STEM Learning’s mission: Develop scientific temper in less privileged students through Mini Science Centres

Their unique CSR model across rural India have revolutionised science education, thus fulfilling PM Modi’s vision of creating Scientific Social Responsibility

By Rusen Kumar

NEW DELHI: It was the biggest gathering for all the major players in the field of CSR. The three day long CSR Fair 2017 at Pragati Maidan last week ( May 4,5,6 2017) was organised by the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE), Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises (HIPE); PHD Chamber in collaboration with ONGC, was a perfect platform to all the stakeholders, including Central Ministries/Departments, CPSEs/State PSUs, Private Companies, NGOs/Foundations etc. for showcasing their CSR activities, sharing of their best practices and more crucially, an opportunity to connect with each other.

Anant G Geete, Union Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, who inaugurated the Fair exhorted upon the CPSEs to focus on core areas of social sector especially the Swachtha Abhiyaan, Education and Drinking Water on priority basis. He said, though the amendments carried out in the Companies Act, 2013 making it mandatory for the establishments to incur 2 percent spending on CSR activities from their profit, be it in private sector or the CPSEs, still a voluntary approach and mind set in this regard is capable of bringing sea changes. He also admitted that the Swachtha Abhiyaan is running successfully just because of the active participation of CPSEs.

Amongst the over 100 odd stalls on display of some outstanding work in the field of CSR, Mumbai-based STEM Learning Pvt. Ltd emerged as one of the largest CSR partner in the area of establishment of Mini Science Centres. At their stall no 102, Stem Learning displayed their science exhibits and other innovative learning models as their team explained their functioning to the visitors.

Early this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had emphasised that his government was committed to support the different streams of scientific knowledge from fundamental science to applied science with an emphasis on innovations. Realising the need to change the way knowledge is imparted at the grassroots level; Mr Modi instituted the concept of ‘Scientific Social Responsibility’ (SSR). Underlining the need to inculcate the concept of SSR akin to CSR, Mr Modi put the impetus on corporates to actively participate in developing science and technology centres across India.

Taking this mission of science education ahead, STEM Learning has showcased its innovation in the area of science models.  They have been effectively using CSR route to harness the untapped talent of thousands of underprivileged children across India.

Ashutosh Pandit, Founder, STEM Learning said, “The feedback from visitors at the CSR Fair has been amazing. Representatives of over 46 PSU’s visited our stall to understand the science models and understand our success in providing quality science education to less privileged students. We can create customised CSR plan for these PSU’s to reach out schools across India. Together we can build scientific temper amongst students who have no access of quality education. That is our mission.”

STEM is revolutionising the way our youngsters can learn science through their unique social development initiative. Through its Mini Science Centres (MSCs), they have reached a whopping 8,00,000 students in 15 states, covering 650 schools. Over 2,500 teachers now have access to improved methodology to teach Science and Maths to their students through working and innovative models developed under the MSC project.

Building scientific temper and offering easy methodology to solve complex science theories is the mission of STEM Learning. They have 100 interactive Maths and Science working models.  STEM believes that school education cannot be only visual or audio but it is important for children to practically feel the products and experience it. With the same vision, STEM already owns 100+ products for better learning and believes in adding more for the improved learning of students, especially those from less privileged section of the society.

In their journey so far, STEM has successfully implemented 40 mega science centres and 650 mini science centres that has brought quality education to the doorsteps of schoolchildren in rural India and converted them into knowledge hubs.

For the past five years, STEM has reached out to hundreds of schools in the rural areas of India’s 15 states – Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, J&K, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Tamil Nadu – tapping the talent of school children and giving them a sense of hope that even they can harness their potential and make it big.

With the help of STEM’s practical models of all science lessons in the syllabus from Std V to Xth, students have shown amazing progress and are already making their own innovations!  At a recent model design competition, students made over 175 models on their own.

These working science models are devised by experts with a close eye on the young, less-privileged children. Every school’s progressed is mapped on regular intervals by STEM. It is clear that STEM is bringing quality education to the rural regions, which will truly transform India. The MSCs have given a platform to thousands of students to create their own projects and their growth has been phenomenal.

STEM Learning’s aim is to enhance awareness among teachers and students about the value of learning, with a special focus on science and mathematics. As a CSR project, it also encompasses a unique teachers’ training program and facility maintenance for two years.

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