It’s a proud moment for the Akal Academy & the people at Harmanpreet Kaur’s village Ratia including her family, as she happens to be one among the 25 students that SCERT (State Council Educational Research & Training) has identified from district Ratia to participate in the prestigious SCERT model exhibition of Delhi. The best of brilliant students from renowned schools across the country are selected and invited to present their science model-projects to compete for winning the ‘Best Project’ title at state level.
Harmanpreet Kaur, an aspiring student of class 10th at the Akal Academy in Ajitsar Ratia, is the daughter of an Army – widow who is also an Anganwadi worker, barely managing to make ends meet for her family. She single handedly managed to raise Harman & her schooling – against all odds & notions of the village folks, who believe that educating a girl child is irrelevant.
Harmanpreet Kaur’s selection in Ratia was based on a district level competition where over 350 projects-models were exhibited by several students from various schools across & only 25 were selected for the state level event. She proved her mettle at her district, but this time at Delhi, she was required to face fierce head- on competition against supremos of the states.
We got a chance to interview her recently when she visited Delhi & was in middle of her final preparations for the exhibition; she expects her model to win & wishes to compete at National Level next.
Her mentor, the Physics teacher at Akal Academy Mr. Harbans Singh, told us that when the Academy received a letter for participation from SCERT Gurgaon, he was sure that Academy’s science students could do great in this event. Thus he recommended Harmanpreet Kaur’s name to the Principal, to which she readily agreed & gave him ago ahead. This was when he and Harmanpreet brainstormed the idea of this project i.e. SOLAR SWITCH & she there upon started researching & preparing for the same.
The project is sponsored under Inspire-a-Word Scheme by the Central government, wherein Harmanpreet had received Rs 5000 out of which 2500 were for preparing the Model & rest for further development of it. So, Harman, after giving a fair amount of thought to all the available project options finalized to go ahead “THE SOLAR SWITCH” project option upon closely analyzing its feasibility & competence & scope of finding a place into exhibition.
THE SOLAR SWITCH is a switch that has a photo sensor, one of it’s main application can be in inverters; it not only serves as a traditional auto cut-off-on switch, but being based on a photo sensor it works on technology that that judges when to on/off based on light intensity. Similarly, the photo-sensor can be replaced with thermo or sound sensor – which mean if you enter a room, the sensor can sense your body heat & temperature, the lights will turn on, using a sound sensor can mean you can set pre-set sounds to automatically turn on/off your electrical devices like fans/lights!
On being asked about her future plans, Harman said, “Other students who are creative & wish to add-on their ideas to this model can merge their ideas on this project & utilize it better; the concept can grow big if we do modifications & further research.”
Harmanpreet’s mentor, physics teacher Mr. Harbans wishes to share this model with Ratia Akal Academy Alumni Sharanjeet Singh & Sahil who have made it to the IIT Delhi recently; they can certainly put into that out-of-the-box brilliant element to this project, expresses Mr. Harbans.
Towards the end we asked Harmanpreet Kaur to tell us about how did she get motivated towards science & eventually taking up a project like this, she revealed that being a single child, whose father died while serving the army when she was young – around 13 years ago, it has been her mother who raised her along & also remained a constant support to her all through these years, & also, her school that has motivated her alongwith teachers; she feels she couldn’t have been raised in any better school than Akal Academy run by The Kalgidhar Trust, Baru Sahib, which beautifully binds us with religion & at the same time teaches you how to be more social alongside modern education while also making us learn to be spiritual at the same time.
~ Deeksha Singh
~ New Delhi, 11th Sep ’13