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Edinburgh science fest draws Bangalore students in droves
Saturday August 31, 2013 9:08 AM, IANS

Hundreds of school and college students Friday flocked to the Edinburgh International Science Festival at the sprawling Bhartiya city here for participating in a host of events, workshops and cultural events.

Being held for the first time in the country, the 10-day fest is demonstrating a slew of scientific projects and programmes to infuse spirit of enquiry and build scientific temper in the younger generation.

"It is heartening to know the organisers have chosen Bangalore to host their first science fest in India, testifying the city's global reputation as a centre of research and development (R&D) and innovations in science and technology," Karnataka Agriculture Minister Krishna Byregowda said flagging off the event on a cloudy day.

The minister, who also studied in the US before returning to state and plunging into politics, exhorted the youth to experience the wonders of science in an interactive mode at the fest.

Noting that such festivals kindle children's interest in science and nurture love for exploring the domain, Indian Institute of Management (IIM-Bangalore) professor Rajiv Gowda said the country has a rich legacy of science and mathematics since zero was invented and used for the first time by renowned astronomer Aryabhatta during the fifth century AD.

Festival chief executive Simon Gage said the event would recreate the excitement of Edinburgh's world famous science fest in India, which is making advances in science and technology.

"The British Council and the Scottish government played an important role in bringing this fest to India," Gage said.

About 50,000 visitors, including school children and their parents are expected to visit the fest, which will last till Sep 8.

Among the events being held at the fest include the Emergency Room (ER) Surgery, where students will gain first-hand experience in the working of an operating theatre and what it's like to be a doctor.

Similarly, at Splatastic, students will explore properties of different polymers and make colourful gooey snakes, observe a liquid-to-solid chemical reaction, produce designer slime and test it on Splatometer.

In Adventure Robots, participants build and control Lego Mindstorm Robots by learning to use basic computer programming software.

"In Math Masters, students learn tips and tricks for super fast mental math calculations and solve puzzles to develop lateral thinking," Gage noted.

As an educational charity that encourages people of all ages and backgrounds to discover the wonders of the world around them, the Edinburgh fest demonstrates benefits of science throughout the year in partnership with overseas science festivals and an education programme that tours worldwide.

British Deputy High Commissioner Ian Felton, Discover Networks Asia-Pacific vice-president Rajiv Bakshi and Bhartiya group chairman Snehdeep Aggarwal were also present on the occasion.

Discovery Kids, Horlicks Promind, Art Konnect and are the partners in the fest.

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