SYED MUTHAHAR SAQAF

After a tough fight through rounds of quizzing and a mind-boggling tie-breaker, the team emerged victorious.

P.G. Aravindh of Arokiyamatha Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Tiruchi, and S. Gowtham of Maxwell Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Thanjavur, both Std. XII students, created a record when they teamed up to win the ‘International Brahm Prakash Memorial Materials Quiz 2008’ held at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam, recently.

The team, sponsored by the Tiruchi Chapter of the Indian Institute of Metals (IIM), won the O.P. Jindal Prize money of Rs. 15,000.

The preliminary round, semifinals and the finals proved very tough. “We have studied the basics of materials to some extent in the Physics and Chemistry subjects. But the quiz was on advanced topics. It was the specialised training imparted by Tiruchi Chapter of the IIM which enabled us to win the prestigious competition in a nail-biting finish,” both Aravindh and Gowtham admitted.

Training

The IIM, Tiruchi, did not leave any stone unturned to impart training to them at the National Institute of Technology, Tiruchi (NIT-T) and at BHEL, with the help of specialists. It also provided them with a set of questions that were posed during similar quiz contests held in the past four years. Besides, a couple of students of NIT-T who had taken part in the international competitions in the previous years also gave them finer tips.

“Our team’s resounding win in the semi finals had given us lot of confidence. However, the initial rounds in the finals were very tough. We could not secure even a single point in the first four rounds. But this did not deter us. Once we started scoring we did not look back. The rounds on ‘Indian Scientists’ and ‘Disasters’ helped us strengthen our position,” they say.

The duo underwent tense moments, when they tied for the top spot with the team from Shri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal Silver Jubilee H.S. School, Tirunelveli, with 40 points. Even the first four rounds in the tie-breaker could not spot the winner. Aravindh and Gowtham clinched the issue in their favour by answering the fifth question correctly much to the joy of every one around.

While Aravindh wants to pursue his higher education in IIT, Gowtham, hailing from Mela-Ulur village near Thanjavur, wants to pursue

Aeronautical Engineering course. Both of them were thankful to the headmasters and teachers of their schools for motivating them.

A total of 33 teams — 28 teams from India and five from Sri Lanka — participated in the event.