Aditi Govindu from Class XI attended a camp at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune as part of the INSPIRE INTERNSHIP PROGRAM. She shares her experiences below.
IISER Report for DST Inspire Internship
So, throughout the Internship I learnt a lot about the world we live in. Right from the expanding Universe and black holes to the skin of a shark and lotus leaves.
Right from Day 1 of the camp, I was encouraged to ask questions about everything, because the only silly question is the question not asked!
In fact, during dinner IISER Professors and other faculty members came to dine with us. They answered all our questions from any topic or subject. They taught us that each subject is not a water tight container, but a free flowing stream. We can combine content writing with science, to write an article for National Geographic or learn science and law to campaign for the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy!
I learnt how the skin of the shark inspired scientists to make a swimsuit with nearly zero friction, a walk in a field of cockleburs, inspired the invention of the Velcro, the gecko which has a rich Maratha story behind it was the inspiration to Spiderman's suit, fish in the water never fall sick because of the peptide antibiotics present in their mast cells and the colours of a butterfly wing is due to diffraction of light, the butterfly wing itself has no colours of its own are just a few things I learnt at IISER.
The hands on experiment sessions were not only exciting but also eye-opening. We made a maglev train, cyano printed sheets(chemistry), a helicopter with a strip of paper and learnt the powers of 2 using a newspaper. We also tested our blood and learnt how to extract the DNA of a bacterium called E. coli.
This camp taught me not to take hot water for granted as I had to wake up at 6:00 am for a bath! and to share rooms as well as stories from all over Maharastra as most of my new friends were from Ratnagiri, Mumbai and other lesser known places of Maharashtra.
Lastly, this camp was a golden opportunity I was fortunate enough to experience in this lifetime. This camp was an invigorating experience that taught me science, life lessons and the true meaning of friendship. We often mistake scientists to be studious and serious people, but after this camp, I realised how shallow my pre conceived notions were. I have loved every second of this camp and would love to do it again, if destiny permits me to!
IISER MAIN BUILDING
biology lab( It is called G1-Jeevan)
One dinner session at the mess hall
A fun filled Physics session in progress
Spirogyra in water scum in my slide