IIT Madras 1 Lab-1 School programme completed its second year, and this unique mentorship programme is playing a vital role in connecting the world-class graduate laboratories to the rural high schools located in Tamil Nadu. In the two years, the mentorship programme reached over 800 students across 200 schools in Vellore, Kanchipuram and Thiruvallur districts of Tamil Nadu.
The 1 Lab-1 School programme of IIT Madras comprises of mentor groups associated with research labs. These groups have students from Ph.D, M.S and M.Tech courses of IIT Madras. Faculty from different engineering departments of IIT Madras is also a part of this programme. The main objective of these mentor groups is to adopt a school, specifically rural Government Higher Secondary Schools.
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Each mentor group is responsible to visit the respective school and train/ mentor students for two or three years. A structured and expansive curriculum has been designed to train the students, and this curriculum has topics such as device engineering, career guidance, skills development and experiential learning.
The Lab that is exclusively designed for this programme consists of simple devices such as Calling Bell, Electric Iron, Vacuum Cleaner etc. The students are trained on dismantling and assembling these devices. At the same time, interactive sessions and demonstrative-based lectures are also conducted as a part of this programme.
Apart from mentor groups comprise of students, faculty also visit the schools at least once to motivate and inspire the young minds. Since 2018, each mentor group have visited their respective adopted school at least 10 times.
Associate Professor and Project Lead, Dr. Pijush Gosh revealed that almost 20 research labs have been connected to 20 schools across the three districts, and 150 graduates have trained almost 800 students so far. The mentorship programme has been very effective, and the training has mostly been given to Class 9th children, he added.
The 1 Lab-1 School programme of IIT Madras is fully funded by Verizon India. The motive of Verizon is to empower rural communities and addressing barriers digitally.
IIT Madras is planning to expand this initiative to 15 more schools in the next academic year.
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