The final day at St. Stephen’s National Science Fest started off with a conventional debate. Organised by the Debating Society, the motion for the NSF Debate was, “This house will allow parents to choose the genetic composition of their kids”. The event witnessed participation from a total of nine teams, with Hindu College emerging as the best team.
The winning team comprised of Vibhor Mathur and Nomaan Hassan. Nomaan’s argument against the motion, also won him the title of the Best Speaker of the debate.
The adjudicating panel for the event comprised of Riya Sharma, Midhandeep Jain and Mehvish Rathor – all experienced debaters of the Stephen’s clan. One of the adjudicators says, “Some really astounding ideas came up, such as how tolerance for diversity is a perhaps a very trivial part of human culture – which certainly does make a lot of sense if you can defend it well. The debate surely had some interesting moments.”
The closing event for the National Science Fest was a culmination a ride ranging from different corners of Stephen’s through the Treasure Hunt. Parichay Mazumdar, Maitreyee Rudola, Ayushi Kathayat and Sadiah Zahoor of St. Stephen’s College emerged as the winning team in the same.
The organising committee also announced the results for Competition of Young Scientists and Enthusiasts (CYSAE), a multidisciplinary competition held on the previous day. From six teams that went into the finals, St. Stephen’s College emerged as the winner, with a team from IIT Delhi settling for the second position. The winning team from St. Stephen’s College comprised of Nishchaiy Suri, Shreya Arya and Ojasvi Khare.
The second day at St. Stephen’s National Science Fest started with the interdisciplinary Competition of Young Scientists and Enthusiasts (CYSAE). 12 teams started off in the competition, out of which 8 moved on to the second round. The second round comprised of programming problems and required participants to design algorithms in any programming language. With the ability to approach a maximum of five problems in one hour, six teams moved on to the final round on the basis of the same. In the final round, while four teams were from Stephen’s, the other two were from Hansraj College and IIT Delhi. In the final round, the six teams were supposed to first choose between Physics and Chemistry, and then solve a set of five questions based on that subject in the span of one hour. The final results of the competition are still awaited.
The initial events of the day also had a Scientifik Exhibition on Innovative Practices for the Conservation of Natural Resources judged by Dr. Kinkini Dasgupta Misra, from the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. Out of the 5 contenders, the team from Army Public School was declared the winning team.
Moving from academia, the day also witnessed a General Science Quiz prepared by the Quiz Society of the college and conducted by Debobrato Sen Sharma and Akshit Goyal of the St. Stephen’s Quiz Society. 18 teams competed in a written preliminary round, out of which 7 teams moved on to the finals. The quiz had 42 questions coming from different scientific fields. The first position was obtained by a mixed team from Stephen’s and Hindu College, comprising of Ayan, Prerna and Rahul. However, an all Stephen’s team of Rabin, Sukrita, Surabhi bagged the second position. Talking about his favourite question in the quiz, Debobrato says, “We had a question where we told people about the characteristics of a spider and showed them a picture of the same. An additional fact was that the name of the spider was inspired by a character from the Jungle Book. Many people worked it out, despite seeing it for the first time.”
In Kapture, a digital imaging competition, students were given two hours to go around the campus, click photographs and then edit them on digital editing software to create their entry for the competition. 15 teams competed to create images under the theme The Dark side of St. Stephen’s. Andriyas A. Silas and Zoya Singh of St. Stephen’s won the competition in an entry that reflected towards an existing gender bias.
Another fun event of NSF was ‘Absurd Theory’ – a competition about presenting theories and backing them up by scientific reasoning. The winning theory of the competition was presented by Mitrajyoti Ghosh of St. Stephen’s College. Mitrajyoti in his theory went on to propose that human kind existed on the planet before dinosaurs. Talking about absurd theories, he says, “Absurd Theory to me is about the fun in science. It shows that a scientific temperament can be applied to any situation. The fun of theorical science is that you don’t necessarily have to think of the big questions. Even the small questions can give you a lot of scope for imagination!”
Apart from the competitive events, the day also had talks on Wavelets and Quantum Mechanics in sessions with Dr. Prasanta Panigrahi of Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Kolkata and Dr. Sameer Sapra of IIT Delhi respectively.
The National Science Fest at St. Stephen’s College began with the ‘Inaugural Ceremony’ at 2 pm on 24th January. Principal Rev. Dr. Valson Thampu inaugurated the event with a motivational speech encouraging the young science students to strive for the best, followed by a screening of National Science Fest 2014 official video.
Dr. Patrick Dasgupta, presently a professor at Department of Physics and Astrophysics, University of Delhi, in a NSF Talk, spoke about the fundamentals of black holes, be it Schwarzschild radius or Hawking Radiation. Known for his work in the field of gravitational waves, quasars and cosmology he went on to present the ‘Information Loss Paradox’ associated with black holes. The talk was followed with a question-answer session where the members of the audience, varying from undergraduate students to research scholars, interacted with Dr. Dasgupta. After Dr. Dasgupta’s talk, the triathlon of events began at various venues of the college with the Paper Presentation event in Room A, Debugging Electronicz event at the New Physics Lecture Theatre (NPLT) and a talk on “The Fascinating World of Chemistry” by Dr. Subho Mozumdar, a faculty member of the Department of Chemistry at University of Delhi.
‘Debugging Electronicz’ was based on the idea of testing the participants’ interest and expertise in electronics, and their capability in debugging flawed electronic circuits. It led to an intense final between the two best teams on an actual large circuit, basically a convoluted Adder circuit, where the finalists had to find out the flaws inherent in the realized circuit. Finally, in an all-Stephanian final, Ankit Dhanuka and Motaram clinched the first position, while Abel and Ojasvi received the second prize.
Along the main corridor, in Room A, the paper presentation competition took off with 15 student entries from all over the country belonging to various courses of study. Sahil Mathur, student of Information Technology & Mathematics at the Cluster Innovation Centre (CIC) earned the top spot for his paper on “Developing Genetic Algorithm inspired intelligent routing protocol for Wireless Sensor Networks”. The second prize was shared by Raktim Sen and Manasij Pal Chowdhury of Stephen’s and an individual entry by Deepto Mozumdar.