Our humble beginnings are rooted in a volunteer movement started in 2015 by Indian graduate students based across the globe to take magic of hands-on science to the remotest corners of India. Between 2015-18, we were awarded grants from several science academies for bringing hands-on STEM and cutting-edge research experience to classrooms in India. Through this volunteer movement we conducted workshops all across India and engaged close to 8000 students and their teachers and trained nearly 100 PhD students in STEM communication through training workshops and engaging them as volunteers.
Darshana and Vijay with other research colleagues started a group Science Outreach India (SOI) and received grants from the Royal Society of Chemistry and Winton Program for the Physics of Sustainability. Conceptualized and conducted ‘A Fun Day With Science’ and ‘Women in Scinece – Leadership and beyond’ workshops reaching 1500 students from Patna, Agartala, Delhi, Dehradun and Gaziabad.
Joined by Aditya and Shruti, co-founded VigyanShaala, a student volunteer group to bring hands-on science experience to classrooms in India . Awarded Grassroorts grants award from the Materials Research Society, USA . Engaged 5000+ students with ‘It’s a MATERIALS World’ series of workshops at Chennai, Kanchipuram, Pondicherry, Forbesganz, Dehradun. Haridwar, Delhi, Pune and Mumbai
Sagar from IIT Bimbay joined the team. Through Vigyan Chetna Yatra, engaged 2000+ students in Uttarakhand 2018-19. Also, VigyanShaala received Virdee grant award from the Institute of Physics (IoP) UK for teacher training in Sierra Leone.
Darshana and Vijay, took break from their research careers to register VigyanShaala International as a charitable trust in Delhi and VigyanShalaa International Foundation, UK. Archana came on board as a trustee and media handler
Over the past year, apart from conducting regular workshops, we have built up ground level insights by spending much of the time studying problems at the ground level. We have done this by engaging with other more than 10 NGOs, 2 Foundations and dozens of Educators-Scientists with decades of experience. We have visited more than 150 schools in Uttrakhand, Delhi, Maharashtra, Tamilnadu, Jharkhand and Odisha combined to understand their challenges of teaching and learning STEM. Along with this we have continued our regular engagement with young minds and their teachers with exciting hands-on STEM activities. With our previous experience and our journeys in different parts of India, we have been working on building a model and a self-enabling structure based and formalizing it in VigyanShaala. The model can be found in our approach page.
Lead, Program Kalpana
Postdoctoral scholar, University of California, Davis
Curriculum Design & Mentor
PhD University of Cambridge
Policy Research, M&E
MA Social Exclusion JMI Delhi,
BA Social SCience – TISS Mumbai
Co-lead and Chief Communicator, Program Kalpana
Space Telescope Science Institute, USA
Hands-on Learning Curriculum Design
Aeronautical Development Agency, DRDO , Indiat