Shyam Shanker gets closer to his dreams of Time Travel, CERN - The New Indian Express

Shyam Shanker gets closer to his dreams of Time Travel, CERN

Published: 18th January 2013 10:59 AM

Last Updated: 18th January 2013 10:59 AM

For most teenagers of Shyam’s age, the term ‘time travel’ would bring in images of the plutonium-powered De Lorean sports car-turned- time machine in the Spielberg film ‘Back to the Future’, that takes teenager Marty McFly back to the past.

But for Shyam Shanker, who recently topped the Shell Junior National Science Scholarship programme in the country, time travel is not the stuff to be made films of, it is his ultimate ambition. Just as his dream of working at CERN in Germany on particle physics.

A tenth standard student (ICSE) at the Christ Nagar School in the city, he was over the moon when the vice-principal of the school called him over phone a couple of days ago to tell him that he had topped the exam both at the regional level and the national level. ‘’I am a little weak in history and was worried about the general knowledge part. Thankfully, the GK section had most questions on energy,’’ said Shyam Shanker.

This scholarship exam, held in partnership with British Council, had over 7,000 students from over 200 schools competing for the scholarship of Rs 50,000 at regional level and Rs 75,000 for national topper. Shyam Shanker will get both and is now undecided about how to utilise the money.

Shyam’s father Hemachandran, an assistant executive engineer with the PWD, had told him that he could buy the laptop he always wanted if he became the regional winner. ‘’But now I think I should save it for my higher studies. I want to go to England and study. That’s where all the scientists like Newton, Faraday, Darwin, Graham Bell and even Peter Higgs (of the Higgs-Boson) lived. I am sure England will appreciate science and scientists more,’’ said Shyam, who, along with his classmates, had done a project on the development of science and technology in England.

England first and then Germany next. In fact, it was Dan Brown’s ‘Angels and Demons’ that first introduced Shyam to CERN.

‘’It was my teacher who told me about it. The anti-matter always intrigued me and I think someday it can help fuel our journeys across the universe and help us find habitable planets hundreds of light years away,’’ said Shyam.

Coming back to Christ Nagar, where Shyam studied right from his LKG and where he intends to do his Plus-Two in Maths and Computer Science, as many as 20 students had taken this national exam. The exams were conducted in six centres across the country and there were three winners for each region.

‘’To clear it, you need a lot more reading of the subject than what is in the textbooks. I borrowed my brother Harikrishnan’s science books as well to prepare for the exam,’’ revealed Shyam.

Harikrishnan, who currently studies in the Arya Central School, is in the twelfth standard. The big brother, a classical music buff, was quite generous with his time for Shyam, solving problems with questions available on the Internet.

Shyam himself learns violin when he gets the time, but as his mother Rani says, he never gets time to read anything other than his school books. Meanwhile, all his classmates in school are waiting for the big treat he has promised them at a well-known eatery in town.

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