In order to ignite curiosity, nurture creativity, encourage research and innovation and instil confidence among middle and high school students in government schools, Agastya International Foundation (Agastya) and Honeywell India have jointly launched Honeywell Science Experience — an integrated learning programme. Honeywell India will support 11 science centers, 10 mobile science labs, and 1,100 young instructor leaders, benefiting more than 48,000 students and 200 teachers in in Bangalore, Gurgaon and Delhi from 2016 to 2019. In mobile vans, students will be provided 100 types of science and technology based experiential learning. These vans will run in the underprivileged and rural areas.
Curiosity, creativity, and confidence are critical life skills that can help children and teachers to excel in life. The programme aims to spark, nurture, and instill these qualities to help develop creative-thinking and problem-solving abilities in children. Through hands-on teaching-learning methods, the programme aims to foster child and teacher participation in experiential learning, and boost science education.
Launching the programme, Dr. Anil Kakodkar, Indian nuclear scientist and former Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission of India and former Director, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre said, “The current state of education in India requires qualitative upgradation through well-designed student-centric constructivist education in which experiential learning is a key component. It is encouraging to see Agastya International Foundation and Honeywell India undertaking this initiative to promote experiential science education. I would like to congratulate them and look forward to seeing successful implementation of the programme."
Speaking on the occasion, Ramji Raghavan, Founder and Chairman, Agastya, said, “We run one of the world's largest hands-on science education programmes for economically disadvantaged children and teachers. Support from partners like Honeywell helps us create the right infrastructure, and get practical technology inputs to make such a programme sustainable and effective.”
Sharing an experience of ongoing mobile vans, Raghavan said, “Based in Darbhanga, we run three mobile vans in Bihar. Due to this, today the students of Bihar are winning good number of prizes nationally in the area of science and technology.
Addressing the gathering, Vikas Chadha, President, Honeywell India said, “As a responsible corporate citizen, Honeywell is committed to improving the world we live in by creating, supporting, and nurturing programmes and initiatives that serve a the community. Honeywell has a long history of promoting unique science, technology, engineering and Math (STEM) education programmes around the world. Agastya International Foundation and Honeywell India share a common vision, and we are pleased to partner with Agastya to scale up the impact for experiential science education in India for the long term.”
“Students get empowered through experiential learning which make big difference in their lives. India’s prosperity lies with science, technology, research and innovation,” Chadha added.
Agastya believes that innovative, fun, and student-friendly solutions are needed to enable scientific learning among children, especially those in rural and remote regions. The foundation’s programmes have already benefited more than eight million children and 200,000 teachers in 18 states in India.