The enthusiasm among students could be hardly missed as they showcased their projects at the district-level science exhibition-cum-competition, which got under way at the Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT) here on Saturday.

As many as 713 students from higher primary and high school from different parts of the district are taking part in the four-day event. The participants had got Rs. 5,000 under the Innovation in Science Pursuits for Inspired Research (Inspire) programme of the Union Ministry of Science and Technology to develop science projects or models. As many as 53 participants will qualify for the State-level competition to be held in August. Those selected at the State-level will qualify for the national-level competition to be held subsequently.

According to Maya S., Lecturer at District Institute of Education and Training (DIET), 362 students from Udupi and Karkala blocks have been asked to showcase their projects on Saturday and Sunday. The remaining 351 students, belonging to Byndoor, Kundapur and Karkala blocks, will present their projects on Monday and Tuesday, she said.

Students were understandably excited about their projects. Sushanth, a class 8 student from Government High School at Kodabettu-Mala village who has developed a battery-operated remote-controlled boat, showed how the boat, made out of light materials, moved. “I am participating in an exhibition for the first time. This is a good competition,” he said.

Sushma, a class 9 student from Government Composite School at Kalya, has come up with a project titled “Fish in the Sea” driving home the message of pollution. “This exhibition is a learning experience for me as I got to see many other science projects,” she said.

Venkatesh, a class 8 student from UBMC Aided Higher Primary School from Kallambady has developed a model which showed the operation of signal lights. “It is a new experience for me,” he said.

Sharon Mathias, a class 10 student from St. Joseph’s High School from Belman, who has developed a power-saving fan, said: “I am thrilled at being here.”

, Urban Development Minister Vinay Kumar Sorake inaugurated the exhibition. Pramod Madhwaraj, MLA, Upendra Nayak, president of Udupi Zilla Panchayat, Nagendra Madhyastha, Deputy Director of Public Instruction (DDPI), and Vinod Thomas, Director of MIT, were present.