Secret of science out for them

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Doing a blood test is considered a complex procedure that can be handled only by medical professionals. But students like Aishwarya Vijay and Vishnumaya P. have now learnt to do a laboratory analysis of blood samples too, thanks to a workshop organised by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) here.

Around 350 top performing students of 37 schools from across the state, who are attending a five day programme on “Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE)” organised by DST at the Sacred Heart College, Thevara, are spending their mornings hearing lectures and the afternoons in state-of-the-art laboratories, doing unusual experiments.

“We are actually able to do the experiments we learn about in class. For instance we did the ‘burning’ experiment, in which your fingers burn but you dont get hurt. The secret is glycerin. Now I know how they do all those scenes in the movies,” says a smiling Aishwarya, a class X1 student of Bhavan’s Vidya Mandir, Elamakkara.

The response to the programme has been so immense that only students who scored 90 per cent and above in their annual exams have been selected for it. During the course of the programme the students lucky enough to attend it, are guided by noted HRD trainers, scientists and professors, in various areas of research.

Mr A Varadarajan, head of the department of physics at the Sacred Heart College, regrets that although students today have a great deal of potential and the resources to study the basic sciences in depth, they often settle for a seat in either an engineering or medical college. “They need motivation to go into research,” he stresses.

Considering that parents usually discourage their children from going into research as they would like them to get a job and marry as soon as possible, several institutes are now offering students compact courses right after their higher secondary education.

“The photonics department of CUSAT, MG University, the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) at Thiruvananthapuram, and the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology are all offering integrated MSc courses directly after Plus two. This way their studies will take only five years to complete,” explains Dr N Shaji, associate professor, department of physics, Maharaja's College.

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