On August 24, 2023, the Myngken Christian Higher Secondary School hosted its first STEM Exhibition, in partnership with the Smart Village Movement and Curiosity Gym. The event, which took place at the school premises, drew the attention of several dignitaries, including IAS Swapnil Tembe, Director of School Education and Literacy, as well as Mr. Manish Kumar, IAS, Assistant Commissioner of Ri Bhoi district. Additionally, enthusiastic students and teachers from seven neighbouring schools were in attendance.
The exhibition showcased about 30 different innovative creations that captured the imagination and enthusiasm of attendees. The projects, created by students ranging from Grade 3 to Grade 12, demonstrated their creativity and passion for STEM subjects. From basic concepts like Open and Closed circuits, water-powered cars, balloon-powered cars, rocket balloons, and bottle hand fans, to more complex endeavours such as motor-powered toy cars, rubber-powered boats, maze games, magic cards, 3D printing marvels, robot cars, and shape-in-shape explorations, the exhibition displayed the remarkable depth and breadth of young talent.
The school’s dedication to advancing STEM education and fostering innovation was showcased at the exhibition, where brilliant young minds congregated to display their ingenious projects and breakthroughs. The event provided a platform for students to demonstrate their creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. In today’s world, where technology is increasingly integral to our daily lives, STEM education plays an essential role in equipping students with the necessary skills for the modern workforce.
Smart Village Movement’s grassroots research with students, educators, and government stakeholders revealed that students in Meghalaya struggle with Math, Science, and Technology. A study on the importance of Math and Science showed that over 72% of students found these subjects to be complex. Support for Math and Science is of utmost importance here for several reasons as they form the foundation for many professions and careers, including engineering, medicine, and technology.
The Smart Village Movement is a joint effort between the Government and University of California Berkeley aimed at promoting technological innovations across different fields. As part of this STEM pilot project, the Smart Village Movement partnered with Curiosity Gym to establish INNOVATION HUBS in two rural schools in Meghalaya and provide students with practical learning experiences. This project aims to make Math and Science more interesting and engaging by teaching students practical applications, thus increasing their exposure to and interest in STEM fields. The “Innovation Hubs” will provide students with access to cutting-edge resources and equipment, including robotics and IoT kits, 3D printing and design tools, and other STEM components. These resources will allow students to engage in hands-on learning experiences that are both immersive and exciting, helping them to understand and master complex STEM concepts.
During his speech to students, IAS Swapnil Tembe spoke about the STEM Innovation Hub and encouraged the students to make use of this valuable resource. “Please make use of this brilliant asset created for you. I really liked the students’ exhibits. Many exhibitions don’t have good explanations. Today we saw class 3, 4 students being able to explain as well as relate it to what’s happening around them. The idea is to see how we use technology to solve problems in our life. I hope this can be done in every school. We will work together with the Smart Village Movement to see how we can expand this.”
Ramkumar S, IAS Nodal Officer of SVM Meghalaya, emphasized the importance of exposure to STEM education in building a strong foundation for diverse interests and skill sets. He praised the pilot program initiated by the Smart Village Movement in alliance with UC Berkeley, which brings opportunities for students in the state to develop their knowledge and abilities in STEM subjects.
E. Pyngrope, Principal at Myngken Christian Higher Secondary School, expressed gratitude. “We are grateful for the overwhelming support from our teachers,students, Smart Village Movement and Curiosity Gym which has allowed us to organise this successful STEM Exhibition. He also emphasized that the goal of the event was not for the school’s fame, but for the benefit of the students. With the support of the education department and the government, he believes that more opportunities like this can be created.
The presence of esteemed dignitaries, educationalists, and community members at the exhibition underscored the importance of fostering a passion for STEM education and innovation among young learners. The event not only celebrated the achievements of Myngken Christian Higher Secondary School but also served as an inspiration for students across the state to pursue academic excellence and strive for innovation.
About Smart Village Movement:
The Smart Village Movement is a collaborative process facilitated by the Smart Village Movement non profit organization with the UC Berkeley-Haas Center of Growth Markets to create a Smart Village ecosystem. In partnership with Government, Academia, Corporations, and Rural Communities, they foster independence and sustainable rural development in Indian villages and other emerging markets. SVM aims to empower rural people through digital technologies and open innovation platforms to access global markets.
About Curiosity Gym:
Curiosity Gym, established in 2015, is a leading provider of STEAM-based learning. They aim to transform education by fostering curiosity, engagement, and creative confidence. Curiosity Gym offers ready-made lesson plans and live online courses in STEM, Coding, AI, Robotics, and more through gamified learning and pedagogy. Their sessions, conducted by subject matter experts, focus on design thinking and scientific temper. With a team of engineers, physicists, linguists, and graduates from prestigious institutions, Curiosity Gym equips students with 21st-century skills and encourages them to tackle real-world challenges through applied learning.
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