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Students showcase their scientific talents

Hiran U.
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The term ‘bio-invasion' may be a mouthful, though the concept is fairly straight forward.

Hafiz Malik, a 10 {+t} {+h} Standard student from K.K.M. High School at Cheekod in Malappuram district will tell you, “have a feeling of it from your own surroundings''.

A participant at the State science fair that is on at the Holy Ghost Girls' Higher Secondary School at Aluva near here, he has so far identified about 25 such infiltrator species that have been causing serious damage to the ecosystem.

According to Hafiz, an example can be drawn from the large scale presence of the African Giant Snail that has slowly, but steadily, crawled its way into different habitats across Kerala.

This native of East Africa feeds on over 500 crops and eats out the leaves and tender parts of trees and plants, apart from posing a health risk by being a vector.

The others charged with infestation to the local environment include species like the African weed, mosquito fish and Siam weed, he says.

The concise and well-presented concept of Hafiz seems to capture the mood of the State-level event whose focus is on the preservation of environment as the need of the hour.

Near the entrance to the venue, the miniature of a geo-thermal power plant catches one's attention.

Says Carolin, a higher secondary student from the Valappad Government Higher Secondary School, Thrissur, “Our team flipped through a few scientific articles for some ideas until inspiration struck us on this model of clean energy production''.

Another exhibit is the model developed by the students of the Poredam V.V. Higher Secondary School in Kollam on a pollution-free green city that comprises carbon absorbing trees on roadways, plasma plants for treating e-waste and cars that run on renewable energy.

Arya and Rashmika from the HMY Higher Secondary School in Manjeri spent almost six months tracking the optimal environment of spiders and collected specimen of 86 varieties.

Guided by mentors, the duo could complete a study on the spider fauna and has been drawing comments from the visitors on the high quality of the exhibit and the depth of their research work.

For the organisers, it has been a fascinating experience to see the students showcasing new skills and honing their presentation talents.

“It helps them develop an inquiring mind, and encourage researching attitudes among young minds'', said one of the officials.

Besides providing these youngsters a platform for displaying their scientific aptitude and winning public recognition, the event has been successful in drawing a large number of visitors.

Hiran U.

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