Day 2: 7th Jan 2013
I was all excited since morning because in the morning we were going to have a test based on numerical and logical questions. It was after a long time that I would be appearing for a mathematical contest. The ones who would clear it would go into a final round of multimedia quiz. The quiz started at 9 am. There were 25 questions and 1 hour to solve it. 15 of the questions had negative marking. I was solving such type of questions after a long time and I could see how slow my processor was becoming. I could solve only 14 questions in an hour. My room-mate Shrivatsav and Varada, both solved 21 questions. I got only 9 questions correct and 5 wrong out of which one had a negative marking. So, my score should have been somewhere around 34.
Shrivatsav and Varada both went for Olympiad-coaching in Mathematics and we could see the difference in their speed of problem-solving. It was fun watching them crack any given problem. The same was the case in the students from Kota (in Rajasthan) which happens to have the maximum number of IIT-entrance coaching centres. There the students would be admitted right from 6th or 7th standard onwards and they don’t attend schools at all. I was told that their institutes had tie-ups with schools which permitted the students to do away with regular schooling. The institutes would give them extra-coaching in the place of schools. Their normal coaching hours were around 8 hours a day. But these children are usually extremely bright and even a 6th standard child would know concepts of 8th or 9th standards. The students from Kota had come from Allen Career Institute. There were exhibits displayed by students in few classrooms. Most of these exhibits were charts. But these students from Kota had powerpoint presentations on various topics. One of those was on ‘Paradoxes’ which was explained by Ms. Astha Agarwal, a girl of 9th standard. Her presentation was very lively. She explained what a paradox is (which is usually very new and interesting for school children). She also respond well to my questions. Another was of Paavan Gaur of 10th standard from the same institute. He presented on geometrical representation on Arithmetic Progression, Geometric Progression and Harmonic Progression. He said that he is very much interested in physics and astro-physics. In my mind I was thinking, when I was on his age, I never knew that a subject by the name ‘Astro-physics’ even existed!
I asked both Astha and Paavan how it feels by not going to school. I felt that somewhere inside they missed the school. Paavan said that these institutes, even though they charge a good fee, are able to give them the best of teachers and best of teaching methodology, which should be ideally be undertaken by the Govt. But since our Govt is not able to provide such extensive training in schools for the really talented children, they have to rely on such coaching centres which give them training in depth in their subjects of interest. Some children learn the talk for paper presentations by-heart and fumble if something is asked to them. But these kids were really good with their concepts as well as their presentations. I had a nice time with them before I went for the afternoon tea break.
In the late afternoon, the host school, Sri Prakash Synergy School, had arranged buses for the delegates to visit a very old temple of Peddapuram. But I wasn’t in a mood to travel. I chose the time to sit alone and pen down something. During this time, I got some students who came from another school that belonged to Sri Prakash group of schools. These boys were really bright. They picked up whatever topics I explained to them. We discussed on different base systems and how numbers could be converted from one base to another base. I also gave them questions to think upon and give me the answers tomorrow. They did come up with the answers and ran towards me, when they saw me, to share their answers. One of them said, “Sir, we did not know these things. When you asked us such questions, we thought upon it and found out answers on our own. Thank you for asking such questions.” I smiled back.
Dinner that night was a buffet with a lot of varieties of cuisines. It was arranged in the school garden. Everyone could be seen enjoying the food and having casual conversations with others. I too took the opportunity to discuss few things with the people I came across.
Post dinner, we came to our room and Varada, Shrivatsav and I started discussing on logical solving of geometric problems. All of us posted questions for which we had to think of easier ways of solving other than the routine ways to solve the problems. Around midnight, we retired to bed.
…to be continued in the following post https://vinayrnair.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/experiences-at-national-conference-of-amti-2013-day-3