IIT Bombay and Smile Foundation ignite Tech Dreams in Children
So far a thousand children mentored in Tinkerers’ Laboratory, 3-D printing, Aero-modelling, Robotics, and Astronomy etc.
Mumbai, 23 January, 2024: The Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) has been hosting close to a thousand children from Smile Foundation for the past two years. The mission is to make STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) learning fun and to inculcate scientific temper and aspirations among children early in the school days.
Various workshops under this collaboration are being held at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay since January 2023. Each workshop, spanning between one and three days, accommodates an average of 240 students from grades VII, VIII, IX, and X from various Smile Foundation Mission Education centers spread across Mumbai, Palghar and Thane regions. So far, 960 children have benefitted from this programme in diverse areas such as Tinkerers’ Laboratory and 3-D printing, Aero-modelling, Energy (solar lamp making), Robotics, and Astronomy etc.
Prof. Rajesh Zele, Dept. of Electrical Engineering, IIT Bombay says, “I have been working closely with IITB ITC student volunteers for the last couple of years. It is amazing to see the positive energy in these programmes. This will certainly impact the impressionable minds of our youth. The IITB students along with Smile Foundation are making a strong social impact, influencing the nextGen. The robot is just a head fake! The key message to the nextGen is to build things with your own hands, be curious.”
The workshop modules have been designed by the Institute Technical Council of IIT Bombay, and is jointly being facilitated by Gnaan U Education, under the supervision and guidance of the senior faculty at the IIT-B.
Santanu Mishra, Co-founder & Executive Trustee, Smile Foundation opines, “One of the goals of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 is to equip children and youth with vital futuristic skills and competitive knowledge so that they thrive in a technology-driven world. The aspiration of the nation is also entwined with the future potential of today’s children.”
“At Tinkering Laboratory, IIT-B, we are grateful to have access to advanced resources, including 3D printers and laser cutters. This event marked a significant step towards realizing our vision of extending knowledge beyond the confines of our college and reaching out to schools and colleges across India. This accomplishment was made possible through the continuous support of Smile Foundation and Gnaan U Education, for which we are sincerely grateful,” said Dewaansh Vijayvargiya, Manager, Tinkerer’s Team, IIT Bombay.
Kushal Agarwal and Anuj Bangad, Managers, Electronics and Robotics Club4 observes that Electronics and Robotics were indispensable in today’s technologically advancing society. “It is essential that our nation plays a leading role in the development of such technology. Workshops like this provide a common front for upcoming minds. Our team is glad to be a part of this effort.”
“Such programmes have a very high learning and retention value for the students, and are possible only because of the support of Smile Foundation, Corporate Sponsors and the support of IIT Bombay and its students. Such workshops instill confidence in students to pursue and excel in science and create an aspiration to gain quality higher education,” says Gnanesh Mehta of Gnaan U Education.
Mission Education is Smile Foundation’s flagship programme focused on child education. The programme has 496 operational projects spread across 457 locations in 27 Indian states. Mission Education programme is benefitting underserved children in the age group of 3 to 18 years. The focus areas of Mission Education include Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN), STEM, experiential learning, training and innovation, upgradation of infrastructure etc. and it is in alignment with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
Smile Foundation is an Indian development organization directly benefiting over 1.5 million underprivileged children and their families every year through more than 400 welfare projects in education, healthcare, skilling and women empowerment spread across 2,000 remote villages and urban slums in 27 states of India.