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Honing their skills: School students displaying a model that they made as part of the Young Student Scientist Programme organised at Kongunadu Arts and Science College in Coimbatore.
COIMBATORE: In another attempt to instil the interest of science in young minds, a ‘Young Student Scientist Programme' (YSSP) was held in six centres across the State. A programme of the Tamil Nadu State Council for Science and Technology, it was conducted by Kongunadu Arts and Science College, the nodal centre for the region, from May 6 to May 25. It was held in two phases. The first was held during May last year and the second was held this year. The same students attended the programme in two phases.
Eighty students drawn from 30 schools in the Nilgiris and Coimbatore attended the residential programme
According to the co-ordinator of the programme M. Lakshmanaswamy, students who had completed standard IX (last year) were selected by school managements based on their performance in science to attend the programme.
“They were exposed to the scientific environment of a higher educational institution. Students were initiated into specialisations of physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology, environmental science, computer science, bio-informatics, biotechnology, etc, in the theory and practical forms. Nearly 50 staff members from the college were involved in training the students,” he said.
The classes were held in the bi-lingual mode because there were many from rural and Tamil medium schools. Held in the theory and practical forms, they gave the students an insight into what were the latest developments in the field of pure science and its specialisations.
The academic part was from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. they were involved in sports activities. Competitive activities in the form of essay writing, elocution, sports and others were also held to enable them develop an all round personality.
The participants were also divided into groups and made to work on special projects based on various disciplines. They made models and carried out experiments which were displayed in the form of an exhibition on the last day.
K. Aishwarya, a standard X student of GRG Matriculation School, Coimbatore, said the very fact that they were selected for the programme was a matter of pride. She was one of the three that had been selected from her school.
“It was very interesting to get introduced to many new facets of science. We were given adequate time for both theory and practicals. I have decided to take up biomaths at the higher secondary level. Even those who had decided to take up medicine and engineering were given options for specialisations,” she said. For the student participants it was a time well spent and a chance to ‘develop scientific temper during the vacations'.
The learning did not stop with this. Each student was attached to a mentor who would guide him in pursuing a scientific career.
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