ASSET Summer Programme (ASP) 2017 officially began on May 7th, with 135 gifted students across India between ages 12 and 14 landing at Manipal University. With only second year of its inception, the student participation at ASP has doubled since the last, indicating the interest enthusiasm and the positivity it has managed to garner from the gifted students all over the country.

Speaking about his experience with ASP, Stash DSouza, who has been attending the programme for two consecutive years, shared that back in his school, teachers concentrated mainly theories and not much on practicals, but ASP was otherwise.

This year’s ASP classes kick-started with a session on Mathematical Ways of Knowing, in which instructor Jayasree S asked the students to create complex paper hats in order to understand geometrical patterns. Work like a Scientist: Blending Theory with Experiments, taken by RD Prabhu, involved the understanding theory of motion through a simple experiment using marbles. In New Thinking for a New World, taken by Radha Gopalan, students examined the impact of construction of reservoirs in India on human life through role play.

Thereafter, ASP has been a fun ride for every student with an opportunity to learn from the experts coming from leading institutions like the IITs, Indian Statistical Institute, Stony Brook University, North Western University, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Caltech and others. With sessions ranging from high-end engineering, automobile design and manufacturing, computational modelling of genetics and evolution, architectural design etc, seminars on intriguing topics like ‘evolution of the eye’ to team building activities like lip sync competition, Ultimate Frisbee contests, jive, sports day and their very own DJ night, the experiences at ASP are worth cherishing.

In ASP participant Soundarya Lahari’s words,  “At the start of the programme, I was lost completely as I found all the other children really smart and intelligent. However, as time went by, I found myself having invigorating experiences with them and that is helping me grow tremendously.”

As each day unfolds into yet another exciting one with a plethora of surprises and activities for the students, one can but imagine the extent of the growing camaraderie between these children and the lessons they learn at ASP, for life.


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