The focal theme of the National Children Science Congress (NCSC) 2009: Planet Earth – our Home, Explore, Care and Share, augured well with the frequent references speakers made to Copenhagen Summit, at the ‘Selected Child Scientist Improvement Programme’ organised by the Tamil Nadu Science Forum (TNSF) here on Tuesday.

Earth’s safety vests solely with responsible younger generation, they said advocating serious introspection. During the day-long programme sponsored by the PG and Research Department of Environmental Sciences, Bishop Heber College (BHC), the TNSF fine-tuned the knowledge of the 30 students selected from Tamil Nadu to take part in the 17th NCSC at Gujarat Science City in Ahmedabad from December 27 to 31.

The students representing all districts were chosen at the Children’s Congress held at State-level last month at the King’s College of Engineering, Pudukkottai. The composition was an ideal mix of students from Government, Government-aided and Matriculation schools. The chosen projects, including many presented in Tamil, mainly pertained to rare plants, energy saving, waste recycling, clean energy, energy audit, water conservation, pollution at quarries, alternative fuel, herbal plants and impact of urbanisation on environment.

Two among the students K. Pavithra of Seethalakshmi Aided Middle School at Kuravapulam in Nagapattinam district and T. Nithya of Sambaviga Higher Secondary School in Sivaganga district will present their respective projects ‘Hidden Secrets of Tobacco’ and ‘Influence of Herbal Plants’ also at the Indian Science Congress at Tiruvananthapuram during January 2010.

At the NCSC in Ahmedabad, the students will also get to meet their peers from Thailand, Singapore, Bhutan, and other developing countries, and develop a broad perspective of the environmental challenges ahead, said S. Mohana, State-Academic Coordinator, NCSC. Students will receive the right motivation to identify problems in their local environs and take up projects with a futuristic outlook, N. Manimekalai, Hon. President, TNSF, Tiruchi, and Director, Department of Women’s Studies, Bharathidasan University, added.

According to M. Thiagarajan, State Academic Coordinator, NCSC, originality was the main criterion in choosing the projects. C. Venkateswaran, State Coordinator, NCSC, Scientist, Atomic Power Station, Kalpakkam, said participation in NCSC will help the students to understand newer dimensions of their own projects. Certification by NCSC was of immense value, he said.

Presiding over, A. Alagappa Moses, Head and Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences, BHC, invited the participants to be a part of the student network promoted by the department to safeguard environment and expand the reach of the awareness initiatives.

S. Natarajan, District Secretary, TNSF, saw a sound augury in the enthusiasm of students to get beyond their curriculum and carry out researches at a young age. P.M. Sabarikumar, District Coordinator, NCSC, also addressed the participants.