STEM & Robotics programs for Schools

Background

Started by a group of dedicated educators seeking to establish the culture of STEM in school children. Our team is headed by Mr. Aditya, an IIT graduate with around 35 years of industrial experience and around 10 years in the field of education& Mr. NK Singla, again an IITian from 1978 batch with more than 4 decades of experience in IT Industry. We have tailored programs to the aims and needs of the schools and children and provide STEM education in 4 major schools in the region for the past two years
We believe that Scientific Thinking, Mathematical thinking and a Problem solving mindset form the core of STEM. We have been running project programs, curriculum linked programs in these schools

Concept of STEM Lab

Conceptually, we feel that the Lab has three components
1.The outlook, environment and physical layout
2.The equipment tools and instruments
3.The curriculum or Program of what is to be done and how

Layout

The lab needs to have a flexible layout conducive to group work and easy access to most tools and instruments which are made available on a grade appropriate level. Thus a Grade 5 student would not have access to chisels and hammers and saws or mains voltage equipment
The layout has to be innovative, inviting and different from the reset of the school. The ideas and development of space would need to be done by an architect with guidance and discussion with us
This also needs optimization of storage space maintaining a good outlook

Equipment and tools

A list of appropriate tools and instruments can be provided. Our method is to start with basics and invest the as per need in a phased manner rather than buy a lot of equipment. We also feel that while Robot Kits serve a purpose it is much better to have children build bottom up. Enough designs are available and quite a few have been used by us
STEM needs are rather few to begin with. It is mostly readily available items which are used to inculcate scientific and Mathematical thinking

The Content

We feel this is the most important aspect. Even a very attractive space and expensive equipment can lie unused and under-utilized without dynamic faculty and a clear plan and programming The program designed by us encompasses five aspects
1.Scientific methods and Mathematical model based development with several scientific studies in the physical and life sciences, and mathematical investigations
2.Engineering challenges
3.Design Thinking where a problem is found which inspires a group to rapid prototype and find solutions
4.The availability of Lab time for persons who would just like to tinker for those who just take pleasure in making and/or breaking scientifically and who might discover an important innovation
5.Computational Thinking with the use of simple tools like Scratch and App inventor
For any lab what is to be done and a training on how it could be done is an essential part of any STEM program