Puducherry students bag awards at science congress

PUDUCHERRY: A paper on transforming barren lands into cultivable lands using organic manure and a poster on seasonal impact on butterfly abundance and its species diversity done by a few students from the Union territory of Puducherry were adjudicated as the best entries at the national-level and state-level respectively at the 22nd national children’s science congress held at Bangalore.

V Amrita Monica of St Joseph’s Girls’ HSS presented the paper at the congress. The paper was declared as one of the 20 best entries at the congress, claiming national honours. The other team members include Madhumitha Nithyasree and Hemavathy K from the same school. Botany teacher A Athira guided the students. Aparna Madhusoodanan of C E Bharathan Government HSS, Mahe presented the poster, which was declared as one of the best 40 entries that bagged state-level honours. The other team members include T C Achanya, U P Arundhathi, R Vaishnav Kumar and R Rohan Rajeev from the same school. Minija Janardhanan guided the students.

Monica and her team outlined how barren land could be transformed into cultivable lands using vermicompost, coir pith compost and compost prepared using urban food waste and farmyard manure (FYM) and synthetic terrapreta (STP), a bio-manure prepared by them. The team members who raised brinjal on a barren land using organic manure successfully between September and November last year shared their success story at the congress.

“Organic manures like STP, vermicompost and FYM recharge nutrients in plenty and improve soil texture helping plants to withstand changing weather conditions,” the students said. Aparna and her team explained how variations in climatic conditions affected butterfly population and species diversity.

The team conducted field study for nine weeks between August and October last year in different localities in Mahe, Puducherry’s enclave in Kerala, and reported 65 different species of butterflies.

They listed out the commonly observed species and the frequency of their occurrence. The directorate of school education and Pondicherry Science Forum that received about 250 projects from students in the Union territory of Puducherry selected six projects and sent to the national science congress under the theme ‘Understanding Weather and Climate’.

More than 650 students from different states and Union territories in India, besides student delegations from United Arab Emirates and Bangladesh participated in the event.


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