India enters Guinness Book for conducting world’s largest practical science lesson

2,000 students from schools across the national capital who attempted to conduct ‘world’s largest practical science lesson’ at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) last week have entered Guinness Book for World Records.

The earlier record was in credit of Northern Ireland which had conducted a similar experiment with 1,339 students. “The large practical science session which was organised during the five-day India International Science Festival (IISF) at IIT has set a Guinness Book of World’s Record,” an IIT Delhi official said.

Dressed in white lab-coats, 2,000 students had streamed into a giant tent pitched in the administrative block at IIT-Delhi on December 7 to take a shot at the world record for the highest number of students to conduct an experiment simultaneously at the same venue.

The “practical lesson” involved 40 schools, both government and private, across the city, each sending 50 students and a few “back up” ones. The children were trained by their teachers and have had several practice sessions each before the big lesson.

During the experiment they managed to together turn methylene blue “reddish-brown” and rapidly decompose hydrogen peroxide to produce foamy ropes as a part of the Elephant’s toothpaste reaction. The video recording and a report on the experiment was sent to the Guinness Book which further evaluated the same and came up with the results.

The event was organized by Vijnana Bharati (VIBHA), an NGO, as part of the festival at IIT jointly organised by the Ministries of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences. The record will be in VIBHA’s name.

Flagging of the experiment, Union Minister Smriti Irani had also said that there are plans to have an even bigger ‘practical lesson’ in Delhi in the coming months, in which school students from across the country will participate.