IIT Bombay launches new science programme to encourage rural women in STEM

IIT Bombay launches new science programme to encourage rural women in STEM

The programme kicked off on May 22, 2023, when 160 girls from 40 rural schools in Maharashtra, Bihar, and Odisha arrived on IIT's Powai-based campus accompanied by science and math professors.

FPJ Education DeskUpdated: Wednesday, May 31, 2023, 01:15 PM IST
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IIT Bombay

Mumbai: As a part of its outreach activity, the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, has launched a new programme to encourage rural women to pursue sciences.

WiSE or Women in Science Engineering from Rural Parts of India will be led by the IIT's Prof. Rajesh Zele from the Department of Electrical Engineering.

'Our goal is to reach out to the girls studying in ninth grade from rural parts of India and get them excited about STEM. We will be mentoring them over a long term and helping them make wise decisions about their future and career choices. We are keeping the teachers and parents involved throughout the process as it is vital for the long-term success of the programme,' said the IIT in its recent statement.

The programme kicked off on May 22, 2023, when 160 girls from 40 rural schools in Maharashtra, Bihar, and Odisha arrived on IIT's Powai-based campus accompanied by science and math professors.

The students spent a week in Hostel 15 to get a sense for campus life at IIT and took part in various activities with IIT's 70 student volunteers. Each day started with a discussion along with women from diverse backgrounds and professions.

In the afternoon, each rural girl went through hands-on BMP (Break-Make-Program it) experiences using the kits developed at aiCAS Lab, IIT Bombay. In the first two days, they gradually went from building a simple light bulb circuit to a complex FM radio. Next, they built various sensor and actuator circuits controlled by a simple microprocessor, thus introducing them to programming. On the fourth day, the girls built a remote-controlled Rover Robot from scratch. This involved mechanical as well as electronic engineering creating a lot of excitement among the girls.

The grand finale was building a small drone that each girl got to fly. Each girl got to experience Virtual Reality (VR) using a state-of-the-art VR headset. At the end of the day, the girls learnt how to solve the Rubik’s Cube from one of India’s top speedcubers. A majority of the girls were able to solve the cube within five minutes.

IIT Bombay students are to mentor and follow up with female students via online platforms. The IIT will also conduct online meets with the students, teachers and parents every quarter. All the technical kits used by the girls throughout the programme will be provided to the parent schools so that the girls can create a local impact.

The WiSE program will be conducted annually with different schools from rural parts to fulfil the ambitions of the National Education Policy (NEP) to curtail the dropout rates of Socio-Economically Disadvantaged Groups (SEDGs). This program was sponsored by IEEE Circuits and Systems Society, Tecnimont Pvt. Ltd., Eastman and IIT Bombay Institute of Eminence (IOE) Outreach Initiative

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