Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Young scientists showcase talent

A bunch of young scientists brought science in action through their innovative science projects at the ‘Himalayan Science Fair 2011’ on Monday. The two-day nationwide fair, which began Sunday on the premises of Himalayan WhiteHouse College, New Baneshwor, was organized by Himalayan Club de Scientia (HICSI), a science club of the Himalayan WhiteHouse International College.

The fair brought together more than 300 students from 15 different colleges in Kathmandu valley and one college and a school from outside Kathmandu to showcase their talents.On display were 42 different science projects on robotics, mechanics, chemistry, biology and climate change.
The participants vied with each other to get the first, second and the third position. A panel of judges, along with SMS voting, chose the winners.

Valley Top English Boarding School from Dang grabbed the first position with a cash prize of Rs 25,000. Showcasing on behalf of the school were Marshal Rokka and Subham Singh, both tenth graders. The duo exhibited various electronic projects such as obstacle detector for the blind, walkie-talkie, mobile-operated switch and clap-operated switch. 

“Subham and I have been working together on these projects for about three years,” said pleasantly surprised Rokka, adding, “I’m so glad that we have won the contest.”“Though we hail from Dang where required electronic components aren’t easily available, we worked hard and used scrap components for our projects and we managed to win today,” said his cohort, Singh, delightedly.

Mobile Remote Circuit of Saurya International College secured the second position with the cash prize of Rs 15,000 while the Automatic Counting Machine of Himalayan WhiteHouse International College stood third to win a cash prize of Rs 10,000. The counting machine also counted the number of visitors at the fair.
Rkees Hill Train, Line Tracking Robot, Air Car, Spy Robot, Trolley Bus, Hydraulic Crane, Wind Turbine, Light Pollution, Save the Kathmandu, Save the Himalayas, Automatic Vending Machine and Counting Machine were the major attractions of the fair.

“The students from different colleges enthusiastically participated in the fair with their interesting science projects,” said Mukul Dhakal, program coordinator, Himalayan Science Fair and a twelfth grader, adding, “The visitors also got to see how science and technology can be applied in homes, society and nation as a whole.”

Mukul hailed the exhibition as helping to encourage pragmatic approach to science education and said his club had been working relentlessly on the project for more than five months and was a dream come true.
The one-hundred-something stalls set up at the fair featured science projects, food and informative stuffs. Lions Club of Kavre, Sankhu and Lions Club of Kathmandu, Sangam jointly organized a blood donation program at the fair while Kantipur Dental College provided dental services to the visitors for free through their free dental clinic.

Rijan Karki, 19, a twelfth grader at Nobel College, who presented his hypothesis on isolated system at NASA, USA, also presented his hypothesis at the fair.
“I have already presented my hypothesis at the University of Massachusetts, Harvard University and TU,” Rijan said, adding, “I feel great to present my hypothesis at this fair too.”
“I think science fairs should be organized regularly so that students can get a platform to expose their talents” he said, adding that Nepal could do wonders if talented people are encouraged.

Dr Cathy Cavanaugh, professor of education technology at University of Florida, USA and a judge of the HSF 2011, gave a presentation on ‘How and where to teach and learn science’.

“Science fairs like this bring positive attention on science education and also help students who don’t have opportunities to showcase their talents,” said Dr Cathy, adding, “Science fairs bring in people with similar interest in science together and also help students in career planning in science.”

Kushal KC, another young scientist, gave a presentation on how he developed his Air Car. A documentary on how he developed the solar car when he was barely a tenth grader was also screened.
Various seminars, computer gaming competition, cultural programs and raffles were other attractions at the fair.