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Solar-powered learning device designed by school students in Mysuru recognised by Ministry of Education

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Mysuru, India: Mysuru’s Excel Public School students’ ‘Anytime Education’ device has been recognised by the Ministry of Education as one of the top 20 innovations at ‘School Innovation Contest’ 2023-24. ‘School Innovation Contest’ was launched by the MoE in August 2023 inviting over 6,000 project submissions from across the country. The contest was developed by the Govt of India for systematically fostering the culture of Innovation in all Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and schools across the country.
The students of Excel Public School – Eshanvi Nandeesh Preetham, C B Swarna, and Divya Satish – over the last 8 months underwent boot camp training leading up to an elevator pitch to the ministry. Their elevator pitch for ‘Anytime Education’ was selected among the 20 in India who qualified for funding. The students received the first tranche in March and are expected to receive the second tranche in June. The funding from the ministry will help the students to further develop the product and market its use-case across relevant forums & exhibitions. The innovation will also be showcased at the NEP National Level Exhibition in Delhi to be held in July, 2024.
Despite the push to digitize education, a study by the Azim Premji Foundation showed that almost 60 percent of school children in India cannot access online learning opportunities. A similar study by Oxfam India found that even among students of urban private schools, half of the parents reported issues with Internet signal and speed. A third struggled with the cost of mobile data. The ‘Anytime Education’ device developed by Excel Public School students aims to bridge the digital divide in education and provide uninterrupted delivery of education, particularly for those residing in remote locations.
The device is powered by a solar panel with a power backup and comes with preloaded digital content. Students can access a vast library of educational content with no internet connection, ensuring uninterrupted learning. Students also have access to a timetable/class schedule to receive real-time personalized learning from subject experts. Inspired by the Philippine’s model of using HAM radio, the A.T.E device connects students with teachers through HAM radio system for one on one discussions. The education content is currently available in English and Kannada.
Speaking about their experience in developing the Anytime Education Machine, the student entrepreneurs of Excel Public School, Eshanvi Nandeesh Preetham, C B Swarna and Divya Satish said, “Our journey began with a simple yet profound goal: to provide education to the children in remote areas. Throughout this journey, we have acquired valuable technical skills, including proficiency in HAM radios, HTML coding, and prototype building. Over the last 8 months, we’ve learned the art of problem-solving and understood the essence of entrepreneurship – to innovate with a focus on efficiency and serving end-users’ needs. We hope we can further develop our product, deploy our device across villages in India and make a meaningful impact to the society”
Commenting on the achievement, the Principal of Excel Public School, Mathew KG, said,” We are elated by this prestigious recognition by the Govt of India. The accomplishment of our students at the Ministry of Education’s ‘School Innovation Contest’ is a source of immense pride for the school. Their success not only showcases their exceptional abilities but also serves to inspire aspiring student entrepreneurs across the country. The device holds immense promise in delivering education at scale in developing nations like India. It aims to bridge the digital divide in education, and ensures equitable access to quality education, especially in the hinterlands of the country.“
Mr Sudhanva, CEO of Excel Group said, “ We are proud of the students for coming up with a meaningful invention that embraces the idea of ‘Education for All’. It is with great happiness that I congratulate the students on getting the much deserved recognition from the Ministry of Education. Besides being talented entrepreneurs, the students have also proven their commitment to the society through this innovation”.
Excel Public School is dedicated to fostering innovation among its students. Since 2018, its students have developed over 260 projects for the Atal Tinkering Marathon alone and have won several recognitions and accolades.

 

 

 

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