Sasmit Mondal of Class XI enjoys going to school much more than before. He is happy to get more opportunities at research and innovation since the pandemic. Sasmit is working on a voice assistant, in the lines of Alexa, with his classmate, Sayan Behara. The friends bond over their new project and also help their juniors with tinkering.
Sasmit and Sayan are both members of Innovation Council, an innovation club run by the students of Asian International School. The club was born during the lockdown months of 2020 offering students a chance to ideate, research and keep themselves busy.
Now with offline lessons back on track, the students continue to tinker, often with the help of the school laboratories and teachers. The club is 20-member strong at present, its members mostly students of classes VII to XII. Some students from other streams also contribute.
“Recently some of us helped students of Classes VII and VIII with a project on holograms. All the members try to create something new,” said Sayan.
Another member, Roumik Maity of Class IX, is working on a more efficient version of a solar cooker.
“What I love about my school are the innovation periods. Our teachers encourage us to put our knowledge to practical use and that makes science more fun.
From practical solutions during Covid days — like a smart cap to measure social distancing — to futuristic projects later, the students have tried their hands at a range of ideas.
“I am trying to come up with an AI gadget that will read minds, even that of a dead person. Sharing our ideas and working in teams are always fun,” chips in Dipan Chakraborty of Class XI.
The students’ effort has won the institution the School of Innovation award in a meet organised by the Central Board of Education in collaboration with Management & Entrepreneurship and Professional Skill Council at IIT Delhi in October last.
At the event, innovative ideas were invited from over 7,000 schools across the country. Asian International School was one of the 25 schools in India to win the award.
“The Innovation Council at our school aims to encourage children to ideate and prepare prototypes of creative ideas. In the process, children explore, create, analyse, reflect and become more confident. It is a pleasure to observe children from commerce and humanities stream come up with innovative ideas as well,” said principal Vijaylaxmi Kumar.
Many educators believe that since the pandemic, more students have taken to innovation and experimentation. Students of K.E. Carmel School, Sarisha, have formed an astrophysics group two years ago that regularly holds discussions on the cosmos.
The tinkering lab at Sri Sri Academy, Kolkata, is four years old. “But it was only since the pandemic that more students have shown an interest in innovation,” says its principal, Suvina Shunglu.