When given a chance to present an idea that used science, R. Pavithra, a student of Chennai Corporation Higher Secondary School, Jones Road, decided to make a model of a streetlight that would automatically switch off when the sun rises.

V. Monika and E.S. Nandhini from Adi-Dravidar Welfare Girls Higher Secondary School tried to light up a model of the Thanjavur Big Temple using energy generated from a table fan.

From solar panels that can power MTC buses to a car that is colour sensitive, class IX and X students from over 100 government, Corporation and Adi-Dravidar Welfare schools exhibited several ideas with working science models at the first district-level science exhibition organised by Rashtriya Madhyamik Siksha Abhiyan (RMSA), a joint scheme of the Central and State governments aimed at achieving universalisation of secondary education.

The students explored several concepts in physics, chemistry and biology, including transfer of energy, and working of the human heart.

The predominant themes, however, seemed to be conservation of energy and tapping renewable sources of energy. For instance, with an old plastic bottle filled with kitchen waste, cow dung and some tubes from scrap, student of Chennai Higher Secondary School, Taramani, Santhosh Kumar, made a model to illustrate how fire could be lit using bio-gas. “This can easily be done at home,” he explained.

M. Poornima a teacher at the school said they encouraged students to create low-cost science models using scrap and materials found around them.

Ibrahim Jaffer Sadik and Abdul Rehman from Chennai Urdu Boys Higher Secondary School, Old WashermEnpet, who had made a simple microscope and a model human eye, proudly pronounced how they wrapped up the project with less than Rs. 25. “Now, I understand how spectacles work better,” said Abdul.

An RMSA official said similar exhibitions to develop scientific temper were being held in all the districts and the best entries would participate in the State-level exhibition and subsequently, the South India Science Fair.

The exhibition at Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Ashok Nagar, was inaugurated by Chennai collector E. Sundaravalli on Monday.

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