Catalyst 2011 held in Chennai saw over 1000 students battle it out to win the coveted trophy.

Did you know that day dreaming was called Walter Mitty Syndrome and that it was derived from James Thurber's short story The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Well if you were present at the Catalyst Quiz, 2011- the science quiz with a difference, chances are you would have said ‘Yes'! This was a Newspaper in Education initiative from The Hindu.

With Quizmaster Giri Pick Brain Balasubramaniam one could only walk out armed with science trivia.

With over 550 teams from 160 schools participating in the preliminary round, they were asked to answer 15 questions. The top six teams were chosen to battle it out at the finals. Hari Shree Vidyalayam, St. Patrick's School (Puducherry), Balalok MHSS, PSBB Nungambakkam, Bhavan's Rajaji Vidyashram and Vidya Mandir, Mylapore, were the six .

Different rounds

World of science was the first round and the next was a kaleidoscope round. Round three was called Quick Science. Round four was the most popular as it encouraged thinking out of the box, and aptly called Lateral Thinking. Round five had three questions on the buzzer and the teams needed to identify the famous scientists. IT Secretary P.W.C. Davidar, ELCOT Managing Director Santhosh Babu, Directors of Sathyabama University Mariazeena Johnson and Marie Johnson presented the awards to the winners. St Patrick's School, Puducherry, came first winning a cash award of Rs. 25,000, a Yo Bike each, individual trophies, champion trophy, Vasan Dental care vouchers and goodies.

Hari Shree Vidyalayam ranked second and won themselves Rs. 15,000, a laptop each, trophies and goodies. PSBB Nungambakkam came third and received Rs. 10,000, goodies and trophies.

The quiz was presented by Sathyabama University. Shriram Chits was the associate sponsor. Appy was the beverage partner and Jeppiar Packaged Drinking Water the water partner. Modern Computers, BSA Motors, MBlaze and Vasan Dental Care were the prize partners, while Linc Pens, Connexions and Seshasayee Paper Boards were the gift partners. NDTV Hindu and Radio One 94.3 FM were the channel and radio partners respectively. Ads & Events was the event manager.

Narendra and Swetha, St. Patrick's School, Puducherry : We were prepared for the quiz. We used the internet, books, but I think what really clicked for us is that we have been a team for three years now. Also our motto was not to give up till the end. And we just kept our cool that helped us win.

Varun and Harish, Hari Shree Vidyalayam : We have been a team for a while now. We have taken part as a team and individually for all the quizzes held through the year. We did not really prepare but just some general preparation. We knew we needed to take risks to get the edge we needed to win.

Rishi and Vishal, PSBB, Nungambakkam : We believe in destiny as it helped us win. There was no particular preparation as such. We just used Wikipedia, some books but what works best for us is that we are a great team. We prepare according to our interests and that is what lifts off the pressure from us.

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Archana SubramanianJune 28, 2012