Catching the young at the right time

Forty students from across Chennai were selected to be a part of the Infosys Spark ‘Catch Them Young’ (CTY) from May 2nd to May 12th 2011 at the Infosys Campus at Sholinganallur. The students were selected based on an Aptitude Test held on the 5th of February 2011 where nearly 350 students from 19 schools participated. The nine day program gave the students an insight into the big world of the Information Technology Industry and also exposed them to different technological and computer skills.

On the first day, all the forty students and their parents had a briefing on the sessions. The students then went to Napier, their new ‘classroom’.

On the following days, the students learnt how to design algorithms and use the Raptor tool which helped the students design simple programs with the help of flowcharts, ALICE, a 3D tool to learn Object Oriented Program Approach. The students, too eager to work on the tool, spent the entire day creating their own stories and games and at the same time learning programming using the ALICE tool.

Working on Internet Concepts, designing their own webpages using HTML was fun.  There was also a session ‘How to Crack Competitive Exams’ which taught students the basics of Vedic Maths and other easier and faster methods to solve problems.

Another interesting part of the camp was the fun group activities like building the tallest free standing tower made from newspaper that could balance a steel cup and hunting for items, starting with the letters of popular taglines, all over the Infosys campus.

The participants got to learn a few lesser known features of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel and made PowerPoint presentations on their learnings. Database Management System and Microsoft Access were also part of the sessions. The students worked hands on sessions in Access and also a session on ‘Software Development Methodology’ which gave the students an insight into the steps required to develop a software.

Through Visual Basic and a session ‘Project Think Approach’, the students were introduced to approaching every task systematically – by initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling the task in a methodical manner.

On a most interesting and challenging day – the students were divided into groups and were assigned different projects like ‘Library Management System’, ‘Online Examination Management System’, ‘Student Management System’ and ‘Railway Management System’. The final product had to be a user-friendly program. The students were so deeply engrossed in their work that they even forgot to move to the canteen for lunch! That afternoon, the students also had a session on ‘Presentation Skills’.

On the concluding day, the students present ed their Programs to the Education & Research Team. The ‘judges’ moved from group to group, complimenting the hard work of the students and giving them some tips to improve their programs. Once all the projects were presented, the students and all the mentors went to the Brahmaputra Hall for the Valedictory Function.

First, Lakshmi Krishnan, Co-ordinator, CTY gave an overview of the program and how she found the experience with the students. Some of the students put together a small program where they played the keyboard, talked about their experience at CTY and even had a wildlife enthusiast presenting and explaining pictures he had taken of the Gir Forest, which he had visited recently. The students and mentors were given certificates and mementos.  V. Thothathri, Associate Vice President, Infosys Chennai was also present.

The entire experience was fun-filled yet educative for the forty students. The volunteers, who were mentoring us, had taken time off from their busy schedule to be with the students and teach them. They were extremely friendly and the atmosphere didn’t seem like a regular classroom.

The students were provided with snacks twice a day and lunch. The management took care of the transport – the students were picked up and dropped at places closest to their house.

On the last day, the students left the Infosys campus with heavy hearts. At the end of nine whole days, they had lots of fun, learning and had made a lot of new friends and contacts.

One thought on “Catching the young at the right time

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *