TAMIL NADU

Big dreams set them in motion

Meera Srinivasan

CHENNAI: It was a big day for the students. Participating in the ‘AWIM National Olympics’ here on Tuesday they designed and built small vehicles that took them on a very enjoyable and informative day-long journey.

The teams that took part represented as many as 15 schools from Chennai, Pune and Nashik. The students, mostly from Class VI and a few from Class V, had qualified for this final round from selection rounds held earlier in different cities.

The schools have been part of ‘A World in Motion (AWIM),’ a programme that seeks to bring teachers, students and industry volunteers together in an exploration of physical science, simultaneously addressing essential mathematic and scientific concepts and skills.

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) international, a professional organisation for mobility engineering professionals, provides the curriculum.

SAE India

SAE India has been implementing this programme in schools in the country with companies, including Ashok Leyland, Honeywell, Mahindra & Mahindra, sponsoring the programme for students in different cities.

Tuesday’s national final saw some of the most innovative vehicles that came in interesting colours and shapes. Before their actual presentation, the teams tested their vehicles on a small ramp. When asked about the unconventional stream-lined shape, they came up with quick responses.

“Aerodynamics, you see. We want the vehicle to pierce through the air and move fast,” explained Roshan Jaisimha Dattatri, even as his team mates C.Yuvapriyan and Bhavya Kannan were giving final touches to their model.

The trio was from Sri Sankara Senior Secondary School that played host to the event.

Ashoka Universal School from Nashik emerged the national champion in the event. Aditya Londhe, Varun Karat and Palak Nimani presented a fast, efficient and eco-friendly vehicle. Like other teams, they used a balloon to power the cardboard vehicle that ran on plastic wheels.

“The air in the balloon provides momentum to the vehicle,” explained Palak.

Symbiosis School, Nashik, bagged the second prize while M.S. Kothari School, Nashik, came third.

Thomas W. Ryan, president, SAE International, who gave away the prizes, commended teachers and parents for supporting the initiative. David Schutt, executive vice president and COO of SAE International, said the event was the highlight of his trip to India and lauded the students’ efforts.

M.S. Kumar, president, SAE India, Subala Ananthanarayanan, principal of Sankara Senior Secondary School and B.M. Udhaya Shankar, Executive Director - Manufacturing, Ashok Leyland, were among others present.

In Chennai, 15 schools are part of the AWIM programme, where volunteers meet the students and teachers of a partnering school periodically, give them a kit with material to build vehicles and train them in the concepts which are normally used to build an efficient vehicle.

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