The Young Student Scientists Programme (YSSP) got off to a start on Wednesday at St. Joseph’s College for 80 schoolchildren who had completed the first phase of the programme last year. Top performers drawn in equal numbers from rural schools in Tiruchi and Karur districts will be spending the next 20 days in the second and final phase exploring the research avenues in the college’s laboratories under the guidance of experienced teachers under the YSSP sponsored by the Tamil Nadu State Council for Science and Technology. This year, the major subjects that the students will be studying and experimenting constitute physics, chemistry, botany, computer science, mathematics, and social studies, M. Joseph Stephen, senior coordinator, said. The last subject introduced this year will be handled by vice principal Rev. Fr. S. Lazar. A visit to villages will be organised to acclimatise the students to the functioning of village panchayats, the socio-economic role of women, utilities of infrastructure, and several other aspects, Mr. Stephen said. Last year, the students were taken on a visit to industries.

Conceptualised to draw students to the learning of science subjects and pursue research, the YSSP encourages students to be inquisitive. After the theory sessions in the morning, the students conduct experiments independently in the science laboratories in the afternoon hours. Every day of the residential programme begins with yoga classes and ends with games.

Rev. Fr. S. Aruldass, director – extension, Rev. Fr. S. John Britto, college rector, and A. Rupen Raj, head, department of mathematics, encouraged the students to integrate scientific outlook into their lives.