The Botanical Society of the Open University, established in 2010, is a society which works for the advancement of knowledge in the field of plant sciences. This society provides an arena for both student and staff to organize various activities to fulfill its objectives;
To organize activities to stimulate interest in Botany and allied subjects To promote academic excellence and recognize good performance in the field of Botany To provide forum for the exchange of ideas with knowledgeable individuals from related academic and industrial fields
To encourage social interaction between undergraduate students, post-graduates and staff members.
The Buckyball Society was established in 1996 by the Department of Chemistry to create an interest in Science in general and Chemistry in particular among the students of the Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL).
One of the first major tasks undertaken by the Buckyball Society in its inaugural year was to initiate a prize fund to recognize the outstanding academic performances in Chemistry by the OUSL undergraduates and thereby stimulate their interest in Chemistry.
In this regard, a special fund called the ‘Buckyball Fund’ was created in 1996 with an initial donation of 5,000/= by Prof. E. Dilip de Silva, a former Professor in Chemistry in our Department. We are happy to inform you that this fund has grown over the past 19 years to well over Rs. 2 million, thanks to the generous contributions/donations from well wishers, and from other fund raising activities such as the Buckyball Annual Avurudhu Pola.
We are hoping to generate more funds in order to extend the prize/scholarship scheme to more students by increasing the number of awards. As you know, most of our students come from lower income groups and they have fewer opportunities for higher studies. Those of us who come from privileged socio-economic backgrounds, therefore, should be driven by a spirit of generosity to assist the students who need financial assistance to complete their studies.
At present, the value of a prize for the best student in each of the Chemistry units stands at Rs 1,500/= and that of the scholarship at Rs 6,000/=, both of which we intend to increase in the near future. The initial investment for a prize is expected to be in the region of Rs 30,000/= to Rs 35,000/= and that of the scholarship, Rs 90,000/= to Rs 100,000/=. In addition, a Science Award for the best performance in Science including Chemistry in Level 3 (equivalent to the first year in any other university) and the Professor G M K B Gunaherath award for Organic Chemistry at Level 4 (second year) are also awarded. We also intend to add a few more awards during the academic year 2014/2015.
We are happy to mention that one of our awards, namely, the Professor J N Oleap Fernando Gold Medal for Excellence in Chemistry is presented at the Annual Convocation of the OUSL, a prestigious award made possible by the Buckyball Society at the time of the retirement of Prof J.N.O Fernando (Senior Professor of Chemistry) in 2009
A summary of the awards being made by the Buckyball Society is given below [All these awards are for students in the BSc degree programme]
We encourage co-curricular activities through the ZooNet of OUSL, a student-staff society, which organises regular guest lectures, educational trips, mini projects, etc. ZooNet also gives awards annually, in recognition of academic excellence and other achievements of students.