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BUDDING BIOLOGISTS: School students displaying their working models at the exhibiton-cum-science programme at the G.R. Damodaran College of Science in Coimbatore on Wednesday. PHOTO: S. SIVA SARAVANAN
BUDDING BIOLOGISTS: School students displaying their working models at the exhibiton-cum-science programme at the G.R. Damodaran College of Science in Coimbatore on Wednesday. PHOTO: S. SIVA SARAVANAN

Amutha Kannan

Programme had students from IX to XII standards taking part in many activities

COIMBATORE: An exhibition-cum-science programme in a college, organised solely for school students? Surprising, yet true. An initiative of the Department of Biochemistry, G.R. Damodaran College of Science, the one-day programme that was held here on Wednesday, catered to high school and higher secondary school children.

`Science Unlimited - Trends in Biological Sciences' was envisaged with the aim of "developing an interest in school children for the biosciences like biotechnology, biochemistry and microbiology".

The first attempt of the Biochemistry Association, `Helix', the science programme had students from the IX to XII standards taking part in the various activities charted out for them.

There were competitions like quiz and `Just a Minute', presentation of working models and science poster exhibitions. All were to be judged on the basis of topic relevance, innovative presentation and practical application. The topics that the students could choose from were molecular biology, medicinal biochemistry and environmental chemistry. Five prizes for each category were given away to the best students.

"We have organised this for the first time. Seeing the overwhelming response, we are planning to make it an annual event. There are 25 schools participating from in and around Coimbatore. We have received good response from the Government schools too," said the co-ordinator of the event, A. Malrvizhi, Lecturer, Department of Biochemistry.

There were eager students setting up their respective exhibits. Working models were explained with the help of computers. There was Technotron, an electro-pneumatic engine designed to run a car, which the students claimed would be more efficient and economical compared to a battery-operated one.

There were working models on cloning, gene cloning, rainwater harvesting, gene therapy, global warming, etc. Most of the exhibits were advocating the need for pollution-free environment and conservation of energy.

"Is caffeine a brain stimulator?" was one of the topics for the `Just-a-Minute' competition.

Inaugurated by P. Rani, Assistant Professor, Department of Biotechnology, PSG College of Technology, the programme went on till 4 p.m., when prizes were given away to the winners. There were many consolation prizes too.

Prof. Rani underlined the importance of biological sciences in today's context. She urged students to take up higher studies in biological sciences and noted that software engineering was not the only option. Even careers in biological sciences would fetch them high salaries.

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