As part of the IEEE Pre-University STEM Grant Program, the IEEE PES Kerala Chapter has organized ‘STEM-Ed’ (STEM Education). It involves school teachers and students of eighth, ninth and tenth grades in Kerala collaborating to learn, develop and implement the STEM academic disciplines & designed by a vibrant team of 105 IEEE volunteers including student, graduate student, young professional, senior and life senior members. The main goal of the program is to provide a platform for individual training and mentoring of these students.
This was a four-month long project from August through November in 2021. In addition to the volunteers, it encompassed 50 students, 10 teachers, and 10 parents. Registrations came from all parts of Kerala with many in rural areas, and over 50% of registrations came from female students. With a 2:1 ratio of volunteers to students, mentoring opportunities were enhanced and widely available. Some of the sub-programs and sessions within the project included “Hackathon,” “Basics of Arduino,” and “Smartphone Controlled Robotics.” Newer technologies such as augmented reality were introduced and proved to be quite motivating for the students. Hands-on sessions with much needed hardware components provided opportunities for students to experience the practical applications of many STEM areas. Additionally, sessions were provided for teachers to train to increase the quality of interaction with their students.
The program has been very successful in bringing STEM awareness and education to local students. Many projects that students created will be presented at the “STEM-Ed Expo” planned offline for January 2022. Perhaps most notably, students had the opportunity to interact with STEM entrepreneurs and professionals. This interaction provided them with insightful knowledge, accounts of firsthand experience, and the inspiration to help them pursue their STEM passions.
STEM-Ed (STEM Education) was funded by the IEEE Pre-University STEM Portal Grant Program in 2021.