks for students and also helped in conducting workshops. We even had a GCI session on 25th of December and celebrated Christmas with FOSSASIA and GCI in a different and meaningful way… 🙂

It was amazing to see the happiness on the face of students, who never had any hands-on experience with computer, complete their first GCI task. Many students could complete beginner level tasks related to documentation and outreach. Some could create their blogs and write about themselves and their experience about participating GCI. Few students could also contribute to our Open Source Project ExpEYES – Pocket Science Lab. Some students also worked on an interesting project, initiated by Mario Behling , to create a small website and add details about FOSSASIA’s mentors and students. The project was intended to provide students an opportunity to experience open source development culture. It was a big success with a great website created together by students and mentors.

It was great fun to learning new things everyday along with the students.

The most fulfilling moment came when results were announced on the official Google Open Source Blog.

  • My organization FOSSASIA is at No 1, with 587 tasks completed. A total of 174 students completed at least one task with us.
  • Our School Govindram Seksaria Science P.U. College, Belgaum (GSS) in India is at No 2, among 397 schools from 53 countries with 49 students completing the tasks.

My Pre-university College management members were happy to know about our success in GCI and encouraged me with felicitation. They have even displayed a banner in the college campus mentioning about FOSSASIA, GCI and success of our student participants. They expressed their wish to have an MOU with FOSSASIA and continue to take such steps to help students from our region to learn to code and contribute to FOSS. They also offered all the infrastructural support.


You have made us proud… A banner displayed at our campus

Felicitation by Shri R D Shanbhag, Chairman SKE Society, Belgaum

Felicitation by Shri R D Shanbhag, Chairman SKE Society, Belgaum

I am also happy to share that our Grand Prize winners Namanyay Goel and Samarjeet Singh also contributed to Project ExpEYES along with other projects under FOSSASIA. Many other students contributed to the ExpEYES project by writing python code for Unit Conversion GUI’s and by writing documentation for science experiments.

Participating in GCI with FOSSASIA as a mentor was a great learning experience and I would like to thank Hong Phuc and Mario Behling for this wonderful opportunity. You have inspired me to take up this task of helping kids from this region to learn to code, as a lifelong mission. Thanks a billion to all the students who participated in the contest and wish them a great future ahead.

I must also thank Stephanie Taylor and Co. at the Google OSPO, for organizing this wonderful contest and for creating better learning opportunities for students all over the world.

By Praveen Patil, FOSSASIA mentor

Random Pics : Google Code-In with FOSSASIA

gci1 (2)

Lets learn together


A Cool (Little Warm too 🙂 ) Gift from Google

gci3 (2)

Hacking in progress… 🙂


Its me….. 🙂 introducing FOSS and GCI


Young FOSS Enthusiasts….


Yet Another Session…


Student Volunteers … helping other students

snacks time

Snack Time… 🙂


Minal demonstrating Libre Office….


Time for a break…. 🙂


Students waiting for PC’s to get free…..

Learning together

Net connectivity, projector by Vinayak Simu, Staff Gogte Institute of Technology

gci3 (2)

Learning together is fun… 🙂

GSoC Weekly Report 13

(From Monday 11th August to 17th August 2014)

This week I conducted experimental trials for all the experiments using python code written for Real-Time plotting and also code for Off-Line mode. Did modifications in the programs wherever necessary and finalized the code for experiments. Wrote python code for Mechanics and Sound GUI. Worked on documents.

I am also working on packaging everything so that the plug-ins can be separately installed on a machine where ExpEYES is pre-installed. Need few days for this work. I will continue this after the final evaluation report is submitted.

To Do Next Week……

  • Submission of Final Evaluation
  • Complete and upload Experiments documents to the blog site.
  • Take trials with experimental set-up and upload photographs and videos.
  • Create a package that can be installed on a machine where ExpEYES is pre-installed.

Since most of the apparatus for all experiments is home-made, I will be uploading the procedure with photographs for creating these devices. I will also add documents with relevant theory for each of the experiment  to the blog site.

It had been a great journey with new learning experiences. Thanks a million to my mentors Mario Behling, Hong Phuc Dang & Hau Dang at FOSSASIA  and Ajith Sir. Even though the coding season ends tomorrow, I am feeling like its a beginning for me.

There is a lot to be done…. and I will be continuing with the work to make this dream a reality.. a dream of providing every student with the most affordable pocket science laboratory.

I have thought of many new experiments on  which I will be working for next couple of days. Also thinking of having a separate website for this work…its possible now…thanks to funding from Google.




Saturday, 16th August 2014

Today since morning I am on Python code for Sound and waves GUI. Its almost ready… 🙂

Tried various experiments with the new python programs written for plotting real-time graphs to test for errors and did necessary corrections. Also gave finishing touch to programs and added to Git repo. Work of writing documents for experimental procedures is taking positive shape.  After the finishing the required coding part I will focus more on the documentation part.

Monday 18th August is the firm ‘pencils down’ date. Therefor I am working on the programs to give them the final form.




Friday, 15th August 2014

Continued working on python codes for various experiments….. Conducted trials with python code for plotting real-time graphs.

