India is recognized globally for its education industry. In fact, the country has one of the largest networks of higher education institutions in the world, according to reports. However, there is still a disparity between privately owned schools and government schools, in terms of opportunities. The National STEM Awards 2020, organized by STEM Learning and Rotary JBN, Bengaluru aimed at shortening that gap by allowing the under-served government and government-aided schools and their deserving students to showcase their STEM skills. The competition was meant for students from 6th to 8th standards.
20 states, 200 schools, 400 teachers and 1,800 students took part in the competition from all over India to showcase their skills in categories like Tech Quiz, Science & Mathematics Model Competition and Engineering Tinkering. After grilling cluster and zonal rounds, 10 states, 15 schools and 54 students made it to the Finale, which was held in Bengaluru on 27 February, 2020.
JNV Sindhudurg School (supported by 63 Moons) were declared winners of the Tech Quiz Round; while the first runner up in the same category was Ramakrishna High School, Kanchipuram (supported by Redington) and second runner up was Govt Girls School, Haryana (supported by NGO Khushii). Meanwhile, GGSS School, Faridabad (supported by NGO Khushii) won the Engineering Tinkering Competition, with G D Kanthe Gurukul, Vashind (Maharashtra) (supported by JSW) emerging as the first runner up and Sankardev Bidya Niketan, Assam (supported by ONGC) as the second runner up.
Science & Mathematics Model Competition witnessed Vivekananda School, Tirunelveli (supported by Redington) pocket the first prize, while NIT Govt School, Faridabad (supported by NGO Khushii) bagged the first runner up and Ramakrishna School, Kanchipuram (supported by Redington) received the second runner up prize.
The young champs from these schools were awarded for their exemplary STEM skills and scientific temper at a gala ceremony on 28th February during the 'Rotary Karnataka CSR Conference 2020' by the Rotary District Governor Rtn Sameer Hariani. It is with the constant support of these corporates who have benevolently helped install Mini Science Centres in these schools through the help of which, these students could easily understand science and maths concepts and could demonstrate them during the challenge. This is the first ever competition on such a large scale, devoted towards increasing the inquisitiveness of students.
Ms. Simi Anderson, STEM Ambassador (UK), who was one of the esteemed guests during the competition, said, "It takes 8 months in UK to conduct such competition at the national level. It's mind-blowing that STEM Learning did this in 3 weeks."
Ashutosh Pandit, the Founder of STEM Learning, while eulogizing the students for their steadfast perseverance, said, "We have always believed that the aim of education should be for students to remember their learning throughout their lives. This is why we promote practical training, so that children can discover on their own. These students have done the same. We provided an opportunity, they grasped it with both their hands and jumped at the prospect of displaying their STEM talent. We really feel the corporates are making commendable efforts by ensuring the students' all round development through their CSR activities."
Teachers who have committed themselves towards improving the quality of education by making students learn in novel ways with the help of MSC were also felicitated during the award ceremony. The winner in this category was Mrs. Rekha D.R. from Government High School, Jaya Nagar- Bengaluru (supported by Brillio), while the first runner up was Mrs Rajeshwari Salian from Vidya Prasara Vidya Mandira English Medium School, Udupi -Karnataka (supported by Brillio) and the second runner up was Mr Gaikwad S.M from Madhyamik Vidyalaya Naigavan, Aurangabad- Maharashtra (supported by Lupin Foundation).