CSIR - SERC organizes One Week One Lab Campaign - Student Connect

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One Week One Lab Campaign is a nationwide theme-based campaign to showcase the technological breakthroughs and innovations of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) laboratories across the country. 

During this campaign, each of CSIR’s 37 constituent laboratories will showcase their legacy, exclusive innovations and technological breakthroughs one week each. Each CSIR laboratory is dedicated to a different exclusive area of work and this campaign offers an opportunity for each one of them to showcase the work being done by them so that others can avail of it and stakeholders can learn about it. 

CSIR-Structural Engineering Research Centre (CSIR-SERC), a constituent laboratory of CSIR is organizing this campaign during 5-9 June 2023, which will culminate with the Foundation Day celebrations of CSIR-SERC on 10 June 2023. Diverse programmes are being organized during this week at CSIR-SERC including Society Connect, Stakeholder Connect, Student Connect, Future Entrepreneurs Connect and Public Connect.

On the third day (7 June 2023) of this campaign, Student Connect event was organized at CSIR-SERC. The event was organized to connect with the school students and also to provide a platform for them to know about the research activities at CSIR-SERC. About 54 students and 18 teachers from 18 government schools of Tamil Nadu participated in the event. Apart from them, 8 schools who were the prize winners of Technovation 2022-23 (JIGYASA Competition) also participated in the event to give their presentations. The event started with an inaugural function at 9:30 AM at Vigyan Auditorium, CSIR-SERC, Chennai. Prof. Usha Natesan, Director, National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research (NITTTR), Chennai, was the chief guest of the function. 

The inaugural function started with Tamil Thai Vaazhthu and lightning of Kuthu Vilakku by the dignitaries. Dr. S. Maheswaran, Senior Principal Scientist, CSIR-SERC, briefed the audience about the Student Connect event. Dr. P. Prabha, Principal Scientist, CSIR-SERC, introduced Dr. N. Anandavalli, Director, CSIR-SERC and Coordinating Director, CSIR Madras Complex to the audience. 

Dr. Anandavalli in her welcome address, welcomed all students and teachers for their active participation in the event and highlighted the important role played by parents and teachers in the life of the students. She emphasized on the importance of inquisitiveness on everything they learn and said that students should enjoy their studies with full understanding of what they learn and acquire meaningful knowledge. She also spoke briefly on the value of science, importance of civil engineering in everyday life and the nature of research works undertaken at CSIR-SERC. She encouraged the students to have a clear vision that will help them to achieve their goals easily.

A short video on CSIR-SERC, its accomplishments and important contributions to the society and nation in the past 58 years of its existence was shown to the participants. Dr. Prabha, introduced the Chief Guest, Prof. Usha Natesan, to the audience. 

Prof. Usha Natesan, in her address expressed her happiness to be among students during this event. Referring to Benjamin Frankin’s quote – An investment in knowledge pays the best interest – she said that investing in knowledge will give everything to students. She encouraged the students to enjoy their school life, choose their area of interest and improve their knowledge in their field of interest. Referring to the famous quotes by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam and the genesis of Google and Facebook, she emphasized on the importance of having dreams and turning them into actionable goals and that age is not a limitation for achieving big in life. She encouraged the students to improve their knowledge in the field of their interest, to have definite goals, learn from failures, to practice continuously, to take responsibility for whatever they do, to identify their unique talent and progress in life. She also mentioned on the wide spectrum of disciplines available to students for pursuing higher education and said that civil engineering is one such diverse discipline that has number of opportunities to explore. Shri Ashok Kumar, Scientist, CSIR-SERC, proposed vote of thanks.

The inaugural session of the Student Connect event was followed by the presentations by Technovation prize winners (JIGYASA Student Competitions 2022-23). 

Their presentation was followed by a motivational talk by Dr. Anandavalli, Director, CSIR-SERC & Coordinating Director, CMC. In her talk she spoke on the World Environment Day and its significance, consequences of plastic pollution, urgent need to reduce plastic usage, and practising zero waste. She also spoke on the great scientists of India, Engineer’s day, engineering designs inspired by nature, bio-inspired inventions and evolution of building structures. She encouraged the students to be creative, innovative, and to achieve success by way of dreaming big, fixing definite goals, preparing definite plans, working hard and to act with persistence. 

The talk was followed by the video presentations of finalists of the Students as Scientists for Budding Scientist award, a competition announced as a part of the Student Connect event. The competition required the team of 3 students from each participating school to send in their innovative idea in the form of a 3-minute video presentation. Around 20 schools sent their presentation that was evaluated by the internal screening committee, out of which around 6 presentations were shortlisted as finalists. The finalists gave their presentation before the jury on the day of the event. 

During afternoon, two parallel sessions were organized:

  1. Build the Right (Smart Bridges & Smart Buildings) – wherein each student team carried out demonstration and evaluation of two structural models: Building & Bridge structural system. The teams carried out the performance evaluation/behaviour of the structural system under different geometrical parameters/changes
  2. The student teams visited the Advanced Seismic Testing and Research Laboratory of CSIR-SERC and saw the research work being carried out there

During the valedictory session at 4:15 PM, prize winners of the Budding Scientist competition was announced. The team from Government Higher Secondary School, Avalur, Kanchipuram District emerged as winners and they were conferred with the Budding Scientist award during the valedictory session. Along with the Budding Scientist award, the winner team won the cash prize of Rs. 15,000. All five finalists were given runner-up prize that carried Rs. 6,000 cash award for each finalist team.

The Public Connect event, a part of CSIR-SERC’s one week one lab campaign includes a road show & exhibition with a team from CSIR-SERC travelling to 6 cities (Chennai, Tiruchirappalli, Madurai, Coimbatore, Salem, Vellore) across Tamil Nadu to share the contributions of CSIR-SERC with the public through interactions at public places and educational institutions. After flagging-off on 5 June 2023, the team is at Madurai today to connect with the public.


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