I joined Gyan lab on 22nd May 2014 with the hope to play a role in changing the current education system. This is a 3.5 years old start-up co-founded by former students of MIT (Manipal) - Priyadeep and Sonali. During these 10 days that I have spent and worked here, I analysed the ways in which this start-up is creating something valuable which can change the way our kids learn, something which can successfully engage students in STEM education through hands on learning.
Here at Gyan Lab office I am sharing work with 9 team members. All of them are extremely excited to organise India’s very first such event on a national level for school kids – Gyan Lab Kidovators Challenge. Every day we worked very hard from morning to night to ensure that no stone remained unturned for an experience of a lifetime for India’s top 150 chosen students at this event. We prepared questions, edited and re-edited them to perfection, managed their registration, accommodation, breakfast, lunch, dinner, venue arrangements for the Grand Finale and lot of other things such as designing, printing, etc. The most crucial task was managing information delivery in time and most efficiently to parents and schools.
On 31st May, I along with the Gyan Lab team gave a very warm welcome to all the participants and their parents and guardians to the place of accommodation. We helped them move to their respective rooms and also arranged dinner. The day turned out to be extremely hectic. We remained on the registration desk from early morning 5:30 AM upto 9 PM in the night. Many a times, I felt tired and sleepy but the enthusiasm among my teammates made me go on. Finally, I went to sleep after some more work to wait for sunrise on 1st June with the enthusiasm of becoming a part of the Kidovators Challenge which will have a great importance in many a kids’ life in years to come.
At 9:00 AM on 1st June, I stepped into the massive hall at The Infantry Hotel where the Gyan Lab Kidovators challenge was going to begin. I have no clue how to explain my feelings but it was complete mix of being happy, proud, inspired and even emotional. Seeing the tensed faces of parents and cute little kids reminded me of the days my parents struggled for me while I was preparing for JEE. That moment something burned desperately inside me, a desire to do something great, something impactful like this, something like Gyan Lab Kidovators Challenge which would make my parents as proud as those 200 parents who had accompanied their kids to this mega event.
With kids in the shoes of ‘Head of State’ for various countries and debating over issues like poverty, health care, portable water, freedom of press and putting up such practical and useful ideas to solve these problems, I bet they have ability to outsmart all the leaders who run these countries. I was amazed how dramatically and confidently they put their points across and I can surely admit that even I learnt many things from these kids during the competition.
By 4:30 PM, I had a total feeling that children were more mature and parents were so happy with joy for their kids as they looked so childish with glee, happiness and pride for what their kids have achieved – yes, this was the moment when we had declared the results and the hall was filled with a thunder of claps, cheer, joy, emotions, hugs and I didn’t lose even a single opportunity to capture these moments in my camera.
At the end all went well, Gyan Lab made it sure that each cute face get more cute by distributing Gyan Lab science kit to every kid. We got lots of appreciation from Parents, Teachers, chief guests and my decision to come from Delhi to Bangalore got very much right. Most proud feeling was when parents urged us to collaborate with government and establish hand-on-learning in every school of India.
I always wanted to create something which will inspire people to follow their passions, and with Gyan Lab I guess it’s very much possible. I just hope Gyan Lab keeps enlightening young minds.
- Saksham Jain (Intern, Gyan Lab)