If all the educational activities be likened to a pyramid – starting from broad-based popular activity and one which progressively becomes more focussed as we go up – REAP sits right at the top vertex. It is the most rigorous of the student activities that nurtures and shapes research-minded youth force.
REAP is a three year programme in physics that is offered concurrently with regular under graduate college education complementing the formal curriculum. The primary objective of this programme is to attract students to pure sciences and prepare them for a career in science. It is actively supported by Indian Institute of Science, Raman Research Institute, International Centre for Theoretical Sciences, TIFR, Bengaluru and Indian Institute of Astrophysics by way of providing financial as well as academic support.
Faculty members from these institutes and professors from Universities lecture in this programme to students pursuing B.Sc. or B.E. Courses. Lectures expose students to basic concepts in physics and astronomy with emphasis on problem-solving, experiments and use of computers. Some special lectures introducing them to research areas of current interest are also held. The second year covers advanced topics supplementing the first year basic course. Field trips are organized in January and February to the Vainu Bappu Observatory, Kavalur where students carry out astronomical observations.
In the third year, students work on projects in a research institute under the guidance of scientists there or at Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium. The objective of project-oriented learning is to inculcate a research mind set among the students and also to enable them to experience the research atmosphere.
A number of students have immensely benefitted from this programme and are pursuing PhD / post-doctoral research or are already carrying out research as faculty in institutes. Many have chosen teaching as a profession and continue to interact with Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium in all educational programmes.
The first year of REAP begins in the first week of August. Registration opens in July.
Research Education Advancement Programme in Life Sciences (Bio-REAP)
The Bio-REAP programme, counterpart of REAP for life sciences, conducted with financial and academic support from IISc entered the third year of its formalised and structured phase in 2011-12.
The first year of Bio-REAP begins in the first week of August. Registration opens in July
A small library caters to the need of the students. About 3000 books and a few periodicals are available.
Currently there is no facility to issue books outside the library.
The telescope observatory has a Carl-Zeiss 6” refractor telescope on a Coude mount, which facilitates fixed focus point. The telescope is equipped with a tracking system that compensates for the rotation of the earth. On account of this, the celestial object, once in the field of view of the telescope, will always remain so for long hours. CCD imaging and spectroscopy can also be carried out through this telescope. Students undergoing courses in Astronomy are introduced to observational astronomy and image analysis through this facility.
The observatory is put to academic use during astronomical events such as eclipses and transits and also to study the rotation period of the sun using sunspots.