In our journey of spreading STEM to schools across the country we came across motivated students willing to pursue Quality higher studies and volunteer to engage with their community in spreading the nuances of STEM. We often mentor such students to help them in their career path and here are a few success stories:
Having met Darshana while pursuing her Post-graduate degree from SGRR PG College Dehradun, this Masters in Physics student was enthused in organizing and learning from a VigyanShaala workshop in her college. Darshana mentored her and helped her secure an internship under Prof.Hari Das in TIFR and later an internship in Germany-Forschungszentrum Julich, Germany. Of the students we were mentoring, Shiwani took lead and joined the VS team and created her own set of experiments that she presented in multiple schools across the country. After her Masters Degree she worked briefly at IIT-Madras and is now pursuing her PhD at the Memorial University of Canada. Her journey from a small town student to a world class researcher is that which inspires all.
Neeraj was one of the juniors of Shivani, whom Shivani started mentoring once she had gained experience and became a part of VS. Neeraj an Undergraduate in Physics after finishing the degree volunteered with VS in the State-Wide survey conducted. She was mentored by Darshana and Vijay further, trained on various aspects of Education Based Survey. She lead two teams conducting the survey, travelled to more than 40 last mile schools, surveyed more than 100 students of Uttarkhand. With her new love for education which has a direct impact, she now aspires to pursue her career in this field and is keen on pursuing a Masters in Education.
Another junior of Shivani, the VS team mentored her in understanding the importance of spreading STEM values in the community. She has participated in a few workshops of VS and gained much. Being associated with the cause of VS, Priya was actively searching for her purpose of life, in STEM and Community. Having a Masters in Chemistry, she decided to try her interest in mixing the two and is now a Gandhi-Fellow working in Rajasthan with schools and early age education.
Swati is a Udayan Shalini Fellow like Darshana. Darshana mentored and guided her through the Cambridge Application process and supported her for applying for various scholarships and prepared her for her interviews. Thereby succeeded in securing full funding for 4 years for her PhD in Medical Genetics at Cambridge. The story of these two Mentor-Mentee shailinis can be read here:https://medium.com/@darshana12/udayan-shalini-fellowship-making-each-dream-count-b9f0d111e7c9
Komal, a first generation learner and an Udayan Shalini fellow, volunteered with us during our Uttarakhand study. Komal, a 2nd year BSc. interested in pursuing higher education in Maths. Our founder Vijay is continuously mentoring and supporting Komal in her academics. VigyanShaala facilitated and funded an internship for Komal at one of the premier research Institute of the Country, Institute of Mathematical Science- IMSc under renowned Prof. R Ramanujam. This experience has opened a whole new world of possibilities for Komal and she is working very hard towards her dream of becoming a Mathematician. Her passion of Mathematics promises her trajectory to closely follow the footsteps of Shivani in becoming a leading Math Researcher: Very essential in today’s word where female mathematicians are few and far between.
Dr. Satyawaan Nagane is a research scholar who completed his PhD in the prestigious CSIR lab of National Chemical Lab, Pune. His work mainly revolves around synthesis of novel chemical compounds for energy harvesting and light emission processes. He was one of the many PhD students who assisted us in the many workshops of VigyanShaala. He was always proactive in his research as well as in his enthusiasm for outreach. Aditya from VS assisted him to write applications for Post-Doctoral positions and collaborate with labs in the University of Cambridge. He was first invited as a visiting student, and eventually Satyawaan is now a Newton International Fellow and is pursuing a Post Doctoral position in one of the most leading labs of Opto-Electronics, Cavendish, University of Cambridge.
Following our workshop on Sustainable Development at UPES Dehradun last year, VigyanShaala facilitated a long-term collaboration between our partners at WaterScope, (a spinout of Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge) and UPES. Two undergraduate students Arjita and Priyanka from UPES went to the University of Cambridge for a fully sponsored 6 weeks internship. This also led to setting up a water testing facility of WaterScope at UPES, Dehradun and a continued collaboration for low cost water testing