Tiju Thomas

Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering
Indian Institute of Technology Madras
Sardar Patel Road, Chennai 600036, Tamil Nadu, India


ph. no: +91 8056456442
email id: tt332@cornell.edu or tijuthomas@iitm.ac.in

Our Research Group

Applied Nanostructures Engineering and Nanochemistry (ANEN) Research Group

ID6020 Panel Discussion notes (28 Sep., 2017)

Suggestions for high/middle schoolers and their teachers

Middle and high school is the time of one's life, when there is a danger of losing one's individuality. There is peer pressure that forces one to blend-in, and everything that makes you unique might be difficult to pay attention to. If you are unique, you are that way --- and you must never let go of yourself. If you always liked asking questions, please do'nt stop simply because you are "growing up". Asking child-like questions adds spice to one's life. Do not be afraid to accept your individuality, and please pursue your interests with great zest and enthusiasm. The world is metamorphosing into a space where individual skills and talents is increasingly gaining importance. Your skills and talents are important; please do not let go of it.

If you are fascinated by science, it is time to heighten your interests. Do some experiments! Simple kitchen and garage experiments can be inexpensive, educational and fun. Please talk to your teachers about what simple experiments you do to convince yourself of basic science lessons learnt at school. Microscopes are great tools for heightening one's curiosity about the world of the "very small". Spend time looking at simple things around you (leaves, insects, feathers, rocks etc.). Nature will amuse you, and science will become irresistible! Believe me!


  1. http://www.middleschoolchemistry.com/
    Download basic chemistry lessons, and enjoy some fun activities!
  2. http://webelements.com/
    Spend hours with "elements" and their properties.
  3. >
  4. http://www.c3l6.org/posts
    If you think you are a chemistry pro, try out these challenges.
  5. http://www.biologycorner.com/
    A nice resource for teaching and learning high school biology.
  6. http://www.physicsclassroom.com/ or http://ocw.mit.edu/high-school/physics/
    Physics theory, experiments, interactive videos, and quizzes -- should help you grasp high school physics.
  7. http://www.all-science-fair-projects.com/category38.html
    Simple engineering experiments and lessons for young students have (a) a flair for designing and building things, and (b) a passion for understanding working of machines/devices.


  1. Why does an egg shell shatter when smacked, but a stone slab does not?
  2. How can crows sit on a high tension wire, and not get electrocuted? Under what circumstance would they get electrocuted?
  3. If you cut the surface of water using a blade, it "self-heals" and the surface reforms again. But if you scratch a table surface there is no "self-healing". Why?
  4. When a battery is used, it eventually dies. Can it regain its charge spontaneously (i.e without any external agency)?
  5. How big are different atoms? How heavy are they? Can you estimate how many atoms you are made up of?
  6. A glass or a porcelain cup shatters when it falls on ground, but metal objects do'nt. Why?
  7. Why do different objects have different colors?
  8. Why does sugar dissolve in warm water faster than it does in cold water? Why does stirring help in dissolution?
  9. Find out the radius and mass of the earth. Assuming it to be sphere, find its volume. How dense is our home planet? Compare it with the average density of the universe.
  10. A star fish can regenerate its "limbs", but humans cannot. Why?