Did various experiments on linear air track to study concepts like momentum, collision, motion on incline etc.



Used toy cars for motion experiments. this will be a low cost solution for experiments in mechanics where air track is not available…:)



In an experiment with pendulum using motion sensor we could get the desired result. Now pendulum experiments can be done using three different sensors

  • light sensor – Photo-gate
  • motion sensor – srf05 ultrasonic module
  • DC motor

These are screen shots of motion of pendulum with srf05 module

pend pend2

Thursday, 14th August 2014

Work on sound experiments….giving finishing touch.

The sine wave generator devised using ATTINY85 mcu by Ajith Sir is really very helpful in conducting sound experiments.

We could get a fine sine wave using ATTINY module



Two ATTINY modules are working perfectly for producing lissajous figures.



Tuesday, 12th August 2014

Today I could complete documentation of experiments with linear air track. Also gave finishing touch to python codes by adding gettext module for internationalization.

The gettext module provides internationalization (I18N) and localization (L10N) services for your Python modules and applications. It supports both the GNU gettext message catalog API and a higher level, class-based API that may be more appropriate for Python files. It allows you to write your module and application messages in one natural language, and provide a catalog of translated messages for running under different natural languages.

Thanks to Georges Khaznadar who helped us with internationalization. The following code is added to all the programs.


import gettext
_ = gettext.gettext


Now need to work on pages for individual experiments and also the Common GUI for sound and mechanics.


Monday, 11th August 2014

pencil down1

Today is the [GSoC 2014] Suggested ‘pencils down’ date, therefore this week I will be working on scrubbing the   code, improving  documentation and completing integrated GUIs for mechanics and sound experiments. I will also complete separate pages for all the experiments on the blog.

The Firm ‘pencils down’ date is ob 18th August 2014. therefore before Sunday 17th August I will try and give finishing touch to everything.

Worked on some python programs and changes committed to Github. Tried experiments on linear air track with new code developed for plotting real-time graphs. things have become amazingly simple and many concepts in mechanics can be easily demonstrated with our set-up.

GSoC Weekly Report 12

(From Monday 4th August to 10th August 2014)

This week we could complete the planned work  of writing python programs for plotting real-time graphs and Experimental set-up and code for sound Experiments.

The days spent at  IUAC   (Inter University Accelerator Centre) , New Delhi, ( from 7th August to 10th August) were really fruitful in accelerating the project work.  Dr. Ajith Kumar (who is the man behind  Phoenix Project and inventor of  ExpEYES)  helped me to get permission to work in Teaching Lab and also arranged for my accommodation in IUAC Guest House. Ajit Sir helped me a lot with my project work in writing python programs to plot graphs in real-time.

He has also designed a tiny sine wave generator using ATTINY85 micro-controller which  is of great use in performing sound and waves experiments. We spent a lot of time in the laboratory to give finishing touch to all the programs developed so far.  Jithin B P , IISER Mohali, (jithinbp at, who is working on developing android app for all ExpEYES programs was also there with us.

Things we could do ……

  • Completed Coupled Pendulum Experiment with all the theoretical details
  • Experiment to obtain Chladni figures is complete with the experimental set up and also the python code access the experiment.
  • We got the air-track set-up for doing the mechanics experiments. Repeated some of the motion related  experiments to study the changes required. We modified the program for using srf module to plot position time graph. Now we can fetch the position-time data and store it in a file and then plot the p-t, v-t and a-t graphs. We wrote another program to plot this graph in real -time. This program enables students to see the graph in real time as the glider moves on the air track.
  • We also set-up a pendulum experiment using a thick metal block and suspended it using  long strings to have a pendulum of large time period. The program is written to plot the position of pendulum using motion sensor. Committed the same to Git repository. The plot shows the smooth sine curve of oscillations.
  • Tried the experiment with motion sensor using toy cars. this can be an amazing demonstration experiment for highschool students.

Modified and finalized the following python programs…

  • : Program to study oscillations of a pendulum using ultrasonic sensor sfr05 (position detector) by plotting real-time graph
  • : Program to plot oscillations of TWO coupled pendulums in real-time
  • : Programe to plot position time graph for vehicles moving on linear air-track
  • : This program allows to plot position-time graph af motion of a vehicle on an air track.
    One can take multiple trials and view all the plots. this can be used to compare different aspects of motion
    like velocity, acceleration etc…
  • : This program allows user to use TWO motion sensors (srf-05 modules) and plot both the graphs
    in real-time. This can be used for studying collisions, conservation of momentum etc…on air track or also frictionless track.
  • We did  necessary modifications in  ATTINY85 based board which can take square wave as input and generates sine wave.
  • Did the experiment to obtain Lissajous figures using two ATTINY boards and wrote the python code to plot the graphs.
  • Also wrote a code for GUI for sound and waves experiments.

To Do Next Week……

Since tomorrow is the [GSoC 2014] Suggested ‘pencils down’ date, therefore coming week I will be working on scrubbing the   code, improving  documentation and completing integrated GUIs for mechanics and sound experiments.

The Firm ‘pencils down’ date is ob 18th August 2014. therefore before Sunday 17th August I will try and give finishing touch to everything.