Students Today, Teachers Tomorrow

Updated: Jan 26 2003, 05:30am hrs
Intel, the worlds largest chipmaker and a leading manufacturer of computers, networking and communications products, organised Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, recently.

The participants were students from across the country studying in Class IX-XII in the age group of 14-17 years. Two individuals and one team project from each fair to be held subsequently in Mumbai and Bangalorea total of 12 studentswill be selected to represent India at the Intel ISEF to be held in the US in May 2003.

This year 2,454 direct entry projects competed at the screening level and out of these 135 projects were selected for participation at the fair. Aasish Menon and Ronak Tak from Jaipur in the engineering category bagged the first prize for crafting a chainless bicycle.

In the individual category, the first prize was bagged by Karan Sharma in the same category from Apeejay School, Sheikh Sarai, for glider speed boosters. Another Delhi student Adhar Mittal won the first prize in the Computer Science category for artificial creation of music. These finalists would represent India at the Intel ISEF.

Talking about the event, Aruna Ramanathan, head of Education Programs, Intel India, said that Intel firmly believes that the great ideas of the future will come from young people who are comfortable with technology and have a good grounding in science and maths. Science and maths drive new technologies, and new technologies drive much of our global economic growth. To encourage an interest in science and math, Intel started sponsoring ISEF.

Mr Menon and Mr Tak said that they never had thought that they would bag the first prize and get a chance to go to the US. They said they were very much delighted and would do further research in the area. They are optimistic about it and said: We have even thought the name of the bicycle company.

Mr Sharma said says that he got the idea of this project during his summer vacations when he was playing with a glider. He then approached his teacher with his idea and it was selected. He says he couldnt believe at the first instance that he has won the prize.

These science fairs are part of the Intel Innovation in Education Initiative, a global, multi-million dollar effort to help realise the possibilities of science and technology in education.

Ms Ramanathan said that the key objective of the fair is to infuse the spirit of discovery and innovation among the next generation and build their interest in the fields of science and technology.

The fair is designed to stimulate young minds to take an active interest in computer science, engineering, mathematics and physics and to provide them with an educational experience while giving public recognition to talented students for their work, she added.

Intels overall goal is to prepare todays teachers and students for tomorrows demands. This is being done by developing and supporting education programmes like Intel Teach To The Future that meets the needs of students and communities worldwide. Intel aims at improving education through the effective use of technology in classrooms and broadening access to technology and technical careers.

Intel also organises Intel Science Talent Discovery Fair (Intel SDTF), a national science fair, aimed at infusing the spirit of discovery in school children and increasing their interest in science and technology. It allows students a platform to display their scientific attitude, discover unique scientific solutions to everyday problems and win public recognition and awards at a national and international level.

It has been held in India since 1999, and is affiliated to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) held in the US in May every year. ISEF is the largest pre-college science fair and is known as the Olympics of science fairs. Over one million secondary school children from 40 different countries compete in local and Intel-affiliated fairs with the ambition of making it to Intel ISEF. Besides the pride and honour of being there, students get a chance to meet peers from around the world and mingle with esteemed scientists and Nobel laureates who judge their endeavours.

After Delhi, the ISEF will be held in Mumbai (January 25-27) and in Bangalore (February 1-3). Intel has also tied-up with the central and state governments and other science fairs so that students can get an opportunity to showcase their innovative ideas. Intel reaches to over 12,000 schools across the country. It has tied-up with 120 scientists and 60 labs for helping the students in their project progress.