Smart Village Movement Brings STEM Innovation Hub Initiative to Gujarat Schools

Smart Village Movement, February 19, 2024

On February 14, 2024, Dr. Anil Shah, Chairman of Smart Village Movement (SVM), visited Eklavya Model Residential School (EMRS) in Goraj village, Vadodara district, Gujarat, accompanied by Dr. Vikram Patel, Chairman of Muni Seva Ashram (MSA)

In today’s rapidly evolving world, where technology permeates every aspect of our lives, the importance of a robust STEM education in schools cannot be overstated. STEM, an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, serves as the cornerstone of modern education, equipping students with the skills and knowledge necessary to thrive in the 21st-century workforce. Teaching students the practical applications of theoretical concepts with hands-on project-based learning is the ideal learning method to inculcate curiosity and a deep understanding of STEM concepts at an early age.

To bring STEM closer to underserved communities in rural schools, Smart Village Movement (SVM), a non-profit rural development organization, recognized this as a critical gap in modern education, especially in rural areas, and launched this initiative as a pilot program in 2 Gujarat schools. The schools are located in Goraj, (near Vaghodia) and Savli (near Rajpipala) in the Vadodara & Narmada districts of Gujarat, India) nestled amidst the tribal regions of the state.  SVM’s initiative is underway to revolutionize STEM education and ignite the flames of innovation among the youth. This initiative, spearheaded by the Smart Village Movement in collaboration with Mumbai-based education company Curiosity Gym, has given rise to the Innovation Hubs set up in Eklavya Model Residential School run by Muni Seva Ashram and S. M. Shah Vidyamandir School.

The success of the pilot and the interest generated among teachers and students alike make this an educational endeavor that promises to shape the future of the villages and beyond.

The students of the schools love the Innovation Hub more than any activity in the school. One of the students Seema Baraiya said: “The AI study was fascinating; I fully enjoyed and learned many things. I miss the lab on all school holidays!” another student Yash Rathwa said: “I found true hobbies & my passion in the Innovation Hub.” The school principal Dr. Yogesh Singh said: “Our students are thrilled and excited about the Innovation Hub. They love to learn by making and creating things on their own in the lab.”

During his recent visit to the schools, Dr. Anil Shah, Chairman of SVM, was very impressed by the remarkable progress made by the students in the SVM-sponsored Innovation Hub in both schools. Dr. Shah commended the school management for their outstanding efforts in fostering an environment of innovation and learning through the use of SVM initiatives.

S. M. Shah Vidyamandir, located in Savli near Rajpipala in Gujarat’s tribal district of Narmada, India.

Student Participation: Both the schools as mentioned earlier have enthusiastically embraced the STEM program, laying the foundation for a brighter tomorrow. Students of both schools have eagerly enrolled in the program, eager to embark on a journey of discovery and innovation. As of February 2024, a total of more than 500 students have enrolled in the program, and many of them register on  ‘Mysphere’ platform, where student projects and progress are documented, a testament to the program’s growing popularity and impact.

Projects and Learnings: At the heart of the school’s acceptance of the Innovation Hub lies a commitment to experiential learning and hands-on exploration. Through a carefully crafted curriculum encompassing theoretical sessions, practical exercises, and project-based learning opportunities, students are immersed in a world of scientific inquiry and technological innovation. From mastering the intricacies of circuit design to delving into robotics and 3D printing, participants are exposed to a diverse array of STEM disciplines, each designed to foster critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and creativity.

Dr. Shah witnessed the progress of students in the schools…

Final Projects and Exhibition: The culmination of this transformative journey comes in the form of final capstone projects – innovative creations that showcase the students’ ingenuity and mastery of STEM concepts. From an automatic tap water system to a remote-controlled electric car, these projects serve as a testament to the students’ dedication, creativity, and technical prowess. An Exhibition is organized usually at the end of every 6 months to showcase their journey of learning and dedication towards becoming the innovators and leaders of tomorrow.

Students demonstrated their learning process at the Innovation Hub

Looking Forward: As we reflect on the remarkable achievements of the Innovation Hubs in Gujarat schools, we are filled with a sense of optimism and possibility. The future of STEM education in Gujarat schools and beyond is brimming with potential, driven by a shared commitment to excellence, innovation, and inclusivity. With the establishment of Innovation Hubs in two schools in Gujarat and two schools in the north-eastern state of Meghalaya, we are poised to extend the reach of our transformative programs to even more communities, empowering a new generation of thinkers, dreamers, and doers.

Dr. Anil Shah with students at Innovation Hub in the EMRS managed by Muni Seva Ashram

In closing, the Smart Village Movement’s Innovation Hub stands as a beacon of hope and opportunity—a testament to the transformative power of education and innovation. Through our collective efforts, we have ignited the flames of curiosity, nurtured the seeds of creativity, and fuelled the dreams of countless young minds. As we look towards the horizon, let us continue to champion the cause of STEM education, empowering future generations to unlock their full potential and shape a brighter, more prosperous tomorrow.

SVM Chairman Dr. Shah was delighted to witness the ‘tomorrow’s leaders’ enjoying their learnings at Innovation Hub in the schools…

About Curiosity Gym: Established in 2015, Curiosity Gym is a leading provider of STEAM-based learning, dedicated to fostering curiosity, engagement, and creative confidence among students. Through gamified learning and pedagogy, Curiosity Gym offers a diverse range of courses in STEM, Coding, AI, Robotics, and more, equipping students with 21st-century skills and empowering them to tackle real-world challenges with confidence.

EMRS students presented their learning experiences at the Innovation Hub before Dr. Shah

About Smart Village Movement: The Smart Village Movement is a collaborative initiative aimed at fostering independence and sustainable rural development in Indian villages and emerging markets. Through partnerships with government agencies, academia, corporations, and rural communities, we strive to empower rural people with digital technologies and open innovation platforms, enabling them to access global markets and thrive in the digital age. For further reading on the importance of STEM learning in the classroom, please visit Smart Village Movement’s BLOGS here.

SVM Chairman, Dr. Anil Shah, is optimistic about the bright future of rural India