“But I don’t do experiments for prizes. I do them because I want to learn new things.”
Parth remembers how, when he was 10, he watched incredulously as his mother make the dhokla batter rise with baking soda. That was the inspiration for his first experiment. He gathered lemon, salt and baking soda to create a ‘volcano’. And ever since, Parth has been experimenting with the speed of a tornado!
For the teachers and students of Sri D.V.V. Gujarati Shala, Parth Sanghavi is their Edison. “If I am late for class, he starts teaching and the entire class follows him,” says Parth’s social science teacher, Revathi Shetty.
Now 13 years old, Parth lives and breathes science. “I like doing experiments because I want to make something big and useful like Galileo or like Leonardo da Vinci,” he says, adjusting his spectacles.
“He experiments everywhere” says his science teacher B.G. Krishnamurthy. “Being an aided school, we cannot give him a lot of opportunities. But had he been in the U.K. or the U.S., his story would have been different,” says Ms. Shetty.
Parth’s latest experiment was a ‘chilli bomb’. Inspired by a comic story, his bomb can make you sneeze and cry, he says. It was “destructive” experiment, he confesses. “I want to make something constructive.” His penchant for experiments has taken away his first rank. “I come only among the top five. But it’s okay. The best scientists did not even reach class nine,” Partha reasons.
He has big dreams, but his family finds it difficult to entertain them. “My son is very intelligent. He wanted to become an astronaut, but we don’t have enough resources. His father works in a shop,” says his mother, Usha Sanghavi. “But he remains undeterred,” she adds.
Parth loves biology. And Animal Planet and Discovery channels are his favourites. He shows off a notebook where he has listed 83 species of plants. “I want to break the record of a scientist who had listed 20,000 species. I lost my list of 420 species of animals.”
At home, he keeps fiddling with devices. “He repaired the computer once,” says his mother. But right now, My next experiment will be Benjamin Franklin’s kite experiment in which I might get an electric shock,” he says a tad bit excited. “Many of my experiments have been unsuccessful,” he says, citing his failed attempts to build a telescope and a metal detector. “But I don’t do experiments for prizes. I do them because I want learn new things.”