Magic Planets opens doors to SCIENTIA- a research platform for the differently abled children to explore their interest and aptitude on scientific matters. Minister for Health and Social Justice, K. K. Shailaja Teacher inaugurated the laboratory for SCIENTIA on 01 January 2021, in the presence of the Mayor of Trivandrum, Arya Rajendran, at the Magic Planet. The minister remarked that SCIENTIA would be a platform that would dismiss superstitions and would help in instilling actual scientific curiosity in the differently abled children. She also added that initiatives like SCIENTIA encourages knowledge seeking and keenness of observation in children and would urge them to come up with experiments on their own.
SCIENTIA is an initiative by Magic Academy, in association with Kerala Government's Social Security Mission. The SCIENTIA lab is set up as a platform for the differently abled children to conduct scientific and environmental experiments. These are conducted under the guidance of researchers from American universities, namely Dr Finosh Thankam (Western University, California) and Fr. Vincent Pereppadan (University of San Franciso). Project Associates Shyla Thomas, K. P. Shivakumar, Dr. Akhila S Nair and Divya Krishnan would be monitoring and assessing the progress of projects and researches at SCIENTIA.
The initiative aims to focus on exhibiting the projects by differently abled children in various national and international science congresses by 2022. During the lockdown period, the children of Different Arts Centre had ventured out into different trials and experiments in the field of agriculture, and these would also be integrated into SCIENTIA.
At the inaugural event held at Magic Planet, SCIENTIA project facilitator Shyla Thomas welcomed the guests and Dr Mohammed Asheel, Executive Director of Kerala Social Security Mission delivered the keynote address. Chairman of Kerala Automobile Limited, Karamana Hari was one of the chief guests.
Trivandrum corporation councillors Jameela Sreedhar and M Binu, Executive Director of Magic Academy Gopinath Muthukad, Magic Academy Director Chandrasenan Mithrummala, World Malayalee Council American region Chairman Hari Namboothiri and its Middle East chairman Dr Manoj, K. P. Shivakumar, Shabu Kilithattil were present at the event. Dr Finosh Thankam and Fr. Pereppadan marked their presence by joining in via video call from California. The ceremony ended with coordinator Divya Krishnan thanking the guests.
Along with the inauguration of the lab, K. K. Shailaja Teacher also officially released the short-film Mashhad, directed by popular media person Shabu Kilithattil. The film revolves around a young girl, who lost her sight in the atrocities of a war and how she perceives the world around her, with her inward eye. The lead character is played by a young autistic girl, named Ridha.