PUNE: Agastya International Foundation and Honeywell India, on Friday, announced the launch of Honeywell Science Experience - an integrated learning programme for students and teachers to transform science education in the city. Honeywell India will support four unique experiential science centres, three mobile science labs and 500 young instructor leaders, benefiting more than 15,000 students and 160 teachers by 2019.
Speaking at the launch, Prof KN Ganesh, Director, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Pune, said, “Experiential learning is a powerful way to encourage smart thinking and creative expression among students and teachers. Asking questions is fundamental to science, however, the current education system in our country is stalled.” He added that it is necessary that the teachers are trained to make the activity of learning joyous for the children.
Agastya Foundation would be working with the government and Honeywell India to pick out schools where the programme could be implemented. “We implement the programme typically at government schools, for the children from Std V to X. We schedule workshops, hands-on experimenting regularly,” K Thiagarajan of the Foundation said.
He added that to analyse the outcome of their programme, the Foundation looks at transformation in children’s learning abilities.
Ashish Gaikwad of Honeywell India said, “Honeywell understands the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education. We are pleased to partner with Agastya.”
Speaking about challenges faced by rural disadvantaged students in acquiring science education, K Thiagarajan said, “The rural schools have problems with both hard and soft infrastructure. However, we have observed that they are more seriously interested in learning than their urban counterparts. Sometimes, we need to take the inhibitions out of them to encourage them to ask questions, but once the ice is broken, they are very excited. Another problem they face is that of connectivity. That is why, our programme is not totally digital, but we have adopted a blended approach.”