Robolab Technologies Pvt. Ltd. | It’s time we let our kids ‘tinker’
It’s time we let our kids ‘tinker’ One million children will be cultivated as neoteric innovators — this is the vision of the Atal Innovative Mission. In fact, the Niti Aayog is in the process of establishing 500 Atal Tinkering Laboratories in schools across India towards realising this vision. The objective is to foster in young minds curiosity, creativity and imagination and to inculcate skills like “design mindset”, computational thinking, adaptive learning and so on. The workspaces generated by the new laboratories, along with appropriate tools and equipment, will provide hands-on, DIY (do-it-yourself) experiences. The focus, as expected, will be STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths), which is the buzzword of the day. It’s true it’s been quite a while since India has produced any significant innovator or serious scientific thinker — that is, from and within India. I hasten to add this clause as it is quite pathetic to see how we all rush to claim some of the credit when “people of Indian origin” are in the limelight for pathbreaking work they have done overseas. I am more than sure we have the potential, the raw material, the brains and ideas in our country but we simply don’t provide adequate support to research work or create an environment that is conducive to original work. In schools students who do well in examinations are lauded, but creativity or problem-solving is not appreciated, let alone encouraged. In this context, it’s vital to understand the importance of “tinkering”, and not only with tools, gadgets, equipment and gizmos but with ideas and theories that are presented to young minds regularly and mechanically. It’s required of students that they should not only imbibe knowledge and understand the content but that they should ultimately construct new knowledge and content. It has been pointed out ad nauseum that children should not keep reproducing matter from their textbooks but, sadly, while the most welcome step of establishing “tinkering laboratories” is being taken, nothing is being done to change the nature of examinations and the mode of assessment. Bright children with enquiring minds are “processed” to become run-of-the-mill “good students” who can be relied upon to come up with the “right answers” to stock questions. It is quite horrifying to learn how exam papers are marked — wrong responses are often marked correct because they have the “keyword” in a marking scheme and an unconventional response is given no marks at all because it doesn’t tally with the officially “right” answer. Thus our children become successfully programmed and conditioned to “succeed” in the conventional way. So where will the innovative thinking come from? Our problem is that we make all the right noises but we don’t have the “design mindsets” ourselves, and that is why our projects and schemes come to grief. It is more important for us to have well-stocked libraries, “smart” classrooms, the latest tablets and computers and state-of-the-art labs than to see that they are being productively and meaningfully used by teachers and students. Children are often not permitted to browse in the library and I have also seen them being deprived of the enjoyable exercise of choosing a book — they are required to read the book that has been issued to them by the teacher or the librarian. In laboratories students are expected to go through certain set experiments of which they know the outcomes in advance. It’s the same with computers — they learn to programme in set ways within a set time period. In other words, there is no scope for tinkering. Tinkering, which is defined as an attempt to repair or improve something, is the most natural way of learning. I quite like the meaning given by the Urban Dictionary: “Tinkering is to mess around with something and you don’t really have a clue what you are doing” (sic). All inventors, scientists and discoverers have tinkered through their learning process. No wonder the term is referred to as the most important operative word for effective learning. So no matter how many Atal Tinkering Laboratories are established, until and unless the teaching-learning environment undergoes a radical change and we deliberately encourage and give credit to children who experiment, take risks and are passionate about tinkering, our objectives will not be fulfilled. Children will continue to be urged by their teachers and parents to stop wasting time tinkering in labs and to get down to studying their textbooks. A brave new India will not be a reality as long as our formal education/exam system continues to kill curiosity and creativity. Then there is this focus on STEM. STEM education has been declared the key to the future of the US economy but it has also been acknowledged as important for everyone. But this obsession with STEM has also been severely criticised. No doubt skills in these areas are important but not at the expense of a strong, broad-based education as well as soft skills that are required to work and get along with others. As Steve Jobs had declared when unveiling a new edition of the iPad, “it’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough — that it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing.” Let us also give due importance to HEAL (health, education, administration, literacy). An important point that must be kept in mind is that STEM fields have been traditionally male-dominated. While fewer women are found in engineering and science, men shy away from careers in school teaching and nursing. While gender equity needs to be attended to, the more important factor is that irrespective of gender, age and subject, the teaching-learning environment must be such that young people are not afraid of experimenting, of taking things apart and putting them together again — sometimes in new interesting ways, and of making their own interpretations, of coining new words, of questioning age-old beliefs and challenging established theories. Tinkering must be encouraged in every discipline — not necessarily only in laboratories. It’s only then that we can hope for “Incredible India” to be a land of ideas and inventors as well as a land of amazing sights and magical experiences. Tags: niti aayog, atal innovative mission, tinkering DEVI KAR, Deccan Chronicles The writer is a veteran school educator based in Kolkata http://www.deccanchronicle.com/opin...
