STEM professionals solve some of humanity’s biggest challenges, build better systems, and enable us to understand the world we live in. But who gets to become a STEM professional? Well, not just anybody. Rural and remote communities in India rarely get to do any hands-on science, making a STEM career practically impossible to pursue. And yet, these populations are the ones who face 21st-century challenges head-on. Who better to solve problems like climate change, flooding, species extinction, and outdated healthcare practices than those who experience them first-hand?
VigyanShaala builds data-driven phy-gital (physical + digital) solutions that make science accessible to nurture the scientists of tomorrow. Our rural STEM champions is a model designed to uncover the hidden gems of STEM from the most remote, last-mile Himalayan communities that are marginalised both socioeconomically as well as geographically. We build innovation spaces and bring expert global mentoring and hands-on science experiences to students who may otherwise never get the chance to learn science outside of a textbook.
We set up community lab spaces equipped with internet connections to initiate a culture of research and innovation in these colleges. We further intervene with a gender-specific lens through our spin-out program ‘She for STEM’ to enable girls to collaborate with aspiring girls from other parts of the world and together reimagine their place in the future of STEM. Since our inception as a volunteer group of excited graduate students back in 2014, our interventions have reached over 10,000 students across India and expanding globally with our ‘She for STEM’ program.