P. Malarkodi, a Plus One student of the Government Higher Secondary School at Palayapalayam, Namakkal, will be among the few students from Tamil Nadu to participate in the national science exhibition, organised by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) under the Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) programme at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, from October 8-10.

“Private schools in Namakkal take pride in producing State toppers in the board exams by making students mark-oriented bookworms. The government school student, daughter of a worker in a paint shop, has brought pride to the district by making the model of a ‘vehicle that runs on compressed air’, Chief Education Officer V. Kumar told The Hindu .

The model has a metal frame weighing about 25 kg, resembling the crude model of a vehicle, which works on Newton’s Third Law (every action has an equal and opposite reaction). It is fitted with a cylinder with compressed air. It has inlet and outlet valves to release air, which will move the rear wheels and push the vehicle forward.

It won the first prize in the district-level science competition in July.

About 640 district-level winners in various categories participated in the State-Level Science Competition in Madurai on August 31 and September 1, in which Malarkodi won the gold medal and an opportunity to take part in the national event.

“Rs. 5,000 is given to each student participant through INSPIRE to come out with an innovative project. The expense incurred to develop the model is Rs. 17,000, of which the excess was shared by me and chemistry teacher (N. Asokan), who helped me to develop the model,” she said.

Malarkodi is the third student of the school to participate in the national-level event. D. Priya was the first from the school to take part in event in 2010-11 with the model to ‘Generate power from sewage’. It also won the gold medal in the Southern India Science Fair that was held in Puducherry.

“She flew to Japan in a trip that was fully sponsored by the Japan–East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths,” Mr. Asokan, who guided her said.

D. Shalini developed a model to ‘Generate electricity from septic tank in an individual house’ and was the second from the school to participate in the national-level contest in 2011-12.

Mr. Asokan recalled that the students of the school have won many prizes in other district and State-level science events as well. “Students are innovative. They come with a basic idea, which was shaped into prototypes with the guidance of experts,” he said.

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