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Together we innovate for India: Atal Tinkering Lab Community Day

A community outreach initiative by Hongirana ATL

In Atal Tinkering Marathon 2017, the project ‘Moto Areca’ by ATL Hongirana was crowned as one of the top agri-tech project. Needless to say the team worked hard to its full potential to be worthy of the title. ‘Hongirana Tinker Tour’ is one of the many attempts by our team to ignite the curiosity in students outside of our school and break their shackles and inhibitions to try something on their own. Tinker Tour is an initiative to carry the spirit of innovation to a number of schools in rural Karnataka, which will help to amplify the impact of ATL towards the community.

Strongly believing that ‘Allowing children to really get into science gives them the chance to make discoveries on their own’, the tour commenced on 20th June, 2018.  Under the guidance of ATL Incharge of Hongirana, a well prepared and well equipped team of students of class 11th and 12th started their journey in this community outreach program. An hour’s program in each visit included demonstration of robots and drones along with some hands-on activities related to fundamentals of science and technology by involving the children of those schools.
The voyage in search of curious minds began from the Government Higher Primary School, Honnesara. A batch of 290 highly interested middle school kids attended the tinkering session. To make learning fun, many ‘do it yourself’ activities were conducted and the hand-on experience given to the children left them amazed. The students were awestruck by sensors experiment, drones and especially the humanoid robot. “The applicable uses of sensors and simple science in each performed experiment made our children find another way of learning through creations.” said Mrs Shobha, Senior Science teacher of the school. Next stop was Kedalasara Government High School.

The team was a bit nervous about executing the experiments to the peers, but with a little push from their guides, the presentation in the high school was a big success.  Many curious students stayed back to converse more with the team individually. The new found love towards science was evidently visible on their faces. This program not only helped the students there but also doubled the teams’ confidence. 
After a short lunch break, the team visited the Government High School in Shedthikere. The enthusiasm that students exhibited energized the whole event. The kids were very interactive and were fascinated by each and every activity. The tinker tour continued sincerely carrying out its motto of spreading knowledge to all who seek it. The next and final stop for the day was Government High School in Avinhalli. Though the crowd was small, the students were burning with curiosity. All students had a strong hold on basic science and the team enjoyed sharing its knowledge with them. The session ended with a huge content smile on all team member’s face as they had succeeded in passing the light of knowledge.

"The words may be forgotten, the views may be remembered but the involvement makes an individual learn”, with this thought in mind the tour resumed the next day, 21st June. It was a new day with new plan of action. With the aim of involving the students in the activities chalked out and motivating them to showcase their new ideas, the team visited the Government High School in Purappemane and organized a science workshop.
The students were divided into 5 groups and each group was given 2 mentors from the tour team. Each team was given 45 minutes to learn about a particular activity and they had to present it later. This proved to be more effective than the previous day tour activity as each student got individual attention from their mentors. Not only did those students learn, by teaching them the team members’ knowledge expanded. In less than 45 minutes all the students were ready to present their experiments/activities, the boldness and readiness they displayed was astounding. One of their teacher said ‘the students who voluntarily came forward and presented their innovative ideas are the so called slow learners of their classes but now it is unbelievable’.

Smruthi N. Raj, one of the mentors of Tinker Tour and a class 12th student had interesting thoughts about the whole tour, "You must be the change you want to see in the world, and initiation to bring change in the world is what I personally experienced in this mission. Along with teamwork, enthusiasm and understanding between us, I could find the innocence and curiosity in the sparkling eyes of students. Every school we visited, every class we engaged had one quality in common- that's the hunger to perceive the knowledge and we just tried to help them in implementing their today’s knowledge into innovation of tomorrow.   "You learn what you teach", I was able to share my thoughts, vision with the younger minds of our country only because of the Tinker Tour. I just want to conclude by saying, if you want to make your dream come true, BE THE BEST VERSION OF YOU".
It is clear that the tinker tour needs to continue its journey, and hone hidden tinkering minds filled with question and a willingness to learn. Our aim is to take up one school at a time and give our 100% to teach them, guide them and expose them to the infinite possibilities that can come under "Tinker Tour – a workshop on wheels".
The mission of Tinker Tour proved that imagination, invention and inspiration is what a fellow needs to accompany in his/her mind. We will be laying platform for all those kids deprived of proper facilities, from the places unheard of, to get exposure and develop the 21st century learning skills. This journey will not stop here, Hongirana ATL will extend its hands in all possible directions and distances.

Likith, Sahana, Shriram, Kanada, Thippayya
Students of Hongirana School
Bhimanakone, Karnataka