What Friends of Agastya Say
Deptt. of Education, SPM College,
University of Delhi, INDIA
Here is what one of our teachers has to say,
" The concept of Agastya Foundation to reach many children and evoke a love for science is wonderful. They were extremely organized and able to generate enormous curiosity amongst the kids. The topics chosen were related to the syllabus. Most of the experiments were created or made with regular articles like plastic bottles, mirrors, batteries, simple chemical mixtures etc."
Mr Muniraju, Mr Satheesh and all, THANK YOU VERY MUCH for your time and effort. We are grateful to you for giving our children this wonderful opportunity.
With best wishes,
On behalf of the Principal, management, staff and students of NPS Koramangala, I wish to convey our heartfelt gratitude for the wonderful hospitality extended to us on our visit to Kuppam on 29th and 30th August, 2011. The trip was not only pleasurable but also an enlightening one. Our students enjoyed all the activities organised for them. The rooms were comfortable and the food was nutritious. The hands-on activities were done in a thought provoking ambience under expert guidance. The caretakers created a home-like atmosphere, which made the students feel relaxed and made the learning experience great fun. The folk singers regaled us with their wonderful music bringing out the fragrance of rural India. I must admit that Agastya provides an ideal learning environment, complete in every sense.... not to mention the warm hospitality it extends to its guests.
We look forward to more such engaging sessions for our students in the future and would also like to avail the teacher training sessions.
Thanking you once again.
Mrs. Sudha Balan
Vice-Principal, National Public School
Agastya participated in the INSPIRE INTERNSHIP PROGRAM 2011 conducted by Mirinda House (Delhi University) on 11th and 12th July. Here are some comments:
It’s nice to see the science in daily life. I have attended many workshops which claimed the same thing but they were not up to this mark. I am in BSC Physics 3rd year but was struggling with Bernoulli’s theories when it came to practical. It‘s nice to see things practically. I am happy you guys have approached science in different ways.
Vaishali Solanki (BSc, Mirinda House)
We are obliged to see such wonderful and innovative models. The concepts are very clearly explained through these models. Although the concepts are very basics & simple. Yet they are presented in very innovative and interesting manners. Thanks!
Ishika Vishnoi, Nikita Bist (St. Thomas School)
Out of the workshops organized till now, this was the best as is involved basic concept of Physics. Congratulation and thanks a lot.
Kamal Narang (Salwan Public School)
The workshop was extremely interesting, testing our conceptual knowledge, and through the aid of practical demonstration explaining to us the various concepts we learnt. Here had an opportunity to see it in action.
Puranjay R. Gulati (Springdales school, Dhaulakuan)
The workshop was amazing, helped us enjoy physics more with the concepts and made it easy. Thanks a tone. We would love to come back.
Shivangi Bharati (BAL Bharti Public School, Pitampura)
I cannot express to you how much our students and teachers enjoyed visiting your program. They have blogged about it and I would like to share that link with you:
Agastya has renewed my hope
Science education innovation in rural india
The next time we would like to spend more time at your site and stay overnight as well. Your work is inspiring and your generosity to host us was very much appreciated. We will bring awareness about the good work you are doing to our school and we hope to engage in more substantive ways in the future.
Phillips Academy, Instructor, Biology
Director, Niswarth Program (www.andover.edu/niswarth)
Founder, Educators for Teaching India (www.teachingindia.org)
Feedback from the MSW Department of Acharya Institute of Management & Sciences on the Summer Camp conducted for the tribal children & school dropouts.
Click here for the handwritten letter!
Program Manager, MSW Department
Acharya Institute of Management & Sciences
Today was truly awe-inspiring. From rough arid land, in the midst of nowhere, you have all implemented a vision of "science to the masses" that has no parallel in this world. I can only imagine what it must have taken for Ramji and his team to transform an idea, a dream, a hope into a rural science community that embraces the challenges, advantages the teachers and delivers a future to the wide-eyed child in a village. This, when done in every state for each proximate village, and available to every child, will transform India into the brightest nation on earth.
I am deeply honored to play a role in this exciting social and scientific adventure. I am at your service.
Vice President, Office of the CTO
It gives me immense pleasure and satisfaction to associate with Agastya. Visiting Agastya was a pleasant expeience. The concept which started with small hopes has done wonders in achieving its vision and objectives.The whole ideology of Agastya has immense potential and scope of expansion.The most striking aspect is its open approach to try all kinds of innovative experiments that come its way. At the heart of it, is the painstaking efforts and spirit of entire Agastya team to reach to all needy sectors of community. Agastya is a unique experiment in alternate education that complements mainstrem education through innovative outreach programs.
What I can visualize is that, Agastya is not just about spreading science education, it has a larger perspective to serve, i, e, “to develop an outlook for science as a way of life”.
I congratulate entire Agastya team; management, administration, field workers and support staff for contributing to the cause which has potential to change the future of rural education in India.
