Tech giant IBM on Friday said it has collaborated with the Department of Science and Technology (DST) under two initiatives to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning among students.
The new learning platform will supplement classroom teaching and help students in deriving insights from it.
Tech giant IBM on Friday said it has collaborated with the Department of Science and Technology (DST) under two initiatives to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning among students. The first collaboration involves DST’s Vigyan Jyoti program, which aims to create a level-playing field for meritorious girls from grade 9-12 to pursue STEM in their higher education. The second collaboration is with Vigyan Prasar (an autonomous organisation of DST) that will build and run ‘Engage With Science’ a technology-driven interactivity platform.
This will work in tandem with the India Science OTT channel. ‘Engage With Science’ will aim at creating excitement and involvement among school students through tools like gamification and help increase consumption of science and technology content from India Science and make STEM look aspirational for their future careers, a statement said. “It’s a historic moment as DST and IBM start a unique Public-Private Partnership model on two different programmes – STEM Learning for Girls and Engage With Science. This partnership will leverage technology to reach out to students and give them an experience of interactive learning,” DST Secretary Ashutosh Sharma said. The new learning platform will supplement classroom teaching and help students in deriving insights from it and implementing them to solve real-world problems, Sharma added.
He noted that this will also help address the learning needs of both students and teachers in post-COVID-19 scenario, and give an opportunity for rural students to build a career of choice in the field of science and technology. “We hope to see at least one-third representation of women in the top technology schools of the country five years from now and eventually increase the participation of girl students in our programme to at least 50,000,” Sharma said.
The Vigyan Jyoti program was launched by DST in 2019 to inspire girl students to pursue higher education and career in STEM fields. The program provides a scholarship, visit to nearby scientific institutions, science camps, lectures from eminent women scientists and career counselling. The program is currently implemented by Jawahar Navodaya Vidalaya (JNV) in 58 districts with participation of about 2,900 students. The partnership with IBM India will strengthen the current activities and expand to include more schools in future, the statement said. Also, women tech experts working at IBM India will interact and be role models for inspiring girl students to plan for a career in STEM under the program – a move that will strengthen the DST’s efforts to increase the number of women in technology fields.
“India leads in providing the world with top-class scientists and engineers, but the percentage of women in that segment is still small. It’s the need of the hour to promote gender diversity in STEM education and to create new avenues for cultivating diverse talent,” Sandip Patel, Managing Director at IBM India/South Asia said. Besides, DST and IBM India will also aim to create a robust STEM ecosystem through Inspire Awards-MANAK (Million Minds Augmenting National Aspirations and Knowledge). The program aims to build one million ideas rooted in science from school students. DST and IBM India will work together to further integrate and develop Science and Technology in the education ecosystem with short-term courses, workshops, mentoring, and online science content communication for teachers and students in India, the statement said.
As part of the collaboration for ‘Engage With Science’ initiative, IBM will run the day-to-day activities of the program, including student workshops, seminars and leverage its expertise to mentor the students. The platform will make students interact, participate and get involved with the sampling and active consumption of S&T content, including Cloud, Big Data, etc. through usage of gamification tools and AI/ML components, it added.