Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT Madras) is taking basic and advanced scientific and engineering concepts to rural schools of Tamil Nadu to provide hands-on learning of scientific concepts to the students.
According to a press release by IIT Madras, the initiative called ‘Device Engineering Lab’ was started by ‘Teach to Learn’ and it involves teaching school students the scientific concepts behind everyday devices and also applying 3D-Printing to make or fabricate toys and other household objects. Designed as a platform for Capacity Building, the DEL initiative has a three-year curriculum that targets students of VIII, IX and X or XI.
A lab hosts different inexpensive devices that are seen/used in their everyday life and most importantly, are based on principles involved in the school syllabus. By connecting IIT Madras students with the students of rural schools, the objective is to imbibe a ‘Culture of Making’ at the school level and thus enhance design and fabrication skills. Another objective is to develop an entrepreneurial mindset as these classes could even provide possible livelihood options in the future, informed IIT Madras.
The Two major training components of the Device Engineering Labs (DEL), which run parallel are Device Engineering Concept and 3D Printing.
The training and the teaching provided to the students are completely experimental and hands-on in nature. Students will learn to print, applying primarily the FDM technique of 3D printing. The complexity or the difficulty level of devices and printed objects increases as one goes from first to second and then to third year, stated the media release.
“We believe that the culture of ‘Making in India’ should begin at the school level. IIT Madras is reaching out to rural schools to build this culture together. In the process of making or fabricating something, students understand the concepts and principles involved better and thus gain more confidence and find learning a lot more interesting,” said Project Lead Prof Pijush Ghosh, Department of Applied Mechanics and Biomedical Engineering.
According to the press release, as many as 200 postgraduate Students from 25 research labs prepared the content for about 30 devices for DEL Labs. They also built the teaching modules which include documentation and PowerPoint Presentations, among others, besides ‘Train the Trainer’ modules. As a part of this project, recently, 30 PG Students directly taught these device-related concepts to rural students.
Currently, DEL labs have already been established in 13 schools, mainly in Chengalpet, Thiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Krishnagiri, said IIT Madras.