A four-day workshop on science for school students, conducted by Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) in association with the Kerala Chapter of Vijnana Bharati (Swadeshi Science Movement), concluded here Friday with eminent experts exhorting the young minds to pursue science as a career option and give wings to their talents in its fascinating domains, including space, AI and cyber security.
Around 100 students from various schools of the city participated in the workshop, titled‘Face to Face with Frontiers in Science’, which was held during May 24-27 at the Poojapura campus of RGCB here.
In his inaugural address, RGCB Director Prof. Chandrabhas Narayana urged the students to consider creativity as the guiding light in their choices of higher studies and profession. He also briefed them about the various services offered by RGCB during the pandemic, facilitating the state to a great extent in controlling it.
Eminent scientists, drawn from RGCB; CSIR-NIIST; Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Science and Technology (SCTIMST);Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Thiruvananthapuram; Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC); and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), addressed the technical sessions on diverse topics ranging from biotechnology to sustainable energy materials.
Dr. E. V. Soniya, a scientist at RGCB, provided a tutorial on applied biotechnology, giving insights on topics such as genetically modified crops and DNA finger printing.
Dr. Suraj Soman and Dr. Rakhi RB of CSIR-NIIST dwelt upon the need for sustainable energy and also demonstrated the potential of dye sensitized solar cells and energy space device supercapacitors.
A session by Prof Achuth Sankar S. Nair of the University of Kerala introduced the concepts of new frontiers of science Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Deep Learning.
Melvin John and Hiren Bose of CDAC unfolded the intricacies of cyber security, enabling the students to comprehend new-age terms like open source intelligence.
Dr. H K Varma and Dr. Anoop Thekkuveetil from SCTIMST introduced the clinical use of biomaterials and the learnings from COVID-19 pandemic, respectively.
Dr. Rajeev Kini of IISER Thiruvananthapuram gave an interesting lecture about the world at Femtosecond time scales while Mr. Biju Prasad provided a clear vision of future prospects in space.
P A Vivekananda Pai, National Secretary, Vijnana Bharati; Dr U S Hareesh, Programme Chairman, and Senior Principal Scientist, CSIR-NIIST; and Dr K Narayanan Unni, Senior Principal Scientist and Head, Photosciences, CSIR, NIIST, spoke at the valedictory function.
A session on Vedic Mathematics and a science quiz were well received by the enthusiastic student community. They had also the opportunity to visit the laboratories of RGCB for a feel of the state-of-the-art analytical facilities.