The Project X competitions for grades 11 and 12 were hosted by the senior student council from the first week of September, and lasted for six weeks since then. Project X was a venture piloted under the previous senior head girl, Puja Baburaj. This years competition mark the second successful year of its run.
Competitions under Project X initially included six fields like poetry, essay , fan-fiction writing; debate, etc., which were areas that were mostly considered by the students to be underrepresented among the usual competitions. What were done differently this year? Anusha Rao, senior head girl, remarks, “The previous batches were very competitive and wanted representation in these fields, which were mostly literature based. We wanted to expand a bit more and hence included four new features this year – Cooking, Fashion Designing, Hindi Essays & Poems, and Unique Talents.” Because of the new competitions, there was also a lot more response this year, she adds.
The cooking competition had the maximum participation this year – a total of thirty students participated in the competition, preparing sweet and savory dishes that enthralled the taste buds. The food items were judged based on their presentation, taste, hygiene, and creativity by the Home Science teacher Mrs. Anjana Matoo and by Mrs. Roshni Alex. Winning first in the savory category was Sania Jain of 11 com C with her Crispy Biscuit Pakoras – an exemplary dish with a mix of tastes : “the pomegranate seeds that I added gives a sweetness to it, which is counteracted by sev and namkeen that gives a khatta-meeta taste”, she explains. The dishes were of a wide variety, and the students donned their cooking caps while preparing items like chocolate cake(triple layered!), brownies, puddings, risotto, canapes, etc. There were also traditional dishes like Tanushree Roy’s Butter Paneer and Methi Paratha, which won the second prize in savory category. But Tanushree says that her choice of dish was influenced by another factor – “Paneer was veg and it was the navarathri period, so I wanted to make sure that the judges could taste it, in case they were fasting. It was also easy and fast to cook.” Well, IHS students are definitely resourceful!
The three writing competitions, Ad-Mad, and Unique Talents features were all posted on the Project X’s Facebook page and were judged based on the amount of likes and comments. Along to these public preference points, the marks given by the judging teachers were added to determine the winner in each field. The poems were published and judged with anonymity, but each article and poem in its own ways expressed the uniqueness and creativity of the competitors. Out of the writing pieces, poem writing had the most response, with eighteen submissions. The topic chosen by Anusha and the student council was ‘Female Empowerment’ and the poems exhibit the strong sentiments of the students on this topic. What made her choose this topic, specifically? Anusha responds, “I wanted students to involve more on the idea of feminism as its meaning is often misinterpreted. I wanted them to explore on the topic and know what it truly means, to dwell on it and write more of such poems.” The entries undoubtedly show that she was successful in this regard.
There were relatively less number of submissions for Essay and Fan-Fiction. While there was a fixed topic for essay writing (‘Political Conditions of Indian Human Trafficking’), fan fictions could be written on any interests of the competitor. The Unique Talents and the Ad-Mad contests were published by the participating students in the form of videos on YouTube – letting them showcase their savvy on social media sites as well –and were then shared on the Project X Facebook page. The Unique Talents winner was Aathira Anand, of 11 Sci B, who did a video on her unique talent, mimicking accents. Her captivating impersonations on various accents can be viewed here.
The other competitions were Debate, Poster making, On the spot painting, and fashion designing. The topic for Poster Making was Terrorism, which could be submitted digitally or otherwise. The Debate was held in two stages. The first round consisted of ten members in opposing groups debating on the topic, ‘Was Narendra Modi’s trip to America beneficial to India?’. The students provided a lively discussion with a competitive spirit, handling all issues with ease, proficiency, and knowledge. “The participants are judged individually based on their speaking, presentation, whether they had valid points and how convincingly these points were expressed”, explains Mrs. Aparna, one of the judges for the debate. The selected students then competed on the topic ‘Will India become a superpower by 2020?’, and six strong speakers were chosen as winners.
Project X is a group of competitions designed to bring out the best in each and every student, and this years student participation and enthusiasm definitely speaks for itself. The newly introduced features fared as well or more than the pre-existing ones, indicative of the student council’s success in keeping up with the relevant interests of the students. Here’s to more such success in the future for Project X.
By Liyana Sahir
Senior Reporter of Light House