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(DIPP3006), Best ICT Start-Up in India by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India, ASSOCHAM and ERICSSON, Best Startup award for contribution in the field of Artificial Intelligence Innovation Domain in Education and Industry by MITSOT, ITU, The IET, StartUp of the Year Under Future Education category at World StartUp Expo 2016 , Bengaluru, Winner of the HOT100 Startup Award by CORE, Top50 Ed-Startups in India that will redefine the education system by SCOONEWS media, Top25 Tech Companies in India by Insights Success Media, Best startup you can work for in the year 2017 by The Economic Times, Top Innovators in India who changed the Startup world by Insights Success Media, Most Innovative Company in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Space amongst Indian Startups by Insights Success Media, Best Robotics Company in India for Education Sector, Best STEM Company in India for Education Sector, Best STEAM Company in India for Education Sector, Best Automation Company in India for Education Sector, Best Artificial Intelligence Company in India for Education Sector, Best Machine Learning Company in India for Education Sector, Best Rapid Prototyping Company in India for Education Sector, Best Research and Development Company in India for Education Sector, Best Engineering Company in India for Education Sector, Most Innovative Engineering Company in India for Education Sector, Most progressive company in India for Education Sector, Best ICT Company in India for Education Sector, Guru Nanak Institutions, Hyderabad, Telangana, Amritsar College Of Engineering and Technology, Amritsar, Punjab, Sphoorthy Engineering College, Hyderabad, Telangana, Nowrosejee Wadia College, Pune, Maharashtra, Aarati Computers and Shriram Computers, Kolhapur, Delhi Public School, Bokaro Steel City, Jharkhand, Sunderdeep Group of Institutions, Ghaziabad, MLR Institute of Technology, Hyderabad, Telangana, MVJ College of Engineering, Bangalore, Military College Of Electronics and Mechanical Engineering, Hyderabad, Telangana, K.R. 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College of Engineering BMSCOE, Bengaluru, Karnataka, Lakshmi Niwas Mittal Institute of Information Technology LNMIIT, Rajasthan, Indian Military, Banasthali University, Vanasthali, Rajasthan, MITCON International School, Pune, Maharashtra, Staff Development schemes, Institutional Development schemes, Research & Innovation Development schemes, General Schemes, PRADHAN MANTRI KAUSHAL VIKAS YOJNA (PMKVY), SAANSAD AADARSH GRAM YOJNA, EMERITUS PROFESSOR (DISTINGUISHED PRACTICING ENGINEER) FELLOWSHIP, SHORT TERM TRAINING PROGRAMME (STTP), TECHNICAL BOOK WRITING & TRANSLATION, AICTE – ISTE ORIENTATION/ REFRESHER PROGRAMME, AICTE-INAE-DVP, SCHEME OF TRAVEL GRANTS (TG), TRAINEE TEACHER SCHEME, ADJUNCT FACULTY, FACULTY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (FDP), QUALITY IMPROVEMENT PROGRAMME, INAE (TRF) INDIAN NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGG. (TEACHERS RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP), SEMINAR GRANT (SG), SHARE AND MENTOR INSTITUTIONS (MARGDARSHAN), UNNAT BHARAT ABHIYAN, MODERNISATION AND REMOVAL OF OBSOLESCENCE (MODROBS), SKILL AND PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME CENTRE FOR SC/ST STUDENTS, SPECIAL SCHEME FOR NORTH EASTERN STATES, RESEARCH PROMOTION SCHEME (RPS), ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT CELL (EDC), E- SHODH SINDHU, GRANT FOR ORGANISING CONFERENCE, Vision Group on Science and Technology (VGST), Centers of Excellence in Science, Engineering and Medicine (CESEM), Centers of Innovative Science, Engineering and Education (CISEE), Karnataka Fund for Infrastructure Strengthening in Science & Technology (K-FIST), Seed Money to Young Scientists for Research (SMYSR), Research Fund for Talented Teachers (RFTT), Award for Research Publications (ARP), Faculty Development Programme for Engineering College (FDP-Engg.), TEQIP III, Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme, Atal Innovation Mission AIM, Atal Tinkering Lab ATL, NITI Aayog, Robolab Technologies Private Limited RTPL, Startup from College of Engineering Pune COEP, Startup incubated under Bhau Institute of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Leadership BIEL, Pioneers in Robotics and Automation and STEM Education for the Education Sector, One of the most trusted companies for Robotics and Automation, One of the most progressive Edtech companies for Robotics and Automation, Best at extracting the desired outcomes from the Center of Excellences and Tinkering Labs, Robotics, Automation, Internet of Things IoT, Artificial Intelligence, Industrial Automation, Rapid Prototyping, ATAL TINKERING LABS, ATL, Research and Development Consulting, Robotics Product Development, Center of Excellence in Robotics, Center of Excellence in Automation, Center of Excellence in Internet of Things IoT, Center of Excellence in Industrial Automation, Center of Excellence in Rapid Prototyping, Center of Excellence in Machine Learning, Center of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence, JCBian: The Pneumatics Back Hoe Loader,, FLEXO- The Robot Hand,, MARSian- Mars Exploraion Robot,, Optimus- The Flying Quadcopter,, Omibo- Omni wheeled robot, Firo- Fire Extinguisher Robot,, Quadrotor- Optimus,, Miniature Industrial Production System (MIPS), Roboman, Atal Tinkering Labs establishment, Innovation Labs establishment, Product Innovation Labs establishment, Robotics and Automation Labs establishment, Internet of things laboratory establishment, Rapid prototyping establishment, Industrial Automation establishment, control systems establishment, DIGITAL LAB establishment, EMBEDDED LAB establishment, PLC LAB establishment, MICROPROCESSOR LAB establishment, ROBOTICS LAB establishment, WIRELESS LAB establishment, SENSOR AND MECHATRONICS LAB establishment, COMMUNICATION AND NETWORKING LAB establishment, Artificial Intelligence Lab establishment, Basic Robotics Lab establishment, Advaced Robotics Lab establishment, Industrial Robotics Lab establishment, Customised Robotics Lab establishment, Pneumatics Lab establishment, Vacuum Lab establishment, Atal Tinkering Labs setup, Innovation Labs setup, Product Innovation Labs setup, Robotics and Automation Labs setup, Internet of things laboratory setup, Rapid prototyping