Xavier’s Science Congress 2015

Day 1

Inauguration Ceremony

Wednesday, October 28, 2015 was a memorable day in the history of Saint Xavier’s, Jaipur, for this was the first of the three days on which the first ever Xavier’s Science Congress was scheduled to be held. This grand event, sponsored by Amit Pamecha (1989 Batch) and Vandana Pamecha Foundation, was inaugurated at 9:00 AM in the Senior School Hall. The Masters of Ceremony for the first day were Priya Jangid and Gaurang Sharma who addressed an audience which comprised of students and teachers from 10 schools including St. Xavier’s. The event began with felicitation of the chief guest, Fr. Glenn Menezes, by the President of Xavier’s Science Club, Parangat Mittal, which was followed by felicitations of Fr. John Ravi and Fr. Sangeet Raj by Mohit Bhargava and Kanishk Mittal respectively. This was followed by lighting of the lamp by Fr. Glenn and Fr. Ravi. Then came an enchanting performance of the song “God still loves the world” by the school choir. This was followed by a mesmerizing classical dance performance by Preksha Soni.IMG_2890 The MOCs then invited Fr. Ravi to address the audience. He revealed the motive behind this event- instilling a scientific attitude in the students. He also lamented the fact that science is now being exploited for personal gain which is proving to be detrimental for the Nature.

IMG_2895 He concluded his speech by expressing his gratitude for Mr. Amit Pamecha and the science faculty of the school for making this event possible. Then, Fr. Glenn took the stage and he too expressed his gratitude. With this, the inauguration ceremony came to an end at 9:30 AM.  

Myths and Facts

Since its inception, science has frequently been used as a myth buster and as a bane of countless widely accepted- but-false religious and social beliefs. Sometimes, even scientific theories are proved wrong by Science itself, such as; the notion of the sun’s movement around the earth was falsified by Copernicus’ Heliocentric Theory which itself got modified by Kepler. In order to continue this myth-bursting trend, a presentation was prepared by Vipra Goyal and Sarthak Ladhani. Since shattering such false pre-conceived notions and bringing to light the truth is an essential responsibility of science and scientists, the presentation was aptly placed at the top of a series of events scheduled for the first day and commenced at 9:30 AM. Vipra and Sarthak explained many phenomena which are considered impossible by the general public such as, attraction of non-magnetic objects by a magnet, seeing clearly without glasses and many more. They also falsified the traditional viewpoint about vacuum i.e. vacuum is devoid of any particles. But, in reality, vacuum consists of virtual particles whose existence also disproves the universally accepted Law of Conservation of Energy. They also explained various other phenomena like stop clock illusion, Mushroom effect and Casimir effect. The presentation concluded at 10:00 AM and was followed by an hour-long break which the guests utilized to rejuvenate themselves with refreshments and to tour the majestic campus of St. Xavier’s, escorted by volunteers from the Science Club.  

Seminar I- High Energy Particle

IMG_2951After re-energizing themselves during the break, the guests and students came back to the auditorium for a seminar on high energy physics. The speaker was Professor Sudhir Raniwala (Rajasthan University) who is also an alumnus of St. Xavier’s (batch of 1977). Before beginning, he was felicitated by Mr. Yogesh Bhatnagar. Prof. Sudhir began his speech by introducing various theories associated with the Universe’s creation. He explained that for having a scientific attitude, the primary agenda of this Congress, we must look for a pattern in natural phenomena that otherwise seem unrelated. He also highlighted the basis of science which unites all its branches and that is its universality. All branches of science, from high energy physics to cosmology, have one thing in common- their universality. He then came to the topic of high energy physics, the basis of which is symmetry of Nature. Finally, he arrived at the highly awaited topic- the Higgs Boson, nicknamed the God Particle which provides mass to all elementary particles like electrons and protons. He also explained the functioning of Large Hadron Collider (LHC) which was used to find the Higgs Boson. He concluded his presentation with a video about CERN.

Extempore- Scrutinize and Sermonize

Science is not just about proving m=m0/√(1-(v2/c2) ) through a complex amalgamation of diagrams, trigonometry, quantum mechanics and whatnot on a piece of paper; it is also about explaining the physical and mathematical principles involved and the utility of the expression to the audience. And thanks to the Almighty, we have the perfect medium for conveying our ideas and that is- Language. But, is speaking a language sufficient for this benevolent endeavour? Is it that simple to address a crowd about complex scientific concepts, many of whom are not as adept in the subject as the speaker? Do we not require the proper oratorical prowess to penetrate the impermeable skull of even the least interested listeners? Yes, we do. And what improves a student’s oratorical skills more than an impromptu speech? That is precisely the reason why this extempore competition was conducted. One participant from each participating school was asked to speak on a topic from a video shown to the participants. The judges were Mr. Vineet Bansal, Mrs. Rajni Johnson and Mrs. Uma Mukul. The results were declared during the closing ceremony on the third day and are as follows:-  
  • Jayshree Periwal High School
  • Neerja Modi School
  • St. Xavier’s Sr. Sec. School
 

Day 2

Due to the tremendous success of the opening day of the Science Congress, the organisers laboured with renewed enthusiasm to achieve similar results on the second day as well. The Masters of Ceremony for the day were Unnat Purohit and Ritika Sarda. The events were as follows:-

Seminar 2- Medical Sciences

DSC_0959First up was a seminar on Frontiers in Cardiology presented by Dr. Rajeev Bagarhatta, senior professor, Department of Physics, SMS Medical College. He was felicitated by Simran Choudhary. He enlightened the students about the functioning and various disorders related to the human heart such as Atrial Septal Defect, Ventricular Septal Defect, Rheumatic Heart Disease and Coronary Artery Disease. He also explained various treatments of cardiac disorders such as Angioplasty, Defibrillator and Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy.

