Published: 21st February 2020
Intechgrator Lab is here to boost innovation all across Odisha. Check it out
In the future, Intechgrator Lab wants to also help government schools of the coastal state with teacher training for the labs. This way, they will not just be helping the students of the school
About three months ago, a 600 square feet Intechgrator Lab was set up in Bhubaneswar by Navonmesh Prasar Foundation (NPF), which itself was founded to encourage STEM education by setting up labs and implementing other methodologies. NPF was set up by innovator Anil Pradhan, well-known for starting the International Public School for Rural Innovation (IPSRI), and Vaishali Sharma who is currently the Co-founder and Director of Alternative Education at NPF.
They were college friends and decided to establish NPF last year to spread the love for innovation at the grassroots level. And in the quest to fulfil the same goal, in this lab was conducted the Winter Innovation Camp in December 2019. Two batches of seven to eight students were invited to learn coding, upcycling, underwater robot construction and so much more to students of classes III to XII. FOMO taking over yet? Don't worry, Vaishali informs us that they are coming up with another one in March. So you better not miss out on this one!
"We want the students to see the Science behind different concepts which they were only learning through the books," says Vaishali. The labs are being set up independently because not all schools, not even urban ones, might have the facilities or equipment, like 3D printers, laser cutters, drilling machines, soldering machines and such. And since their aim is to reach out to rural students, the lab in Bhubaneswar is just the beginning.
The winter camp was also conducted at IPSRI, in which as many as 30 students participated. The highlight of the camp at IPSRI was that as students were taught advanced underwater robotics, they even got to test their robots. "Parents of children who signed up for the camp are already asking us about the next camp and when it will be conducted," she shares.
Scenes from the workshop | (Pic: Intechgrator Lab)
What they have also started is a Special Outreach Programme under which they visit different government schools to conduct workshops for one or two days. This has had the most impact as they have reached out to as many as 15,000 students thanks to this programme. They are aware that one or two days might not be enough but at least it might spark an interest in children and then, "they will definitely want to learn more," says the youngster. And since these camps are targeted at children in rural areas, the curriculum is developed in both Odia and English. The idea is to scale to more government schools and open more independent Intechgrator Labs. They have their eyes set on Sisua village and they are already in talks to open their next lab there.
Schedule of the Winter Innovation Camp:
Day 1: Inauguration and orientation
Day 2: 3D printing
Day 3: Programming and coding
Day 4: Underwater Robot construction
Day 5: Kabahd se Jugaad: Up-cycling and recycling
Day 6: Jhor ka Jhatka: Electronics and basic robotics
Day 7: Project report
Scenes from the workshop
For more on them, check out facebook.com/intechgrator