STEM Works for Unison World School,Dehradun

STEM Works for Schools is an interesting talk show hosted by Dr Sarvjeet Herald, the director at India STEM Foundation. The talk show aims to promote STEM education in schools and highlight the importance of integrating STEM concepts into the curriculum, hands-on STEM learning, and participation in STEM and robotics competitions like the World Robot Olympiad, establishing Robo Siksha Kendra and other impactful STEM initiatives.

In this episode of STEM Works for Schools, Mr Rajeev Rana, HOD at Science Unison World  School, Dehradun engages in an insightful conversation with him about the initiatives that the school and teachers are taking to provide STEM education to students, the importance of hands-on learning at an early age, and its role in shaping the students into a future-ready workforce.

About Mr. Rajeev Rana

Mr Rajeev Rana is a passionate STEM enthusiast. He is an academician with 18 years of experience  who brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the field. He has dedicated a long time to advancing STEM education and as a STEM mentor, he has actively shaped students’ minds, particularly in schools. His commitment to fostering STEM learning and inspiring young minds is truly commendable.

The Interview

STEM education helps strengthen the implementation of the National Education Policy 2020, which mainly focuses on encouraging experiential learning. As we are a progressing nation, the need for skill-based individuals is crucial for leading us forward. Skill-based learning is effectively attained through hands-on projects and practical experiences. STEM education provides a platform for students to learn application-based skills, critical thinking, holistic development, discovery-based learning, and discussion-based and analysis-based learning. These essential skills are a core component of STEM education, which aligns with the government’s initiatives like coding, artificial intelligence, and data science already implemented in lower schools. STEM serves as the platform to showcase talent and explore discovery-based education, which empowers students with the freedom to follow their interests beyond the classroom curriculum.

In the school, we’ve introduced interdisciplinary teaching. For instance, we select a topic like water and different teachers cover its various aspects – chemistry, physics, geography, and history. This approach enhances students’ understanding from different angles. Moreover, our school has a robotics lab that’s open to all students, not just those studying science. Students can join the robotics club and participate. Additionally, our students engage in the Asian region space settlement design competition. This platform provides maximum learning opportunities and is open to students from all disciplines.

In the labs, students sometimes encounter failures and wonder how to cope with such challenges. Regarding failure, it’s important to remember that failure isn’t a loss, but rather a lesson. As Einstein wisely stated, “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” When attempting new things, there’s a possibility of encountering failure. While not every attempt results in failure, it’s important to acknowledge that it can happen. When failure occurs, it’s essential to accept it and view it as a stepping stone for future progress. Throughout my career, I’ve encountered students who fear failure, but I assure them that it’s a natural part of learning and growth. Failure is an opportunity for everyone to learn, improve, and move forward.

Learning about entrepreneurship is pivotal. Entrepreneurship addresses real-world problems, requires risk-taking, and swift action. Stem-based learning fosters problem-solving skills, technical knowledge, teamwork, and analytical thinking—qualities essential for entrepreneurship. Stem education equips students to become leaders who can assess challenges and create innovative solutions, contributing positively to the world. It’s not solely about entrepreneurship; it also nurtures leadership and problem-solving abilities.

The future is technology-based, focusing on analysis and data. Students should consider security, data and cyber security, and control of AI for a meaningful impact. Stem education equips students with skills applicable beyond STEM fields, in music, mathematics, commerce, and more. Their learning can shape a transformative future, addressing crucial aspects like AI and technology-driven progress.

Crux of the interview

STEM education fortifies the implementation of the National Education Policy 2020, promoting experiential learning. With skill-based education essential for our advancing nation, STEM provides a platform for holistic development, critical thinking, and practical skills through hands-on projects. Unison World School enhances STEM exposure through interdisciplinary teaching, robotics labs, and space design competitions. Coping with failure, Mr Rajeev stresses learning from mistakes, an integral part of progress. Stem learning cultivates entrepreneurship traits by fostering problem-solving, teamwork, and analytical thinking. The future’s STEM challenge lies in technology, emphasizing AI control, data security, and interdisciplinary skills for a transformative impact.