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City group scouts for little scientists

In an attempt to encourage scientific thinking among students, Karve Nagar-based group has started a program allowing teens to learn about diseases, animal tissue culture, etc

Why should science be dry and boring and only for a select few? Taking this idea forward and in an attempt to boost and nurture scientific thinking within secondary and higher secondary students, Karve Nagar-based Moving Academy of Medicine and Biomedicine, has started a research program called ‘Discovering Little Scientists.’


Hard at work: Students participating in lab experiments as part of the Little Scientists program

The programme not only allows students, aged from 14 to 18 years, to temper their minds but also provides them with some extra allowance — Rs 2,500 a month plus travel expenses. Around 60 students have taken up professional courses in engineering and medicine after participating in the program.

Explaining the program further, vice-president and secretary of the academy Dr M G Deo said, “Selected students will get to work on community and laboratory-based research projects in various topics, ranging from diseases, to soil testing, drinking water quality in rural area, animal tissue culture and many more topics.” Deo added that the program, which started five years ago, has garnered quite a positive response, so much so that 126 students from across the state have participated in the science program.

Commenting on how the program took root five years ago, Dr Deo said, “When I lived abroad for four years, I realised that our education system was lacking and at least two per cent of our students wanted to acquire knowledge outside of the curriculum. So, we began this program where students are exposed to topics, which they would otherwise not come across.”

Deo further added that the little scientists would be given lectures on tissue culture and computers basics at the Pune centre. Additionally, lectures and seminars by leading scientists will also be held.

70
Number of students who opted for the science stream after participating in the program

How the students are selected

Students, interested in enrolling in the program, are asked to write an 800-word essay on topics such as obesity, genetically modified crops, global warming, gene cloning, cancer, effects of tobacco and HIV. After the essays are submitted, organisers evaluate the essays and select a lucky few. In fact, the program has been so successful that three adivasi students from remote areas of Mangaon in Raigad district also got through.

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