At CGI, we empower students in our communities by providing educational opportunities that help them develop the skills they need for the future, as well as improve their social and economic well-being. This includes inspiring, training and mentoring students for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers.
One example is our work with the Government of India. We partnered with NITI Aayog, a government policy think tank, to support Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), an educational program whose mission is to help develop, inspire and empower 1 million young innovators in India by the end of 2020.
Redefining education through tinkering labs
We help to advance AIM’s Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATLs). ATLs are dedicated innovation workspaces at schools where students can access do-it-yourself kits and IT equipment for exploring and developing innovative solutions using the latest technologies.
The ATL initiative aims to disrupt the Indian education system by introducing children as young as 12 years of age to the world of technology and fuel innovation at the grassroots level. As of September 2020, more than 5,000 ATLs have been established in schools across India. We adopted 100 schools, providing tinkering labs across Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai.
Driving innovation through STEM learning programs
We also help AIM through the following STEM activities:
With the help of a non-governmental organization (NGO) partner, we hired dedicated innovation coaches to:
- Train ATL students on digital literacy, design thinking, computational thinking and physical computing
- Host tinkering workshops for teachers to enable them to establish, run and monitor ATLs in their schools
- Hold STEM “train the trainer” sessions for CGI volunteers to help them mentor students working on ATL innovation projects
We designed a special ATL curriculum in collaboration with teachers to map STEM activities to their school curriculums. The ATL curriculum is divided into four levels of milestone-based learning: Pre-Tinker, Tinker Club, Tinker Lab and Post-Tinker Lab.
We offer our professionals opportunities to mentor ATL students and teachers through boot camps, expert talks and field visits. Our volunteers also mentor students working on special STEM projects for events such as innovation marathons, tinkering festivals and hackathons.
Following the closure of schools due to COVID-19, innovation coaches conducted online STEM learning sessions. From July to September 2020, 1,800 students were virtually trained and mentored. In addition, 15 STEM “train the trainer” sessions were held for 50 CGI volunteers.
To learn more about our government collaboration and STEM initiatives in India, visit the CGI in India CSR page.