- Helmed by AIF’s award-winning flagship education Program – Digital Equalizer, the Center is a first of its kind, creating opportunities for young innovators to explore STEM through hands-on experience while the launch of DSLV Mission aims to inspire students to learn more about satellites, drones, and space technology to promote the aspiration for higher education in STEM subjects and space technology. The launch saw participation from over 200 students from 12 Government schools across Chennai.
The American India Foundation (AIF) in the august presence of Thiru Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi, Hon'ble Minister for School Education, Government of Tamil Nadu, inaugurated India's first STEM Innovation and Learning Center (SILC) under the scheme of Vanavil Mandram at the Government Higher Secondary School, MMDA Colony, Chennai.
AIF’s award-winning flagship education Program – Digital Equalizer has designed the Center to be a one-stop solution for STEM among students and teachers. Consisting of Innovation Corner for students, the Center will introduce students to a transdisciplinary learning approach through robotics, AI, Space technology, and the STEM Incubation workstation. It aims to nurture their curiosity in advanced STEM courses while also assisting them in developing their innovative ideas into prototypes and providing a platform to take part in State/ National/ International level competitions.
The Center also consists of a Technology Corner for Teachers. Fitted with a smart lab, the Tech Corner will facilitate teachers to conduct techno-pedagogy-enabled classes for their students as well as receive training on the Digital Equalizer Way of Teaching (DEWoT) - a unique method developed by AIF to address all types of learners in the classroom. The center also contains a Studio Setup to assist teachers in creating high-quality DE Edu reels - an idea conceptualized to bring about a revolution in education by creating quickly consumable content about the subject's important definitions and basic concepts, as well as for exams such as NEET, NMMS, etc.
Thiru Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi, the Hon'ble Minister for School Education, Government of Tamil Nadu joining the inauguration virtually, said "As Necessity is the mother of invention, India requires more young scientists in this century, and I thank American India Foundation for playing a crucial role in producing young scientists through its Digital Equalizer Program. Such events give me hope, and I am proud to have India's first STEM Innovation and Learning Center in Chennai. Our Honorable Chief Minister Thiru M.K.Stalin has launched the Vaanavil Mandram initiative in the Government schools in order to instill scientific rationalism in students and simplify their learning of Science and Math. The three corners of the SILC and the Drone Satellite Launch Vehicle Mission of AIF are aligned with and support the Vaanavil Mandram's initiatives. I greet all 200 students from 12 schools who took part in AIF's DSLV Mission, and I thank Dr. Mylswamy Annadurai, for being a role model to these students and I also thank AIF for such an initiative."
On the occasion of the inauguration, AIF’s DE also launched Drone and Satellite Launch Vehicle (DSLV) Mission. Mentored and launched by Padma Shri Dr. Mylswamy Annadurai, The Moon Man of India, Former Director -ISRO, Vice President - the State Council for Science and Technology, Tamil Nadu; the Mission aims to create a platform for students to learn about Drones and Aviation technology through Digital Equalizer’s TLM. The Mission launch saw over 200 selected students from 12 schools across Chennai being trained to assemble a Drone and PICO Satellite and launch their models on the spot.
The inauguration and the subsequent launch were conducted in the presence of key dignitaries like Thiru Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi, Hon'ble Minister for School Education, Government of Tamil Nadu (joined virtually), Padma Shri Dr. Mylswamy Annadurai, Former Director- ISRO, Mr. Mars, Chief Educational Officer of Chennai District, Mr. Mathew Joseph, Country Director, American India Foundation and Mr. D. Baskaran, Head of Innovation & Technology and Regional Manager - South, AIF.
Expressing his views on the Mission, Padma Shri Dr. Mylswamy Annadurai, The Moon Man of India, Former Director - ISRO said, "I am really happy to be part of AIF’s initiative to open Innovation and Learning Centers along with Drone satellite launching missions at Chennai. Its initial results, seen through the benefitted students, are gratifying and encouraging. I foresee the Digital Equalizer program of AIF is in sync with needs and could play a vital catalytic role to support federal and state governments’ efforts in this direction. My best wishes to the entire AIF team."
"AIF is honored to partner with the government to further the mission of advancing STEM learning in the state and empowering the youth to explore STEM careers. The partnership not only furthers AIF’s mission of improving lives, with a special focus on children, and youth but also aims to leverage the expertise and innovation of its flagship education program Digital Equalizer to improve access to quality education and aspiration learning opportunities. In this era of intense transformation in education, global trade, economy, technology, and society, STEM learning and careers in the future and I congratulate the youth who participated in the training and launched the satellites and drones today. They make us immensely proud," said Mathew Joseph, Country Director, AIF, closing the event.