It is not surprising when scientists win accolades for their work within their labs, but it does make one notice when they get involved in an activity purely to enthuse children in extracurricular pursuit of science. The Exciting Science Group (ESG) is one such initiative. Started in 2008 by a group of scientists from the National Chemical Laboratory, Pune (CSIR-NCL), the ESG, a volunteer group, is housed in the Venture Centre, a not-for-profit (section 25) company that CSIR-NCL floated as a technology business incubator. This work chiefly involves faculty members from CSIR-NCL and IISER, Pune.

They started with talks at the Venture Centre by NCL faculty, but now people come from IISER, IIT-Bombay, IISc, and TIFR and even from industry (Praj, DSM etc). About a year after ESG was started, they adopted three schools, so as not to restrict their activities to middle-class and upper middle-class children. Their activities too branched out from talks to workshops and even putting together science-based stories for comic books.

SHUBASHREE DESIKAN

All talks and events are free of cost to the students, and slides from previous talks are available on their website, http://www.excitingscience.org.