setup, Industrial Automation setup, control systems setup, DIGITAL LAB setup, EMBEDDED LAB setup, PLC LAB setup, MICROPROCESSOR LAB setup, ROBOTICS LAB setup, WIRELESS LAB setup, SENSOR AND MECHATRONICS LAB setup, COMMUNICATION AND NETWORKING LAB setup, Artificial Intelligence Lab setup, Basic Robotics Lab setup, Advaced Robotics Lab setup, Industrial Robotics Lab setup, Customised Robotics Lab setup, Pneumatics Lab setup, Vacuum Lab setup, Robotics labs for schools in india, Tinkering labs for schools in india, Innvation labs for schools in india, Robotics labs for engineering college in india, Tinkering labs for engineering college in india, Innvation labs for engineering college in india, Robotics labs for university in india, Tinkering labs for university in india, Innvation labs for university in india, Robotics labs for incubation centers in india, Tinkering labs for incubation centers in india, Innvation labs for incubation centers in india, Hands on Education, STEM, Robotics, Embedded Training, Chosen for the Startup India initiative which was launched by our Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji. (DIPP3006), Best ICT Start-Up in India by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India, ASSOCHAM and ERICSSON, Best Startup award for contribution in the field of Artificial Intelligence Innovation Domain in Education and Industry by MITSOT, ITU, The IET, StartUp of the Year Under Future Education category at World StartUp Expo 2016 , Bengaluru, Winner of the HOT100 Startup Award by CORE, Top50 Ed-Startups in India that will redefine the education system by SCOONEWS media, Top25 Tech Companies in India by Insights Success Media, Best startup you can work for in the year 2017 by The Economic Times, Top Innovators in India who changed the Startup world by Insights Success Media, Most Innovative Company in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Space amongst Indian Startups by Insights Success Media, Best Robotics Company in India for Education Sector, Best STEM Company in India for Education Sector, Best STEAM Company in India for Education Sector, Best Automation Company in India for Education Sector, Best Artificial Intelligence Company in India for Education Sector, Best Machine Learning Company in India for Education Sector, Best Rapid Prototyping Company in India for Education Sector, Best Research and Development Company in India for Education Sector, Best Engineering Company in India for Education Sector, Most Innovative Engineering Company in India for Education Sector, Most progressive company in India for Education Sector, Best ICT Company in India for Education Sector, Guru Nanak Institutions, Hyderabad, Telangana, Amritsar College Of Engineering and Technology, Amritsar, Punjab, Sphoorthy Engineering College, Hyderabad, Telangana, Nowrosejee Wadia College, Pune, Maharashtra, Aarati Computers and Shriram Computers, Kolhapur, Delhi Public School, Bokaro Steel City, Jharkhand, Sunderdeep Group of Institutions, Ghaziabad, MLR Institute of Technology, Hyderabad, Telangana, MVJ College of Engineering, Bangalore, Military College Of Electronics and Mechanical Engineering, Hyderabad, Telangana, K.R. Mangalam University, Gurgaon, Shree L.R. Tiwari COE&T, Mumbai, Maharashtra, College Of Engineering Pune(COEP), Pune, Maharashtra, Bal Shikshan Mandir English Medium School,Pune, Maharashtra, CMR National Public School, Bengaluru, Karnataka, M.B.M. Engineering College,Jodhpur, Rajasthan, Rani Laxmibai Mulinchi Sainiki Shala, RLMSS, Pune, Maharashtra, Pimpri Chinchwad College of Engineering, PCCOE, Pune, Maharashtra, Pune Vidhyarthi Griha's College of Engineering and Technology PVGCOET, Pune, Maharashtra, Army Institute of Technology AIT, Pune, Maharashtra, Vishwakarma Institute of Technology VIT Pune, Maharashtra, Walchand College of Engineering WCE, Sangli, Maharashtra, B.M.S. College of Engineering BMSCOE, Bengaluru, Karnataka, Lakshmi Niwas Mittal Institute of Information Technology LNMIIT, Rajasthan, Indian Military, Banasthali University, Vanasthali, Rajasthan, MITCON International School, Pune, Maharashtra, Staff Development schemes, Institutional Development schemes, Research & Innovation Development schemes, General Schemes, PRADHAN MANTRI KAUSHAL VIKAS YOJNA (PMKVY), SAANSAD AADARSH GRAM YOJNA, EMERITUS PROFESSOR (DISTINGUISHED PRACTICING ENGINEER) FELLOWSHIP, SHORT TERM TRAINING PROGRAMME (STTP), TECHNICAL BOOK WRITING & TRANSLATION, AICTE – ISTE ORIENTATION/ REFRESHER PROGRAMME, AICTE-INAE-DVP, SCHEME OF TRAVEL GRANTS (TG), TRAINEE TEACHER SCHEME, ADJUNCT FACULTY, FACULTY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (FDP), QUALITY IMPROVEMENT PROGRAMME, INAE (TRF) INDIAN NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGG. (TEACHERS RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP), SEMINAR GRANT (SG), SHARE AND MENTOR INSTITUTIONS (MARGDARSHAN), UNNAT BHARAT ABHIYAN, MODERNISATION AND REMOVAL OF OBSOLESCENCE (MODROBS), SKILL AND PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME CENTRE FOR SC/ST STUDENTS, SPECIAL SCHEME FOR NORTH EASTERN STATES, RESEARCH PROMOTION SCHEME (RPS), ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT CELL (EDC), E- SHODH SINDHU, GRANT FOR ORGANISING CONFERENCE, Vision Group on Science and Technology (VGST), Centers of Excellence in Science, Engineering and Medicine (CESEM), Centers of Innovative Science, Engineering and Education (CISEE), Karnataka Fund for Infrastructure Strengthening in Science & Technology (K-FIST), Seed Money to Young Scientists for Research (SMYSR), Research Fund for Talented Teachers (RFTT), Award for Research Publications (ARP), Faculty Development Programme for Engineering College (FDP-Engg.), TEQIP III, Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme, Atal Innovation Mission AIM, Atal Tinkering Lab ATL, NITI Aayog, Robolab Technologies Private Limited RTPL, Startup from College of Engineering Pune COEP, Startup incubated under Bhau Institute of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Leadership BIEL, Pioneers in Robotics and Automation and STEM Education for the Education Sector, One of the most trusted companies for Robotics and Automation, One of the most progressive Edtech companies for Robotics and Automation, Best at extracting the desired outcomes from the Center of Excellences and Tinkering Labs,
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It’s time we let our kids ‘tinker’

