New Delhi, Dec 7: Vying for an entry in the Guinness Book of world Records, 2000 students from schools across the national capital today assembled at the sprawling lawns of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) here to conduct 'world's largest practical science lesson'.
Dressed in white lab-coats, the students streamed into a giant tent pitched by the administrative block in IIT-Delhi to take a shot at the world record for the highest number of students to conduct an experiment simultaneously at the same venue.
Northern Ireland is the current record-holder with 1,339 students. The participating students, with excitement writ large on their faces, got a pep talk from Union Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Minister Harsh Vardhan and Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani ahead of the lesson.
Irani said that there are plans to have an even bigger 'practical lesson' in Delhi in the coming months, in which school students from across the country will participate. "We can have it in conjunction with the same team that did this programme today and have over 20,000 students participating.
I am hoping that today's programme has a catalytic effect on how we engage with the sciences and school and higher education," she said.
After the inauguration, the students collected numbered wristbands, displayed them for the camera when entering and took their seats at tables kitted out with graduated cylinders, tissue paper, gloves, droppers and other equipment.
During the experiment they managed to together turn methylene blue "reddish-brown" and rapidly decompose hydrogen peroxide to produce foamy ropes as a part of the Elephant's toothpaste reaction.
The video recording and a report on the experiment will now be sent to the Guinness Book which will further evaluate the same and come up with results.
The event was organized by Vijnana Bharati (VIBHA), an NGO, as part of the five-day India International Science Festival (IISF) at IIT being jointly organized by the Ministries of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences.