DST partners with IBM to boost STEM education among girls

NEW DELHI: The Department of Science and Technology (DST) and IBM India on Friday announced two collaborations, both aimed at promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning among students and to inspire them towards STEM careers.

The first collaboration involves the DST’s Vigyan Jyoti programme, which aims at creating a level-playing field for meritorious girls from grade 9 to 12 to pursue STEM in their higher education.

The second collaboration is with Vigyan Prasar, an autonomous organisation of DST, which will build and run “Engage With Science” — a technology-driven interactivity platform, which shall work in tandem with the India Science over-the-top (OTT) channel.

Engage With Science will aim at creating excitement and involvement among school students through tools like gamification and help increase consumption of science and technology content from India Science and make STEM look aspirational for their future careers.

“It’s a historic moment as DST and IBM start a unique public-private partnership model on two different programmes — STEM Learning for Girls and Engage With Science,” Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science & Technology, Government of India, said in a statement.

“This partnership will leverage technology to reach out to students and give them an experience of interactive learning. The new learning platform will supplement classroom teaching and help students in deriving insights from it and implementing them to solve real-world problems,” Sharma said.

DST and IBM India will work together to further integrate and develop Science & Technology in the education ecosystem with short term courses, workshops, mentoring, and online science content communication for teachers and students in India.

“The programmes will also give an opportunity for rural students to help understand and plan their journey from school to college, do research and build a career of choice in the field of science and technology,” Sharma said.

“We hope to see at least 1/3rd representation of women in the top technology schools of the country five years from now and eventually increasing the participation of girl students in our programme to at least 50,000.”

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