Sparks of creativity, mind-boggling experiments and a heady mix of impromptu chemistry lessons were the elements that made a grand success of Valencyne Day, an inter-school contest for teachers organised by the chemistry department of PSBB, Nungambakkam, on Wednesday.
The grand finale of the school’s International Year of Chemistry celebrations witnessed teachers from 10 city schools in lab coats analysing salts in an aptly-titled event, Dexter’s Laboratory, that put to test their practical skills, while Creative Chemist gave them an opportunity to use random everyday articles like rubber bands, pencils and chalk pieces to explain important scientific concepts in an interesting way.
Not only did the contestant teachers frame their classes on diverse topics, such as surface chemistry and carbon dating, but also fielded questions from the judges from IIT — Prof Mangal Sunder, Chemistry Department and Prof Sanjib Senapathy, Dept of Biotechnology.
In Onscreen Chemistry the contestants guessed the theme of muted videos based on the array of questions raised by the audience. The competition came to a colourful close with Crystal Gazing where the contestants penned their thoughts on the open-ended question — What would you do if God gave you the power to change the elements that make up the Earth’s crust? — that gave flight to their imagination.
The enthusiastic teachers felt that taking part in the novel contest that comprised a good measure of surprise elements was a challenging experience. “It was completely different to be in their (students’) shoes. It has been a great learning experience,” said Srividya Ganesh, teacher, Bala Vidya Mandir.
The event concluded with a valedictory function during which the winners were announced. Padmaja from P S Senior Secondary School, Mylapore, bagged the first prize, while Vani Shree of Chettinad Vidyashram and Laksmi Rajamani of PSBB, KK Nagar, tied for the second prize and Asha Sundar from PSBB Millennium, Gerugambakkam, secured the third place.