The Group 4 Science Project
Post author: Anshul Choudhari, Grade 12
For the first time during my time at B.D. Somani, the Group 4 Science Project took place towards the end of September over three days. I can safely say that every day had lots to look forward to, and that the result of weeks of hard work – a series of experiments linked to “The School Environment” – was wholly satisfying, so much so that it earned the praise of the intimidatingly erudite Mr Tripathi, a Physicist who studied at Cambridge and works at TIFR.
The first day, which involved “skill-building” in each lab was, in my attempt, a sincere attempt to level the playing field by providing each student a toolset of basic skills so that they can help, at least a little, even when “their science” has already been done. The rapid switchovers and the sheer number of experiments each group was expected to complete in a mere one and a half hours ensured that each student was fully focused at all times, so no one, not even a Physics student in a Biology lab, or a Biology student in a Chemistry lab, had the chance to “zone out.” The skill building session was extremely useful, and to learn skills as diverse as serial dilutions, titration, and video analysis went a long way in developing an interdisciplinary skill set in each student and in fostering the team spirit that would go on to play a crucial role on Day 2.
The buzz around the Group 4 Project began on the very day that it was introduced to us, the day each group decided their subtopics. To see a melange of topics ranging from water analysis to infrastructure, and from food waste to the Astro Turf was intriguing, to say the least. More interesting than the topics, though, were the experiments themselves. I’m sure everyone was as spellbound as I was at seeing someone make plastic out of banana peels, for example. Performing experiments under time pressure while ensuring that enough data is collected brought out true ingenuity in everyone, and I can say without a doubt that every group engaged in lots of improvisation to overcome the myriad difficulties that came their way. It was overwhelming to see the team spirit that the science project brought out and I look forward to watching young minds find innovative experiments once again next year!