The seminar was followed by a speech from Mr. Yogesh Bhatnagar and an enchanting performance of the song “I am the Earth” by the students of class 12-C.

Magical Science

Science is often misinterpreted as magic. To prevent such mistakes, experts from Science Park graced the event with their presence and presented a magic show and a liquid nitrogen show. DSC_3156The aim of the magic show was to prevent the audiences from becoming victims of tricks and illusions of frauds who pass off simple scientific principles as magic. The presenters pulled off various seemingly-impossible stunts which were later revealed to be mere illusions of the eyes. The show was conducted by Satish Gupta and his team. DSC_3251

The liquid nitrogen show enlightened the audiences with the effects that super-cooled liquid nitrogen has on objects such as rubber balls and flowers. The students were astounded upon seeing a rubber ball treated with liquid nitrogen shatter after colliding with the floor as if it were made of glass. It was presented by Abhilasha Sharma and Ajay Singh.

 

Battle of Brains (Quiz)

DSC_3282 The final event for the second day was a quiz based on general science in which 5 teams battled through a series of mind-boggling rounds. An elimination round for selecting the final teams for this quiz from a total of 11 teams was conducted earlier. The selected teams made their way through 7 baffling rounds including visual round and the dreaded rapid fire round. There also was a round dedicated to Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. The quizmasters were Divyam Sharma, Parangat Mittal, Simran Choudhary, Ayush Pilani and Vishwas Gupta. The results were announced during the closing ceremony and are as follows:-  
  • Maheshwari Public School
  • St. Xavier’s Sr. Sec. School
  • Maharani Gayatri Devi Girls School
 

Day 3

The third and final day of the Xavier’s Science Congress was a magnificent one. The members of the organizing committee, students and teachers alike, successfully performed the Herculean task of making the event take place in an apple pie order. Their labours bore fruit and the majestic event came to an apt conclusion. The Masters of Ceremony for the day were Simran Choudhary and Parangat Mittal. The function kicked off with a spellbinding performance of “Here I am” by the school choir. The events of the final day were as follows:-

Seminar 3 Environmental Science

DSC_3330

The speaker for the final seminar was A.B. Gupta, HOD of Civil Engineering at MNIT, Jaipur. He was felicitated by Mohit Bhargava. He highlighted the countless environmental challenges faced by the world. He emphasized the need to integrate environmental hygiene with personal hygiene. He shared many of his experiences with the students related to his endeavours. His presentation mainly dealt with the ill-effects of contaminated water on human health, both direct and indirect. He also talked about the respiratory disorders caused by deposition of particulate matter in the lungs and the cardio-vascular disorders caused by noise pollution. He also explained the consequences of fluorosis (fluoride ingestion) and nitrate toxicity and deaths due to misdiagnosis. He focused on the need to prevent environmental pollution as Swami Vivekananda rightly said, “To cure is the word of the past; to prevent is the whisper of the future.”

 

Project Exhibition

Science is not just about a bunch of formulae and theorems; it is also about creativity and application of science in daily life. To nurture these skills, a project exhibition was organized in which the participants presented their models, both static as well as working. The exhibition was inaugurated by Fr. Sangeet Raj in the Biology lab. The models were mainly based on Physics. Their high quality and utility reflected the students’ hard work. The judges were Mr. Jitendra, Mr. Rani John, Mrs. Mona Khurana and Mr. Ajay Jose. The exhibition ended with a vote of appreciation by Mr. Biju, the Vice-Principal for Academics. The results are as follows:- Static Category:-
  1. Maharani Gayatri Devi Girls School
  2. BVB Vidyashram
Working Category:-
  1. Jayshree Periwal High School
  2. Maheshwari Public School

The Surge for Scientific Exploration (Scavenger Hunt)

The final event was a Scavenger Hunt which received participation from 10 different schools. It comprised of 2 rounds, the first being a questionnaire through which 5 teams qualified. The selected teams then embarked upon a treasure hunt around the school looking for clues planted at different parts of the school by the organizers. The event was thoroughly enjoyed by the participants.

    The results are as follows:-
  • Maheshwari Public School
  • Maharaja Sawai Man Singh Vidyalaya
DSC_3373
  • Ending Ceremony

    After a flurry of informative seminars, nail-biting competitions and dazzling performances, came the moment of truth. The last event of the Xavier’s Science Congress was the Ending Ceremony when the results of the various competitions were announced and a video was shown to the audience as a vote of thanks. The organizers’ tireless efforts were reflected in the event’s brilliance. And so, the first ever Xavier’s Science Congress came to an end, as all things must.


    Special thanks to:-
    • Aditya Makharia and Divyansh Sharma for the photographs.
    • Puru Saxena , Jagrit Acharya and Aditya Shekhar for helping out with the article.