An Indian-American firm is planning to introduce a new method of teaching science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) to middle and secondary school students in India through experiential learning. The Atlanta-based STEM Academy has said that it will open a “Center of Excellence” in Delhi next month that will train and certify teachers. It will be launched in selected schools across India from January 1 for students enrolled in grades four through 10. The Academy’s mission is to ignite the innovative trait in young Indian students and “create a new generation of youngsters who will think out of the box,” said Amitabh Sharma, a co-founder of the Academy.
Noting that this is quite in line with former US president Barack Obama’s drive ‘Educate to Innovate’, Sharma said “if US can get benefitted with STEM, so can India with its current focus on aggressive programmes like ‘Make in India’, ‘Digital India’, ‘New India’ etc.”
The programme targets students enrolled in schools affiliated with four major boards that regulate primary and secondary school education in India: the Central Board of Secondary Education, the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination, State School Boards and International Baccalaureate.
“It is an interdisciplinary way of teaching maths and science, integrated with day-to-day engineering and technology,” said Sharma, who has an MBA, a law degree and a doctorate in marketing.
A serial entrepreneur with experience in oil and gas, information technology and education, Sharma is the founding chair of the American India Foundation’s Atlanta Leadership Council.
Sharma said the Indian school outreach and implementation is being done by Gurgaon-based India channel partner MPower Global STEM Education. Observing that STEM has come to assume great significance in view of re-igniting innovation and creativity amongst school going children, he said this methodology is increasingly finding more followers every day as far as in India.
“Yet the efficacy of STEM based learning has by far been limited due to apparent lack of structure,” he said, adding that STEM Academy of USA has developed a unique implementation strategy for India.
“The world has acknowledged the strength and significance of practical project based learning. Perhaps it is time to move away from traditional rote learning to out-of-the-box creativity oriented learning that nurtures well rounded leaders.”
“Indian youngsters then will well be on the path to becoming capable world citizens and catapulting India to its inventive best,” Sharma said.