One million children will be cultivated as neoteric innovators — this is the vision of the Atal Innovative Mission. In fact, the Niti Aayog is in the process of establishing 500 Atal Tinkering Laboratories in schools across India towards realising this vision. The objective is to foster in young minds curiosity, creativity and imagination and to inculcate skills like “design mindset”, computational thinking, adaptive learning and so on. The workspaces generated by the new laboratories, along with appropriate tools and equipment, will provide hands-on, DIY (do-it-yourself) experiences. The focus, as expected, will be STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths), which is the buzzword of the day. It’s true it’s been quite a while since India has produced any significant innovator or serious scientific thinker — that is, from and within India. I hasten to add this clause as it is quite pathetic to see how we all rush to claim some of the credit when “people of Indian origin” are in the limelight for pathbreaking work they have done overseas.

 

I am more than sure we have the potential, the raw material, the brains and ideas in our country but we simply don’t provide adequate support to research work or create an environment that is conducive to original work. In schools students who do well in examinations are lauded, but creativity or problem-solving is not appreciated, let alone encouraged. In this context, it’s vital to understand the importance of “tinkering”, and not only with tools, gadgets, equipment and gizmos but with ideas and theories that are presented to young minds regularly and mechanically. It’s required of students that they should not only imbibe knowledge and understand the content but that they should ultimately construct new knowledge and content. It has been pointed out ad nauseum that children should not keep reproducing matter from their textbooks but, sadly, while the most welcome step of establishing “tinkering laboratories” is being taken, nothing is being done to change the nature of examinations and the mode of assessment. Bright children with enquiring minds are “processed” to become run-of-the-mill “good students” who can be relied upon to come up with the “right answers” to stock questions.

