If you would recall the time when Chandrayaan- 2 landing was done, some 60 students were with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to witness the occasion at ISRO. The Prime Minister had sought this arrangement to inspire students about scientific exploration.
Now, the practice of such a spirit at scale can be seen in the initiative of ISRO through its mentoring of 100 Atal Tinkering Labs across the nation.
The mentorship of these hundred ATLs is aimed at promoting education in the field of STEM, Space education and space technology related Innovations for school students.
What the ISRO Mentorship of ATLs Means
ISRO Chairman Dr K. Sivan said that the adoption of 100 ATLs distributed geographically in line with ISRO’s presence across the country. He said that it is a small step of ISRO in nurturing the students to give them direction for pursuing their space dreams as a part of India’s efforts to create an ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’.
Scientists and engineers from ISRO centers, in close coordination with Capacity Building Program Office, ISRO Headquarters, shall actively mentor the kids as well as interact with teachers in these ATLs for encouraging experiments, brainstorming ideas and spreading awareness in space activities. Students associated with these Atal Tinkering Labs will get invitations to witness some of the launches.
Students will gain theoretical and practical, application-based knowledge of STEM and Space Education related concepts such as Electronics, Physics, Optics, Space Technology, Material sciences and much more. The vision proposed in National Education Policy is effectively reflected in this move.
NITI Aayog has established over 7,000 ATLs across the country so far enabling over 3 Million students between Grade VI to Grade XII acquire a problem solving, tinkering and innovative mindset. Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) started in 2015. AIM will provide grant-in-aid of ₹20 Lakh to each school that includes a one-time establishment cost of ₹10 lakh and operational expenses of ₹10 lakh for a maximum period of 5 years to each ‘Atal Tinkering Lab’.
You may also like to read an article from the archive: Into the Age of Innovation: Has India Begun to Crack the Code?