A group of school and college students brings out a book that demystifies science
Throw away a can of cola, and it is possible someone will excavate it, near-intact, centuries later. A diaper will be around for as many as 500 to 800 years. But the coolest is a banana peel. From fruit to dust in 10 days! Read about these and more in Neuro Boson, a 50-odd page, biannual magazine brought out by 16 school and college students. The magazine covers a bit of physics, chemistry, biology and other emerging areas of science.
For these students, the fascination for science began when in school. Soon, they wanted to move beyond books in order to explore science. Projects for school and inter-school events provided the opportunity to do this. All of them involved in the magazine are friends from school and tuition class. Some have moved on to college in other cities, but use the Internet to stay in touch.
The biggest inspiration for Mohammed Rayyan N, pursuing his B.Tech in B.S. Abdur Rahman University, Vandalur, has been Sivaraman, his librarian in school (SBOA). “He inspired us to read up, to think practically.” Mohammed worked on the book during the Class XII holidays. “For me, science will always be something that measures the world in just seven letters,” he says.
R. Srinath, also part of the editorial group, is in Class XII in SBOA. For him, the book is an attempt to get people curious about science. “Science is a tool given by God to eradicate ignorance.” We should learn to use it well. For that, you have to love and understand it, he says.
A.P. Mano Ranjith, pursuing his EEE at Amrita School of Engineering, is one of the driving forces behind the project. He, along with some friends, has been a part of Siruthuli for two years now, and says the exposure it provided has been huge. So has Sujatha, his science teacher in SBOA. “We always wanted to get more people to love science, not study it merely because they have to. Science is life. It helps us discover ourselves. The book is our attempt towards that,” says Mano.
In the course of their science projects, they have met many scientists and realised the contribution of Indians to science. P.K. Manoharan, head and professor of the Radio Astronomy Centre, Ooty, has been a huge inspiration, he says. “In fact, we named our magazine Neuro Boson because Boson is commemorative of the contribution of Indian physicist Satyendra Nath Bose,” explains Mano.
The group worked on the book during the summer holidays, and allocated some time for it every single day after schools and colleges reopened.
Mano realised science was his destiny during a project in Class X. “We did a huge poster, two metres high and six metres wide, about the evolution of science. It was a lot of hard work, but by the time I finished it, I had fallen in love, irrevocably.”
It cost the group Rs. 13,000 (entirely sponsored) to publish 1,000 copies. The books are to be distributed free of cost to students in city schools
The book has an easy-to-read format with articles that draw references from the Internet. It also features poems and riddles. There are a few editorial shortcomings, but the students are working on it
The other students involved in the book project include Ranganathan A.S., Vivekanandhan T., Pragadheesh Raj. S., Divyaprasath. S., Vignesh S., Vijayaganapathy. V, and Guru Kaushik R.
For details, call them at 77089-18716