Teaching STEM in India
We’re so proud of our Chief Science Officers, and recently we got this great letter from Prisha Shroff, Chief Science Officer at Accelerated Middle School.
As you read this letter, the hope is that you can understand just how much this program is doing to give the future leaders of STEM a space to learn, grow and reach their potential.
Take it away, Prisha!
Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” I am a leader who aspires to spread STEM awareness to all the children in the world. My passion is to engineer solutions to real world problems. When I grow up, I want to be an Entrepreneur, designing solutions to real world problems. Here I am, a student at Accelerated Middle School and a first year Chief Science Officer, starting to be the change I want to see in the world.
During the CSO Leadership Training Institute in July, I had the idea of teaching STEM to kids in India and sharing my STEM passion. My action plan was to spread STEM awareness in India and make them as excited and passionate as I am about teaching STEM.
With my family, I was planning to attend a Spiritual Retreat during winter break for 7th-12th graders in Dharampur, a village in the West side of India. In the retreat, there were 4 main learning themes: engineering, volunteering, Spiritual values and fitness. There were over 600 kids attending from all over India. I grabbed the opportunity to teach engineering sessions to the 7th graders and underprivileged kids from the nearby rural areas. I spent 6 months planning for the session with the India team. I created a materials list and a step by step plan of the activities.
Before the sessions, I led training sessions for the volunteers. The sessions with the 7th graders and underprivileged kids were 3 hours long. In all the sessions, we had stations where the kids used the engineering design process to build straw rockets, balloon towers, marble runs, catapults, and K-nex creations.
I taught them the engineering design process, thinking outside-of-the-box and how STEM was incorporated into all of the activities they were doing. I led “mission malfunction,” a fun activity involving teamwork and communication. Afterwards, I led a session and taught them basic circuitry by creating bookmarks with LEDs and copper tape. Being a first year CSO, teaching STEM in India was phenomenal.
At the end of the sessions, we got positive feedback from many kids and said they really enjoyed it and can’t wait for another session. The retreat was an amazing experience. Being a teacher, I saw all the enthusiasm for STEM too! We are currently working to partner with companies and start the CSO program in India. We are also planning on incorporating the underprivileged kids and giving them the opportunity to be CSOs and provide CSO training to them.
Chief Science Officer at Accelerated Middle School”