Mumbai, January 25, 2023: The three-phase workshops at IIT Bombay might prove to be a life-changing experience for the 240 selected students of class VIII & IX from six Mission Education centres of Smile Foundation across Mumbai, Thane and Palghar districts.
The robotics workshop is being conducted under the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) initiatives of Smile Foundation in collaboration with the Electronics and Robotics Club (ERC) of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. The facilitation partner, Gnaan U Education, played an important role in organizing the workshops.
As part of the programme, the on-campus Robotics workshop helped the students gain conceptual knowledge of the Electronics and Robotics field viz. physics, mechanics, electrical current and motors, soldering and basics of computer programming.
Prof. Rajesh Zele, Dept. of Electrical Engineering at IIT Bombay told the children, “You have come out of your comfort zone to a place like IIT Bombay to learn new things; you have the courage to speak in front of such a large class; you worked in teams to build your bots, and realised that nothing is impossible! Coming to IIT and learning Robotics is not the most important thing, but finding your interests, and pursuing them diligently to do something worthwhile in life, is very important. That is what you have learnt here!”
The children also got hands-on experience in building a Remote Controlled (RC) motor car. They successfully made 40 such cars in a self-learning manner. They competed in “Race Track” and “Bot Fight” competition with their cars. This programme is offered to first year IIT-Bombay students on the campus, and this year, these school students got an opportunity to participate in it.
“The NEP recommends that STEM learning gets due importance in the process of child education. These endeavours and encouragements will play crucial roles not only in building the future of our children but also in the process of nation-building,” said Mr. Santanu Mishra, Co-Founder and Executive Trustee of Smile Foundation.
The students were provided demonstration of RC Drones by Aeromodelling Club, IIT Bombay, to further their exposure in machines. The students were presented with various projects at IIT Bombay including underwater vehicle from other departments too.
A Career Guidance session was conducted to guide the children on how to pursue a career in Engineering.
“Programmes like these provide hands-on exposure to students. They get experiential learning instead of theoretical learning. It generates a self-belief in them that they can not only understand science but also apply it to create machines. They can also see what good quality education empowers them to do. This is great work by Smile Foundation,” elucidated Mr. Gnanesh Mehta, founder of Gnaan U Education.
The Electronics and Robotics Club (ERC) is the official student club for Electronics and Robotics at IIT-B that organizes events, lectures, hackathons, competitions, at the premier institute. The members of the ERC gained a unique experience in teaching engineering concepts to school students. They also appreciated the benefits of such exposure for the school students.
“Experiential learning programmes such as these provide hands-on knowledge, as envisioned by our New Education Policy. I sincerely thank Smile Foundation and Gnaan U Education for this opportunity,” said Mr. Sourabh Hanje, Convener of the Electronics and Robotics Club, IIT Bombay.
The selected children, besides gaining valuable exposure, also got to interact with students and faculty at the IIT Bombay, thereby availing an invaluable opportunity of mentoring. This was a unique opportunity of on-campus knowledge transfer by teaching school students at the IIT Bombay. A remarkable improvement in the children’s ability to answer application-based science questions was observed in the post-programme survey.
About Smile Foundation:
Smile Foundation is an Indian development organisation directly benefiting over 1.5 million children and families every year through more than 400 welfare projects on education, healthcare, livelihood, and women empowerment spread across 2,000 villages and urban slums in 25 states.