Pune: A first of its kind Innovation Hub for professionals and school and college students will be inaugurated by Samarendra Kumar, Director, NCSM, at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan's Muktangan Exploratory on February 28 (Science Day).
To be launched under the National Council of Science and Museums (NCSM), announced by Ministry of Culture, the hub will be used for experiments improving learning and scientific skills. The students will get an opportunity to conduct experiments and hands-on experience in fabrication, robotics, laser cutting and many other latest and technologically advanced facilities.
The objective of setting up this innovation hub is to foster innovation and creativity, problem-solving and project-based learning. Similarly, it will provide an opportunity to school students to perform experiments using numerous tools and equipment, which will further help them to understand the concept and principles better," said Anant Bhide, honorary director of the exploratory centre.
A 4,000 square feet area within the centre's campus was recently renovated to provide a mechanical innovation lab, advanced fabrication lab, computer and robotics lab and an exposition and discovery hall of fame lab, all under one roof.
The innovation hub is partly being funded by BVB and NCSM, where the government is expected to allocate Rs 50 lakh, and Dassault Systems Foundation has provided us with a donation of Rs 30 lakh, said Nandkumar Kakirde, secretary, BVB.
"A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed with NCMS in April last year, after which we started the work for setting up the hub. This is for the first time, a private organisation is funded by NCSM,” said Sandeep Natekar, Deputy Director, Innovation Hub.
"So far, there are about 16 such hubs sanctioned by the ministry in various parts of the country, but this centre is the first in Maharashtra," he said. For last 25 years, the exploratory has been training school students in science and presently has seven laboratories, in which nearly 1,000 students, during a time span of 40 weeks in an academic year, learn through doing experiments.
"It had expressed the desire to develop a fabrication lab of its own of international standards. There is one Fab-Lab in Boston, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and they conduct certificate courses for graduate students,” said Natekar.
Natekar said, “We are aiming to conduct the courses certified by them and thus, developing the lab as per their standard pattern. If they approve it, then we are planning to run a six-month diploma course in fabrication."
"Currently, College of Engineering Pune (CoEP) has one such Fab-Lab recognised by MIT,” he said.
On the occasion of Science Day next week, the centre is planning an inter-school project competition on February 27, where over 60 schools from the city are expected to take part.