Indian Institute of Technology Madras recently hosted the Valedictory Function for the Decennial Year Summer Program of the Research Science Initiative – Chennai (RSIC). This is an initiative aimed at identifying, encouraging and nurturing scientific temper in Indian school children.
The RSIC Summer Programme is held jointly by IIT Madras with Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan Group of Schools, Chennai, SASTRA University, Thanjavur, and other educational institutes in Chennai.
Commenting on the development, Prof Sandeep Sancheti, Vice-Chancellor, SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Chennai, said, “Students should continue to nurture your their scientific temper that has been kindled during this 6-week camp.”
The focus of Summer programme is primarily on the basic sciences, namely, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology, as well as other interface and interdisciplinary areas based on, or bridging, these subjects and on occasion, spilling over into technology. The programme was meant to impress on young minds the essential unity of the sciences and the close links and inter-relationships between its different parts. Each student is assigned a mentor for his or her project work. A project report written by the student is submitted at the end of the programme, and each student must make a short presentation based on his or her work
Modelled along the lines of Research Science Institute in McLean, U.S., this programme has enabled more than 325 bright young children to interact with faculty in IIT Madras and partner institutions (SASTRA, CMI and IMSc) for six weeks as residents of IIT Madras. This inturn helps them to gain exposure to Science, Research and Development through lectures and research projects.
Programme aimed at
The Summer Programme is aimed at students who have completed class XI in the summer of each year. They are provided free boarding and lodging in IIT Campus as well as a stipend. The aim is to channelize the interest, energy and enthusiasm of bright children in an appropriate direction with the help and guidance of experts.
The RSIC is not only aimed at providing some of the best opportunities to nurture the talents of youngsters in scientific research but is also aimed at parents of the children for a better understanding of the practices of the best scientists and the prospects that good quality science and engineering research can offer to young minds.
“RSIC is one small opportunity but yet highly impacting on the best of young minds of Chennai school students. It is a platform given to the bright and extremely creative minds to explore, learn and enjoy the beauty of interconnection among the subjects. We, at PSBB, believe in knowledge sharing and this camp provides adolescents the space and time to learn from their peers while working on research projects,” said Sheela Rajendra, Member, Governing Council, RSIC & Deputy Dean and Director, Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan Group of Schools, Chennai.
IIT Madras role
IIT Madras is the mentor institution and encourages coordination between multiple higher education institutions (SASTRA, CMI, IMSc, Anna University as examples) to create a program that would challenge the young minds without the fear of examinations and assessments, but by inquiry.