In a one-of-its-kind initiative, NITI Aayog’sAtal Innovation Mission conducted a two-day ‘TinkerFest’ for children in its Atal Tinkering Labs across the National Capital Region on July 12th and 13th.
An international community of innovators mentored over 600 students from 12 Atal Tinkering Lab schools, as part of the TechTop Innovation Summit held at the IIT Delhi from July 15th to July 19th. Handheld by students from top engineering colleges and innovator communities, students created innovative solutions to unique problems plaguing their neighbourhoods/communities using the Tinkering Labs.
The TinkerFest was aimed at encouraging students to use Atal Tinkering Labs for innovative thinking, learning to make product prototypes and developing problem solving and entrepreneurial skills. They were also trained hands-on in ideation methods, mechanical design and fabrication, microprocessor programming, basic electronics and presentation skills. In its next phase, NITI Aayog will take the TinkerFestto more than 1000 Atal Tinkering Labs being established all over India.
“Atal Innovation Mission’s Tinkering Labs and Incubation Centres will energize Indian youth and entrepreneurs into creating an innovative India at the school, university and industry levels in a holistic manner,” said R. Ramanan, Mission Director, Atal Innovation Mission.
The mentors at the TinkerFest comprised 48 engineering and business students from top institutes in India and abroad, including MIT in USA, ASB in Kuala Lumpur and IITs. The TinkerFestprovidedthese students an opportunity to mentor school studentson a range of topics includingbasic skills in ideating, designing, making and product presentation.
“TinkerFest is designed to reach out to children early and help build their self-efficacy. I believe that we can create significantly higher number of entrepreneurs in a community if we can intervene in the early ages of students through training on making skills and problem solving,” said Rajesh Nair, Founder of TechTop, Visiting Scholar at MIT and Director of Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center at Asia School of Business, Kuala Lumpur.
The schools participating in the TinkerFestinclude DAV VasantKunj, Indirapuram Public School, Sadhu Vaswani School, DL DAV, Sneh International School, GyanMandir, Blue Bells, ASN Public School, RajkiyaVikas, DAV SresthaVihar, Salwon Government Girls School, and KulachiHansraj Model School. These schools also hosted students from nearby schools along with their own students for the TinkerFest.