Innovation Trip : Association with Shaastra

It was a fine Sunday morning for the rest of the world where the sun was shining brightly over the head but January 7th, 2018 will be an important day in the timeline of Involve, as we evolved a step ahead. For the first time in 12 years, Kendriya Vidyalaya (IIT Madras campus) got a chance to officially send their students on a trip to Shaastra, the annual Technical Fest of IIT Madras. And this “Innovation Trip” is a part of the Fellowship program designed by Involve exclusively for our educators. Yes, Kendriya Vidyalaya is our next school partner who has been very enthusiastic about implementing our services in their school.

As this was a benchmark for both the school and us, the experience made it worth sharing with all our fellow readers. Read out as Prateek, our team member unfolds a nice outline of the whole day.

The day started with Ashwini addressing the parents of educators in the school auditorium, explaining them about how we started, what we do, and how their children could benefit from us. Pertaining to the clarity of the presentation, the parents seemed to be over-enthusiastic in this two-way process for the development of their wards. Many of them asked doubts, which confirmed that the parents were pretty interested in our vision. After the session, Dr. M.M. Manickaswamy, the Principal of KV IITM, addressed the parents and educators and assured them that this project is gonna be a success and that he firmly believes in our concept and envisages our vision.

It was one of those goosebump moments for me when I first raised my voice to request all the students to stand in the queue. All the students, filled with the enthusiasm to learn, followed me positively throughout the day. In this way, the trip started and we marched directly to the Tech Innovation Fair organized by Shaastra. There were stalls put up by various tech-companies – demonstrating their powerful drones, octocopters, and quadcopters, while others had robots dancing on ‘Jimikki Kamal’. There was a special stall put up by ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) where the scientist hosting the stall patiently explained various achievements made by ISRO till now, and to my amazement, all the students listened very keenly to every term. They were later counting the different names of rockets and missiles on their fingers (which even I didn’t know despite being an Aerospace student :P). The interest level of students grew exponentially as they visited the stalls demonstrating artificial pacemaker and voice-controlled wheelchair and organized themselves too. Adding the cherry to the cake, we had appointed a Peer leader to every class, and they enjoyed the special task assigned to them – making sure their friends are together.

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Now we headed for our next event, which was a career guidance lecture by Mr. Venkat Phani Kiran, an IITD alumnus. He explained various tactics and measures to undertake to become a successful student. They got really motivated, and many of them were asking questions for about half an hour post-session. We were delighted to see such an amazing response from them. After the students quickly finished their lunch, they excitedly marched to attend the most awaited lecture by Harun Robert (Known for hosting the popular show M.A.D. on Pogo TV). However, we had to satisfy with a live streaming of the session because the venue was packed with students.

With this, just as the insightful day was given an end, Carbon Zero Challenge turned up the excitement even more. Four of our students won the first prize since they actively listened and participated in the quiz. They got T-shirts as rewards (The funny part was the L size, which was oversized for all. Still they enjoyed wearing it, and got pics clicked by us.)

We asked each student about their learning for the day and we received some amazing responses, one of them was when one girl responded saying that she was extremely happy interacting with people from different sections and class of the same school and would love to be a part of similar more processes.

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As concluding activity, we organized a “Circle of Sharing” for all the students and teachers present over there. It is a unique small group discussion process in which participants shared their feelings, experiences, and insights to specific, assigned topics.  The teachers accompanying us also appreciated our team’s efforts in executing the trip successfully. After receiving such positive vibes from the sharing, we became very positive about the direction in which we were headed. After all, motivation is our working fuel 🙂

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