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ENGROSSED: Participants listen to Ramanujam, an expert on biodiversity, at the XIV State Children's Science Congress held in Puducherry. Photo: T. Singaravelou
ENGROSSED: Participants listen to Ramanujam, an expert on biodiversity, at the XIV State Children's Science Congress held in Puducherry. Photo: T. Singaravelou

Deepa H Ramakrishnan

Students submit interesting projects at State Children's Science Congress

PUDUCHERRY: Children, these days, are thinking like adults and conducting scientific research with proper methodologies and finding solutions to problems.

The XIV State Children's Science Congress, organised jointly by the Pondicherry Science Forum and the State Training Centre, Directorate of School Education, threw up some fascinating researches conducted by schoolchildren in the 10 to 17 age group.

From a total of 150-odd projects submitted at the regional level, 27 made it to the State-level competition held in Puducherry on November 14 and 15. The topic for this year was `biodiversity', and the children from government and private schools had to submit entries related to the topic.

According to T.P. Raghunath, scientist, Pondicherry Science Forum, at the end of two days, six teams were selected to participate in the national finals to be held in Sikkim in December.

The food preference and feeding habit of the African snail, an agricultural pest, by Sri Narayana Secondary School, Mahe; impact of eucalyptus trees on biodiversity by St. Joseph of Cluny School; biodiversity of fish and comparison of fishing gear by students of Government School TR Pattinam, Karaikal; were the projects selected in the seniors category.

At the junior level, the biodiversity of earthworms by St. Theresa High School, Mahe; biodiversity of paddy fields by St. Joseph's High School, Moolakulam; and another project on the biodiversity of earthworms but in different places by another school in Karaikal; were selected.

According to Pondicherry Science Forum General Secretary Parasuraman, the criteria for the selection of projects included project selection, presentation, data collection and analysis, experiment validation, problem solving attempts, teamwork, impact of work and follow up action and background correction.

One interesting project that wasn't selected was by a group of Standard VIII students, including Rajaguru, Velmurugan, Saktivel, Pasupathi and Sivaraman from Ariyankuppam GMS. Their study was on the mangroves on the Ariyankuppam river. They found that the river contained two types of cholera spreading `vibroa'. "We have not yet completed the tests. After we finish them, we will be inform our principal [of the results]," said Rajaguru. The students studied mangroves in five places and found that in each location the plants had different characteristics. During the course of their study they also observed different kinds of crabs, shrimps and small snakes.

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