DST INSPIRE Camp at Amrita
A five-day science camp was organized for Class XI and XII students during May 18-22 by the Amrita Center for Research in Advanced Technologies for Education (CREATE) at the Amritapuri campus.
The camp was convened as part of Department of Science and Technology (DST)’s program titled Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE).
DST’s INSPIRE program aims at attracting talented minds in the country to the field of science.
Over 180 shortlisted student participants arrived from all more than 45 schools all over Kerala to learn from and interact with eminent scientists and mentors through lectures, hands-on experience, projects, competitions and labs. These were the top students in their respective schools.
The camp began with a live interactive session with Dr. Lee Hartwell, the Nobel Laureate. Speaking to the students from half-way across the world in the US over a video-conferencing link, Dr. Hartwell enlightened them about the relatively new science of sustainability. The lecture was followed by insightful questions students posed to Dr. Hartwell. Learn More >>
“I was impressed with their questions,” Dr. Hartwell later remarked. “The questions were thoughtful and incisive. Although we face many challenges in the decades ahead, the intelligence and commitment of the young people is good reason to be optimistic. Thank you for the opportunity to participate.”
With the tone for the camp thus set, the five days for students were filled with glimpses into different scientific areas of study.
Whether it was the Chairman of the Kerala State Pollution Control Board further elaborating on principles of sustainable living or an ISRO scientist detailing his experiences during the launch of Chandrayan 1, students evinced a keen interest to learn about these fields.
In their interactive sessions, invited scientists shared learnings from the fields of physics and chemistry as well as ecology, biology, ethnology and anthropology.
In several hands-on sessions, students learned about the principles of robotics and the making of dye sensitized solar cells using natural dyes. They had the opportunity to experiment with online labs developed by Amrita and participate in an online science competition.
Some of the camp mornings began with sessions on yoga and meditation.
A motivational talk by Br. Manoj touched the students deeply, who responded by giving him a standing ovation. “Live in the present moment, ignore what has gone bad in the past and stop worrying about the future,” Br. Manoj told the students in his inimitable and jovial manner.
“We must be happy with what we are given, not compare ourselves to others, and become happiest by thinking, doing and being good. Our ambition should to be the best of ourselves, and contribute our best to society, and leave a mark on history,” he added.
Earlier, at the inauguration, Smt. Vandana Kumari Jena, IAS, Member, Planning Commission, spoke.
“If you have an inquiring mind, you will learn to question the day-to-day phenomena and learn. Develop a scientific mind that will seek to get to the basics and ask, why is something happening,” she said.
“The role of a teacher is very important to nurture a scientific and inquiring mind. Parents also should encourage their children to question,” she added.
Commenting on Amrita University’s model of holistic education, she stated, “What I really like about Amrita is that it balances science education with values education.”
The inaugural ceremony was also blessed with the presence of Swami Jnanamritananda Puri and Br. Abhayamrita Chaitanya, Pro-Chancellor, Amrita University.
May 23, 2012