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Mentoring their way towards careers in STEM fields - join me to gift young girls the gift of guided experiential learning
"I thought it would be a challenge to get the girls to understand certain concepts since they had such little exposure at home and at school. But I was totally wrong! They were able to identify parallel and series circuits in their houses in no time. They even started programming using Scratch in half a day! During the summer what I gave to these girls was a little bit of my time and a listening ear to their problems, and what I received in return was overwhelming love, care and concern." - Conversation with a previous mentor for Jugaad Lab
Jugaad (Innovation) Lab is an out-of-the-box and inspiring initiative of Feminist Approach to Technology (FAT), which creates a much-needed space for girls from disadvantaged communities to kindle their interest in the fields of Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). This space for girls, more popularly called ‘The Lab’ is a place which sparks their imagination and aids their intellectual growth and development; a place where they can tinker, build, break and rebuild stuff to learn through hands on work and experimentation, all the while also learning STEM concepts.
The Lab uses tools like videos, projects, books, worksheets, games, activities and model-making to build their understanding around STEM subjects.
However, from time to time these girls need a little extra help to understand concepts better, or begin a new concept. They need a guide who can enable them to put their ideas into action. This gap can be met by mentors who can come in once a week, explain complex concepts to the girls, help the girls complete and field test their projects.
Previous mentors would come in for few sessions and then drop out, as they have their own engagements. So these funds are being raised to give them incentive to be mentors, by taking care of their travel costs to The Lab. At the same time, there are girls from the community who have previously been trained by FAT and are now conducting tuition classes at home. So they too have expressed their desire to be mentors, and for that, they need a stipend (to compensate for their time).
It was truly the words of Komal (in the photograph) that moved me to be a part of this campaign. I have been blessed to have mentors at various stages of my life. So please join me in gifting these girls an opportunity to develop a learning relation with another member in the field of STEM, so that they can also think and dream of what they till now think unbelievable: the joy of creating something, the confidence to pursue a career in Science.