Amid the frantic ring of buzzers and collective sighs, a team from Coimbatore, made it to the nationals of Aqua Regia, an all-India inter-school science quiz organised by Triumphant Institute of Management Education (T.I.M.E), on Friday.

The duo of T. Archit and M. Sharatchandar, students of G.K.D. Matriculation Higher Secondary School, will be one of eight teams competing for the title at the finals scheduled to be held in Hyderabad in December. The focus of the quiz was on applying concepts rather than purely testing participants’ knowledge, said Ajay Antony, the quizmaster and vice-president of T.I.M.E.

The day began with an auditorium full of city students furiously scribbling answers to the 20 questions that would land them in the city finals.

As Mr. Antony called out the application-based questions and visuals, students had to identify everything from the Archimedes’ screw to Steve Irwin. From over 400 teams from 30 city schools, six made it to the city finals, the organisers said.

A direct-question round, audio-visual round and a buzzer round later, K. Adhithya Pranav and Vicram V. from Sri Sankara Senior Secondary School emerged winners of the city finals.

The questions ranged from identifying a crack monitor to reasoning out why the automobile test is called the ‘Elk test’ after watching a brief video. The top three qualifying teams from the city then competed with teams from Coimbatore, Tiruchi and Puducherry at the South Zone 2 regional finals.

The regional finals, however, was a close call.

Mr. Antony said the quiz covered class VIII, IX and X students from 32 cities across the country. The quiz was inaugurated by N. Vijayan, correspondent, Zion Group of Schools.