A red tulip placed next to a picture of actor Michael Fox, while the song ‘Stings like a bee,' plays in the background. Might seem disconnected, but to the young brains who talk the language of science, the link was evident. ‘Parkinson's disease' was the instant response of V. Abhinav of Vidya Mandir. Elaborating on his quick answer, he said, “Tulip represents the disease, Michael Fox had it, and so did boxer Muhammed Ali, on whose life the song is based.”

As many as 520 teams from 16 schools, including one from Puducherry, strove to accept the challenge of science amid buzzers, video clippings, and rapid fire questions in ‘Catalyst-2011 - A Science quiz with a difference', presented here on Monday by The Hindu NIE in association with Sathyabama University.

From Star Trek characters and radio waves to Michael Faraday and Archimedes, the quiz had it all. The contribution of Indian scientists to global achievements was specially emphasised.

While a picture of an ancient stethoscope made many a student imagine it to be a horn, telescope or even a Nadaswaram, they were quick enough to identify a rainwater harvesting process on being shown its pictorial representation. Walter Mitty syndrome is day dreaming, the Drake equation estimates the number of detectable extraterrestrial civilizations in the galaxy and Synchronous diaphragmatic flutter (SDF) actually refers to the common hiccups; all a day's work for the participants. But Morris Travers, the scientist who worked on rare gases and also co-founded the Indian Institute of Sciences (Bangalore) was unknown to them.

The hall resonated with thunderous applause when the team from PSBB (Nungambakkam) very smartly connected the Sri Lankan national flag, a scene from the movie ‘2001: A Space Odyssey' and an old Rama Temple to science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, who has authored ‘Rendezvous with Rama' and had spent the last days of his life on Sri Lanka.

Six teams made it to the finals after the preliminary round consisting of fifteen questions designed by quiz master Giri Pick Brain Balasubramaniam.

The winning team of P. Swetha and G. Narendhar from St. Patrick Higher Secondary School, Puducherry, very cautiously hit the buzzers on the right questions surpassing early leaders Varun Rajagopal and Harish Krishna from PSBB who ended up third.

Vishal Katariya and Rishi Rajasekaran from Harishree Vidyalayam who stayed calm, cashing on their positive answers, came second. The other teams to qualify for the finals were Bhavans Rajaji Vidyashram, Balalok Matriculation Higher Secondary School and Vidya Mandir, Mylapore.

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.

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.


Vasudha VenugopalJune 28, 2012

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