Meera Srinivasan

CHENNAI: How often do students get a chance to take up open-ended experiments? Or do they ever get to ask questions that are not significant in the context of examinations?

In summer next year, a group of city students from various schools will get an opportunity to do this. With the aim of inculcating the spirit of enquiry and research in students, the PSBB Group of Schools has taken the initiative of setting up the Research Science Institute – Chennai, which will offer a summer programme on the lines of that organised by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for high school students.

Partnering the chief patron of the initiative, dean and director of the PSBB Group of Schools Mrs.Y.G. Parthasarathy are M.S. Ananth, Director, IIT-Madras; R. Sethuraman of SASTRA University; C.S. Seshadri, Director, Chennai Mathematical Institute; and M.S. Swaminathan, chairman, M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation. Several leading companies and senior academicians will also participate in this exercise.

“The idea is to give students an opportunity to get away from rote learning and examination-oriented, stressful education. This programme will allow students to think and ask questions while they pursue projects as part of the programme,” said Mrs. Y.G.P., who met principals and teachers of several city schools here on Tuesday.

Schoolteachers will nominate a select group of students who have completed Standard XI and have shown promise and potential. Senior academics will later visit interested schools and conduct interviews with these students and finally select a group of about 30.