R-STEP was a free innovative advanced technical training session for the higher secondary students in the rural outskirts of Kerala. The specific objective of this event was to provide the underprivileged student sections with the necessary training to kickstart their career in their dream domains. Through R-STEP, IEEE EdSoc Kerala Chapter provided free of cost hands-on training sessions in C Programming, Arduino, Internet of Things (IoT), and Web Development. 

In the fall of 2021, 110 students from the area were selected for participation in the program based on results of an aptitude test. The C-Programming session served to upskill the programming capabilities of over 60 participants in the core C language. Students gained a better understanding of the logic flow and semantics of this language and programming. All 110 students participated in sessions related to Arduino and IoT, allowing them hands-on experience in using kits and hardware necessary for learning and developing projects and technologies. Over 50 students submitted projects from these sessions. Also in these sessions, students were also given the opportunity for problem solving through group work and mentoring. A total of 47 students also participated in web development sessions, focusing on HTML, CSS, and basic design. Using this knowledge, students created small web pages as a project. 

With the help of this initiative, the participants were able to achieve early technical expertise in the in-demand skills of the industry. This helped each student to enhance his or her technical skills and make up a fruitful project with the support and help of mentors provided. The program also yielded additional results in a variety of ways. Local enthusiasm around STEM learning was revitalized after several months hindered from the COVID-19 pandemic. A student handbook and brochure were prepared by the participants for future use and reference based on their experience in the program, a first for IEEE. Additionally, students, volunteers, and young professionals had the opportunity to bond and collaborate, strengthening the likelihood of local STEM outreach in the near future. 

Rural Student Technical Enhancement Program was funded by the IEEE Pre-University STEM Portal Grant Program in 2021.