 

It is quite horrifying to learn how exam papers are marked — wrong responses are often marked correct because they have the “keyword” in a marking scheme and an unconventional response is given no marks at all because it doesn’t tally with the officially “right” answer. Thus our children become successfully programmed and conditioned to “succeed” in the conventional way. So where will the innovative thinking come from? Our problem is that we make all the right noises but we don’t have the “design mindsets” ourselves, and that is why our projects and schemes come to grief. It is more important for us to have well-stocked libraries, “smart” classrooms, the latest tablets and computers and state-of-the-art labs than to see that they are being productively and meaningfully used by teachers and students. Children are often not permitted to browse in the library and I have also seen them being deprived of the enjoyable exercise of choosing a book — they are required to read the book that has been issued to them by the teacher or the librarian. In laboratories students are expected to go through certain set experiments of which they know the outcomes in advance. It’s the same with computers — they learn to programme in set ways within a set time period. In other words, there is no scope for tinkering.

 

Tinkering, which is defined as an attempt to repair or improve something, is the most natural way of learning. I quite like the meaning given by the Urban Dictionary: “Tinkering is to mess around with something and you don’t really have a clue what you are doing” (sic). All inventors, scientists and discoverers have tinkered through their learning process. No wonder the term is referred to as the most important operative word for effective learning. So no matter how many Atal Tinkering Laboratories are established, until and unless the teaching-learning environment undergoes a radical change and we deliberately encourage and give credit to children who experiment, take risks and are passionate about tinkering, our objectives will not be fulfilled. Children will continue to be urged by their teachers and parents to stop wasting time tinkering in labs and to get down to studying their textbooks. A brave new India will not be a reality as long as our formal education/exam system continues to kill curiosity and creativity.

 

Then there is this focus on STEM. STEM education has been declared the key to the future of the US economy but it has also been acknowledged as important for everyone. But this obsession with STEM has also been severely criticised. No doubt skills in these areas are important but not at the expense of a strong, broad-based education as well as soft skills that are required to work and get along with others. As Steve Jobs had declared when unveiling a new edition of the iPad, “it’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough — that it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing.” Let us also give due importance to HEAL (health, education, administration, literacy). An important point that must be kept in mind is that STEM fields have been traditionally male-dominated. While fewer women are found in engineering and science, men shy away from careers in school teaching and nursing.

 

While gender equity needs to be attended to, the more important factor is that irrespective of gender, age and subject, the teaching-learning environment must be such that young people are not afraid of experimenting, of taking things apart and putting them together again — sometimes in new interesting ways, and of making their own interpretations, of coining new words, of questioning age-old beliefs and challenging established theories. Tinkering must be encouraged in every discipline — not necessarily only in laboratories. It’s only then that we can hope for “Incredible India” to be a land of ideas and inventors as well as a land of amazing sights and magical experiences.

 

Source: http://www.deccanchronicle.com/opin…

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