In a continued attempt to nurture a temperament for scientific research in young minds, a total of 342 students in Tiruchi district were presented the INSPIRE (Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research Excellence) award, here on Monday.

The award instituted by the Department of Science and Technology, to encourage innovative scientific projects by students, is being distributed for the third time.

Students selected for the INSPIRE award received a demand draft for Rs. 5,000 in addition to certificates from Collector Jayashree Muralidharan.

Selected students are divided into two categories - class VI to VIII, and IX and X. The nationwide initiative is executed by the Tamil Nadu Science and Technology Centre, Chennai, in Tamil Nadu. A total of 8,364 students have been identified in the state, in collaboration with the Department of School Education.

Students will present their projects at district-level exhibitions, where selections will be made for the state-level competition and subsequently nationals.

T. Thiyagarajan, District Revenue Officer, and T.M. Alagiri Samy, project director (in-charge), Anna Science Centre, were present.