For 18 minutes (that’s how long the landing process lasted) on August 23, a nation held its collective breath and how! India had finally etched its well-deserved place on the moon through successful landing of its coveted lunar mission, Chandrayaan-3, after all! And, with the announcement of Aditya-L1 (India’s first space-based solar mission) and Gaganyaan (to showcase India’s capacity to carry out human space flight missions to Low Earth Orbit (LEO)), there’s more to come. Thus, diving into the wonders of space exploration and partaking in India’s pride, HT School and OTTplay recently celebrated this milestone achievement with a one-of-its-kind exhilarating science quiz — VigyanSpace — The Hindustan Times National School Science Quiz.
Participants could register for the quiz by paying ₹49 only. The riveting two-hour long quiz, comprising a holistic mix of both multiple-choice and type-in questions, held asynchronously on Kahoot! between 12 noon to 2 PM on 2nd October, was an individual, open-to-all contest for schoolchildren. With students across Junior Grades (1-5) and Senior Grades (6 to 12) vying to showcase their Vigyan IQ, the quiz saw a whopping 11,500-plus registrations, including 7,000-plus Senior category participants and 4,500-plus Junior category participants, respectively. Presented by OTTplay Premium, VigyanSpace — The Hindustan Times National School Science Quiz — an initiative by Hindustan Times and HT School offered exciting gifts such as Smart TVs, mobiles, smartwatches, and an amazing OTTplay Science Pack subscription worth ₹5,000 for 1 year for each registered participant. Moreover, be it the Top 3 winners or Top 100 rank holders, all would take home ₹1L+ worth prizes cumulatively.
Sharing his thoughts about the quiz, renowned ophthalmologist and quizmaster Dr. Navin Jayakumar said, “As Kurt Vonnegut once quipped, science is magic that works! And the ignited minds participating in this year’s VigyanSpace Quiz have emphatically proved that they are wizards indeed, when it comes to knowledge about science and technology! I feel that the future of India’s STEM capabilities lies in safe hands with such brilliant young minds.”
The brain teasers in VigyanSpace 2023 comprised questions ranging from scientific discoveries and inventions to space missions and latest technologies like artificial intelligence. Questions such as the name of which common laboratory method comes from a French word meaning “the proportion of gold or silver in coins or in works of gold or silver; thereby denoting a measure of fineness or purity” (Titration), the foreign minister of which country gave a speech to the United Nations COP26 climate conference standing knee-deep in seawater to show how his low-lying Pacific island nation is on the front line of climate change (Tuvalu), what is the unofficial Indian name for India’s Venus Orbiter Mission, a planned ISRO mission to study the surface and atmosphere of Venus tentatively scheduled for 2025 (Shukrayaan), February 28 is observed as National Science Day in India every year in commemoration of which landmark event related to an Indian scientist (Discovery of Raman Effect by Sir CV Raman), and by what divine name do we informally know the Higgs Boson (God Particle) were some of the popular brainteasers that featured in the quiz.
Post the event, acclaimed quizmaster and co-founder of HT Labs, Avinash Mudaliar reaffirmed the quiz’s commitment to sowing the seeds of scientific temper and curiosity quotient among Indian students of all ages. He remarked, “We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology. However, at HT School, we aim to keep changing this status quo, one quiz at a time. The spirit of scientific enquiry and the sparks of brilliance shown by the thousands of students who took part in VigyanSpace – The Hindustan Times National School Science Quiz is testament to the fact that love for science is alive and kicking in India’s future leaders – our students.”
Proudly India’s largest Science Quiz, VigyanSpace promises to be back next season in a bigger, better, and brainier avatar to ignite Young India’s science IQ yet again.