In September 2017, at the age of 14, I started sharing science knowledge to Grade 10 students at Manav Gulzar (http://manavgulzar.org), a slum community at Jamalpur, Ahmedabad, India. Manav Gulzar is part of the Manav Sadhna (http://www.manavsadhna.org/), whose philosophy of value-based education is based on love and the practice of Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings.
I regularly visited Manav Gulzar to share science knowledge in Gujarati language to the underprivileged students of this slum community. Through an interactive and experiential process of sharing science knowledge, I could see the love and enthusiasm for science getting ignited in these students. They started appreciating science in daily lives, e.g. electricity, music, sanitation & waste management, sports, and even drones!
This experience has been a transformational journey for me. It inspired me to think about an integrated and hands-on approach to teaching science and nurturing inquisitive minds with a vision to create a positive societal impact and make the world a better place through science. It This was the genesis of the project “Science in Life” (SIL). Manav Gulzar appointed me as their chair for science education to drive this project in their community. The project details are http://manavgulzar.org/projects/science-in-life-sil/
Here is a short video giving a glimpse of the genesis of SIL
Objective: The aim of SIL is to provide quality modern-world science education to underprivileged kids in a hands-on and experiential manner and instill the ability to apply science effectively for solving day-to-day problems.
This is done through a novel approach that leverages existing ecosystem of NGOs, institutes, schools, mentors, experimental kits etc. and the power of technology. SIL leverages the plethora of existing NGO-school complex (rather than creating new silos!). It creates a platform by collaborating with NGOs, schools, global volunteers, donors and mentors for imparting high-quality STEM education to underprivileged children. To make this idea scalable, SIL has mobilized a team of global volunteers to prepare experiment videos in vernacular language. These videos are used as teaching aids. Thus, technology is embedded in this model to make it scalable and cost-effective.
Team and Partners:
I am delighted that SIL has received encouraging participation from enthusiastic science volunteers, both from India and globally, support from organizations such as Manav Sadhna, SciKnowTec (http://sciknowtech.com/), Xplora Design Skool (http://www.xdsindia.com/) , GUJCOST and financial assistance from generous donors.
SIL’s is delighted to have accomplished several milestones, including organizing a science and math fair in February 2019 at Manav Sadhna, where over 100 underprivileged kids were trained to independently demonstrate and explain science experiments and math concepts.
We have also built a dedicated STEM learning center for the underprivileged children.
Long-term goal is to spread and sustain the initiative through train the teachers program, expand the ecosystem, and impact lives of underprivileged children.
Appeal for donations:
We invite financial assistance from donors through our partner NGOs to make the project SIL sustainable and scalable. The funds would help us reach out to more underpriviliged community centers, procure science and math experiment kits, engage teachers and experts, conduct field trips.
The SIL team continues to reach out to educational institutions, science centres, science educators, design thinkers, department of science and technology, students etc., both globally and in India, to create an eco-system of volunteers, mentors, and sponsors to make the project SIL sustainable and scalable.
To support this project as a volunteer, mentor, donor, or to collaborate with SIL, reach out to me at email@example.com
Soham Bhatt| Founder & CEO | Science in Life