16 March, 2023: On the occasion of International Pi (π) Day, Smile Foundation and Shell launched ‘NXplorers Junior’ program in three Indian states. NXplorers is Shell’s global flagship Social Investment STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) educational program that aims to benefit over 25,000 children during the first year by enabling them to understand, navigate and address local and global challenges, as underlined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). NXplorers is also aligned with the National Education Policy 2020 and delivers societal benefits.
The innovative initiative will benefit less-privileged students from government schools and affordable private schools, studying in rural and hard-to-reach areas in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Kerala. Its design also includes endeavour to create awareness amongst parents on the importance of STEM education, especially for girl children.
“Shell firmly believes that, provided with the necessary skills and guidance, young people can be a driving force to find sustainable solutions to the major global challenges of our time. Launched in 2018, Shell’s global flagship STEM program NXplorers is aligned with the National Education Policy 2020 that aims to transform India into an equitable and vibrant knowledge society. With the Smile Foundation partnership, we aim to expand this program to Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Telangana and offer young minds the platform to design sustainable solutions to ease the pressure on food, water, and energy,” said Ms. Latika Taneja, Head of Corporate Relations – India.
The program is being rolled out in concurrence with the educational authorities of the respective state governments. Besides students, teachers, parents, and communities are involved actively while implementing the program so that it remains sustainable in the long term.
“We are excited to roll out this innovative program in India. We are hopeful that our children will not only leverage STEM education in building their future careers but also will grow up and develop leadership ability in finding sustainable solutions in various walks of life,” said Mr. Santanu Mishra, Co-founder & Executive Trustee, of Smile Foundation.
The NXplorers Juniors will train both 6th and 7th-grade students. NXplorers Juniors Level-I course will be delivered through a combination of a teacher’s guide, PowerPoint slides, and several instructional videos. The facilitator guide will outline the essentials to be covered in each session, exercises, discussion, checkpoint questions, a summary, assessment, and research to be undertaken by students after the session.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), exploring SDG Solutions, researching global goals, developing a challenge and choosing a solution, etc. are covered in the NXplorers Juniors Level-1.
NXplorers – Learning for a Life Time, envisions providing a minimum of 3-5 years of NXplorers exposure to the students at various levels. The objectives include developing strong knowledge and skill set among students so that local and global challenges can be addressed by them. Developing sustainable models of implementation by engaging teachers, school leaders, and communities effectively, and creating awareness amongst parents regarding the importance of STEM education, especially concerning girl education is part of the overall goals.