Salters Chemistry Camp concludes with school students asking for more

Palaj: A three-day residential Chemistry Camp for around 66 9th standard students of State Government Schools of Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad and nearby areas concluded today at the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN). The Chemistry Camp was conducted by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), India and Salters’ Institute, UK in association with IITGN. Dr T S Joshi and Mr Parikshit Dave from Gujarat Council of Educational Research and Training (GCERT) helped in identifying the students from the local schools.

During the camp, the participating school students were acquainted with Chemistry lab safety tools and equipment, were provided hands-on experience to do various lab activities including Colour Creation, Crystallisation, Forensic Challenge, Clock Reactions, Hydrogel Investigation, various short experiments and so on. They also made various scientific concept based toys with the help of simple props during a Science Toys Workshop. There were two lectures by IITGN faculty members Prof Bhaskar Datta and Prof Sivapriya Kirubakaran and a chemistry experiments demo by Prof Sriram Kanvah. Students of IITGN were teacher mentors for their laboratory experiments. Ms Bhakti Dhamdere and Ms Divya Mysure were RSC coordinators.

The Salters’ Chemistry Camp aimed to promote an appreciation for chemistry among school students from diverse backgrounds, by providing them with an opportunity to explore practical chemistry and inspire them to pursue chemistry at university and further.

The students were thrilled to be part of this camp and interact with IITGN faculties. They cherished the camp as well as IITGN atmosphere and wished to stay here longer. Jinesh Dugar, a student of Best High School, Ahmedabad described this as a great opportunity and shared, “I had a very good experience during the entire workshop. It is great that we could get familiar with lab instruments at this stage. We did Chemistry experiments in the lab, learnt to make science toys, and had a taste of hostel life too. Many of our doubts in Chemistry were cleared during these practical sessions. We are thankful to the wonderful faculty and management of IITGN. We don’t want to go back, but we have to.”

Rekha Thakor, a student staying and studying in Model School of Bhojva village in Gandhinagar district shared her journey through the workshop, “This was a first practical lab experience for me, as we do not have any lab in our school. At first, I thought it will be very tough and I will not be able to cope-up with it, but the teachers taught us very patiently and I was able to learn and do various experiments. I enjoyed making different colours the most. I am going to share this experience with my friends. I also aspire to be a scientist after this workshop.”

Another student Umesh Lodhi from Pragati English Medium High School, Khokhara, Ahmedabad said, “We learnt many new things here which were different than the practical demonstration in school. I liked Hydrogel Investigation and Slime experiment the most. I am going to teach this to my friends.”