In a focused effort to get young higher secondary girl students from remotest parts of the country excited about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), the Centre for Creative Learning (CCL) at the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN) and the American India Foundation (AIF) have joined hands to start ‘Sparkle Series’, an online interactive education programme for Vigyan Jyoti scholars of class 11 from Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs) across the country.
The nine-episode series, funded by IBM India, is expected to reach about 10,000 Vigyan Jyoti girl students in 200 Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas in 200 districts of 34 states and union territories across the country. Starting from January 22, 2022, the ‘Sparkle Series’ will be live- streamed every Saturday from 3 to 4:30 pm on CCL’s YouTube channel.
Aligned with the objectives of the Vigyan Jyoti scheme of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, which aims to increase participation of women in STEM fields by making focused interventions during early years of education, ‘Sparkle Series’ intends to get the young girls excited about STEM by unlocking hidden mysteries, beauty, and magic of these subjects from everyday life.
The online programme will take the participants beyond routine curriculum-based science education and help them build scientific temperament and excitement. The interactive sessions in this series will be based on Science and Mathematics curriculum topics, but they will consist of various activities using simple materials like paper, vegetables, playing cards, musical instruments, different types of whistles, bicycles etc.
The idea is to let them discover the inherent beauty of these subjects and develop a sense of wonder with various hands-on projects, activities, and open-ended questions.
Elaborating about objectives of this series, Prof Manish Jain, Head of CCL, IITGN, said, “Traditionally a career in STEM is not something that many women pursue and as a result as a society we lose out on the contributions from some of our brightest minds. We are very excited to collaborate with JNV, AIF and IBM to get school girls hooked to Science and Math primarily by making STEM subjects engaging and inspiring.
The focus will be on showcasing how Math/Science are related to our life. In this series, we will explore the inherent beauty of Mathematics and Science curriculum topics through engaging and interesting activities, hands-on projects, historical stories, and open-ended questions.”
Speaking about the importance of Sparkle Series, Sanyukta Chaturvedi, Director, Digital Equalizer, American India Foundation, said, “Classrooms should not just be a place for theoretical learning, but a collaborative and interactive learning space that prepares the students for a successful future in this rapidly changing 21st century. With this vision, AIFs Digital Equalizer program is empowering students on STEM learning and 21st-century skills with a special focus on girl students. We are pleased to partner with the Centre for Creative Learning, IIT Gandhinagar to further realise this vision through the Sparkle Series – engaging hands-on workshops on STEM.”