Atal Tinkering Labs, under the Atal Innovation Mission of the NITI Aayog, were envisioned as innovative makers paces, setup across India, in every school, accessible to every child. Equipped with modern technologies to help navigate and impart crucial skills in the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the ATLs are at the vanguard of the promoting scientific temper and an entrepreneurial spirit in children.
The ATL Community Day initiative is an effort to spread awareness as well as engage the local communities in the neighbour hood of an Atal Tinkering Lab, to come and experience the exciting new world of science and future technologies. The Annual Community Day was held across India, over the course of April 13 – 16, with the larger theme of Ambedkar Jayanti, which was celebrated on April 14. AIM has selected more than 2400 schools in 2017 for establishing Atal Tinkering Labs.
As the world grapples with evolving technologies, a new set of skills have gained popular acceptance and have come to be in high demand. For India to contribute significantly during this age of raid technological advancement, there is an urgent need to empower our youth with these ‘skills of the future’.
Computational thinking, Internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence, design thinking, advanced robotics – to name a few – are becoming increasingly relevant today. And Atal Tinkering Labs have evolved as epicenters for imparting these ‘skills of the future’ through practical applications based onself-learning. Bridging a crucial social divide, Atal Tinkering Labs provide equal opportunity to all children across the spectrum by working at the grass root level, introducing children to the world of innovation and tinkering.
Further establishing itself as an agent of community-level, inclusive innovation, children from other schools and/or who are not enrolled in the formal education system are also being introduced to the ‘tinkering’ phenomenon through the ATL Community Day initiative.
AIM is paying tribute to the late Dr. B.R. Ambedkar by hosting its nationwide Atal Community Day Initiative on 14th April,2018. ATLs seek to integrate his philosophy of providing equal opportunity to everyone by opening up the doors of their Atal Tinkering Labs to the neighboring schools and NGOs who support the education of underprivileged children. Up to 30,000 new students were exposed during Community Day celebrations to the Atal Tinkering Labs and its philosophy of creating an environment of creativity and innovation.
The students undertook sessions in Design Thinking and Hands on Learning activities, which composes of the basic elements of the first Atal Innovation Mission integration module for the Atal Tinkering Labs. The sessions were conducted by trained mentors, teachers and Atal Tinkering Lab students who have completed the Atal Tinkering Lab modules. Innovation for all, by all, peer-to-peer learning mixed with expert guidance and enthusiastic mentors.
Tinkering is to explore, experiment and step beyond your textbooks. Tinkering is to identify problems and create solutions. Tinkering is to try, and try again. Tinkering is all about learning and sometimes, failing too. Students are free to explore ideas across sectors like aerospace, medical diagnostics, clean energy, clean water, biotechnology and many more in ATLs. Young student teams from ATLs in Puducherry and Kolhapur, Maharashtra have been innovating new ways to generate electricity from sewage water. This is one innovative idea. There are more such innovations, ideas, patents waiting to be realised in young minds. ATLs will create many more such young student innovators across every Indian district, and initiatives like ATL Community Day not only amplify the impact, but have the potential to effect transformational change at the societal level.
Krishi Jagran/New Delhi