S. Mayuri had a fall by the green well near her home in a small town in Maharashtra. She wondered why. The idea led her to work on extracting bio-fuels from algae, both bio-diesel and bio-ethanol that could power diesel and petrol engines in future.

Inaugurating the Children's Science Congress, Nobel laureate Venkatraman Ramakrishnan said: “We are all born scientists and we stop being scientists as we grow up. Children are curious about plants, insects, blue sky, red sun. The parents, not knowing the answers, just say: Go away.”

“As we grow old, we just take the blue sky for granted, and we stop questioning,” he said.

Children like Mayuri, with their exhibits at the Congress, enthusiastically answered queries of every visitor.

 M. Ajith, from a government school in Wayanad district, had come up with a wireless and remote operated device, which could be attached to elephants that turn violent and kill people during festivities.

It is a trapping system to control elephants in musth. Through remote, he said, it was possible to even tranquillise the elephant. Ajith wants to be an electrical engineer.

C. Karthik and his team from the Forbes Academy in Belgaum have combined science and spiritualism for rejuvenation of soil. Using a square pyramid, he said, they made ‘agnihotra ash' out of cow dung cakes with unbroken rice and ghee by performing yagna. The ash thus obtained was beneficial to soil flora, he said.

Another team of young minds have chronicled how the ground water table has gone down after farmers shifted from agriculture to clay and sand mining in a river basin near Thiruvananthapuram. “The river course has changed and is mostly dry,” says S. Abhishek, a team member.