In 3 Idiots, an engineering topper is seen training Laddakhi students into science .That was a reel story, here’s a real one…
Twelve-year-old Anjali is creating her own skateboard using wood and rubber. She is not into some school-dictated project, she is just playing in a ‘school’ in Palampur, up in the hills of Himachal Pradesh.
At some distance, Sandhya Gupta is flying paper gliders with a group of boys, teaching them the concepts of aerodynamics in the most practical way possible.
Inside a large hall, Sarit Sharma is monitoring a group of girls who are fiddling with bulbs, switches and resistors, creating their own electrical circuits.
Welcome to Aavishkar, a 3 Idiot-Climactic place where science and math crawl out of the textbooks and enter into the fond laps of young ones.
Aavishkar was started by Sandhya and Sarit, both PhD from Iowa State University in the US. They were both working as researchers in Minnesota when the desire to watering back their roots brought them back to the mountains of Himachal Pradesh.
They got in touch with the Sambhaavnaa Institute there and started working on science modules for local students. Later, they got support from the Palampur Rotary Foundation to set up their own centre, which they called Aavishkar (or discovery).
The couple works on inculcating a scientific and mathematical thinking in the students through inquiry based approach and ‘learning by doing’ methods.
Sandhya and Sarit believe that learning should always be a joyful experience. It should be able to drive ‘curiosity, creativity and critical thinking’ in the students. Stories, visuals and models are an integral part of every lesson, where students are pushed to ask questions and find their own solutions.
The couple organizes many science and maths camps for students as well as training sessions for the teachers. ‘Hamaari Shikshaa’ is a workshop conducted by Aavishkar to train the young professionals who are interested in education-related issues.
Tribal girls from Bihar, who are supported by an NGO, Nari Gunjan, attend the camps organised by Aavishkar to get the exciting flavour of science through experiments.
Education as a birth right is a fine slogan. India has pledged itself to become a ‘soft’ superpower based on its superior average intelligence quotient. But census reports reveal school dropouts because of science and math.
Exclusive schools like Mirambika in posh South Delhi may cater to rich parents’ kids in the vicinity, but that is not the solution.May be the Sandhya-Sarit model is an answer.
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