Pondering over science

Wiz kid: Science Congress essay contest winner Sachith Joseph Cheruvatur.

Wiz kid: Science Congress essay contest winner Sachith Joseph Cheruvatur.  


Sachith Joseph was the only student from the state to represent it at the Children's Science Congress held recently and make a presentation.

At a time when the ruling class and the scientific community alike are bemoaning the loss of interest in science among the new generation and underlining the need to reignite that interest, a student from the Gregorian Public School here has done his school and the State proud by making a presentation at the recently held Children's Science Congress as part of the 97th Indian Science Congress.

His successful participation in a nation-wide essay competition held in connection with the Indian Science Congress helped Sachith Joseph Cheruvatur, a class XI student, earn this distinction.

The competition

With a donation from Infosys Foundation, Bangalore, the Indian Science Congress Association has instituted the “Infosys Foundation – ISCA Travel Award” given annually to five students during the annual session of the Indian Science Congress Association. The competition is for class X, XI, and XII students who are required to submit a write-up in English, not exceeding 1500 words.

Authors of the best five essays are then given the opportunity to attend the Children's Science Congress held in connection with the Indian Science Congress and to make a presentation.

This year, the topic of the competition was “What developments in Science during the last two years have influenced him/her and why?”

Sachith's entry entitled “Virtual Reality, Neural Engineering and Empiricism” was among the selected five this year. He was the sole winner from the State.

He was then duly invited to make a power point presentation on his topic at the Children's Science Congress held alongside the 97th Indian Science Congress at Thiruvananthapuram. His presentation elicited lively response from the assembled scientists and participants during the question and answer session that followed.

Science of the senses

“Is it not ironic that man has catapulted himself into the skies, travelled to the depths of the ocean and is talking about exploring Mars, but has yet to know what goes on just inches below his scalp to comprehend how he sees, hears, smells, tastes and feels?,” Sachith wondered aloud during his presentation.

He told the participants that it was the electrical impulses from all five senses fed into the brain as data streams that gave them their experience of being there attending the function. “Do you know that science cannot confirm whether or not we are merely wired brains floating in some life-sustaining fluid right now? That is why I would like to see more scientific research and investigation into things we have taken for granted like how do we experience sight, smell, sound, etc from electrical impulses,” Sachith said wrapping up his presentation.

Sachith aspires to pursue further studies in neuroscience and physics. Incidentally he was the National Horlicks Wiz kid in 2005 besides being a State medal holder in swimming.

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