I extend my all out support to your organization in future too to make Agastya voice of India.
Dr. Jyoti Sharma, Senior Lecturer,
Deptt. of Education, SPM College,
University of Delhi, INDIA
Good evening to Agastya staff. I am Kesavulu who studied at Thummisi Z.P. High School, and Young Instructor Leader of Agastya in the 2009-2010 batch. Now I am studying IIIT at the Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies in YSR District, Andhra Pradesh. I am feeling proud of having been at Aastya and want to share this feelings with all my friends there.
Kesavalu (former Agastya student)
Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies
YSR District, Andhra Pradesh
My stay at the Agastya Kuppam Campus was a remarkable experience. Everyone on campus was wonderfully motivated, talented and friendly. I was astonished at the beauty and vastness of the campus. This place is truly a spectacular outdoor classroom with an unmatched magesty and magnitude. How fortunate for all who work or visit Agastya to have such a jewel to call their educational home and headquarters. The educational opportunities for learning are endless! Agastya is so fabulously thought out and continuously growing. The campus is a unique site. There is no place like this in New York. Any school in the United States would be the envy of the educational world if only there was an Agastya outside their front door. Please continue to develop this gem. It will absolutely enrich all who vist. How fortunate for the students of India to have such a rare resource. My best wishes for continued success.
Lower School Science Coordinator/Teacher
Trinity School, New York
What a superb accolade. His (Howard's) words express precisely my own thoughts on Agastya. Long may the vision thrive and grow. Warmest best wishes to you, your trustees, staff and students.
Ex-VC, Bradford University
Thank you very much for organising the training for the Govt. School Teachers at your Campus last month. The teachers were very enthusiastic about the training imparted to them and they were very happy with the arrangements made for them.
They enjoyed the ambience of your lovely campus and were motivated to go back to school and share their experiences with their students. We visited the Discovery Centre along with the teachers and also saw the Science and Art Labs. We were very glad to have got this wonderful opportunity to visit your campus.
I thank you once again for all the support and training that you have provided to the teachers.
President, Lions Club of Bangalore
A key area of concern is the dwindling number of people doing the Basic Sciences. It is important to communicate to society that Science Education has a future, can be greatly interesting and exciting. The rural and poorer areas have vast untapped potential and it is important we reach out to them.
Another urgent task is to create content and resources at all levels in the local languages and disseminate them widely for the benefit of students and teachers. A tremendous task lies ahead of us and the media has to play a role in science dissemination and popularization. (Agastya Foundation is actively addressing the areas mentioned above).
National Knowledge Commission
Agastya is an interesting experiment. They tried hard to build up a spirit of enquiry amongst children through various efforts in science, art or ecology. The whole experiment is being conducted in the middle of nowhere and still it thrives and that is a great achievement. The mentorship program through young kids is a nice attempt and now the idea is coming slowly at the international level.
What can be done further to perpetuate the experiment? Perhaps one should network Agastya with other similar program like Babha Centre at Mumbai or many others. They should integrate with new IISER or coming Central Universities and the program then continue with lots more impact.
Indian Institute of Science
The effort of the Agastya Foundation needs to be replicated and emulated all over the country. The ‘hands-on’ opportunities for students, the ‘student instructors,’ the ambiance, all make-it a unique experiment.
I would definitely like to come back here – because there is much to learn and there is some stuff that I can share. A good place to bring ‘student educators’ and ‘young teachers’ and may be ‘retired professors’ for the learning atmosphere and opportunities.
Dr. Savitri Singh
Working group on Science & Maths, National Knowledge Commission
Principal, Acharya Narendra Dev College
Experiencing the life at and activities of the Agastya Centre is an eye-opener. So much can be done! This kind of activity needs to be spread all over the country. Philanthropists, committed NGO’s and the academic community [Universities, IIT’s, Research Institutes] all need to come together with innovative ideas and enthuse the enormous mass of young children to undertake creative activities and to be creative thinkers.
Dept. of Zoology, Banaras Hindu University
Agastya is doing great work by providing exposure to rural children. The science experiment models are creative and stimulate interest in science. The kids we met here expressed eagerness & enthusiasm to learn new things.
Agastya’s teacher training model is inspiring. We met local teachers who have started their own laboratory in their school. Truly exceptional! This should be expanded across the country to ignite children everywhere in India.
National Knowledge Commission
"Heartiest congratulations for doing such wonderful work. It is truly remarkable that a few people like you have devoted your life in making this world a better place to live in for future generations" More . . .
CIIE, IIM Ahmedabad
"Synopsys is very pleased to partner with Agastya in their efforts to help more people experience the progress being made in this country through the poser of education. We will certainly benefit in the future from the work Agastya is doing today. And we are most proud to be even a small part of the Agastya vision to create networked and creative learning communties throughout India". More . . .
Nelson Pratt, VP, Marketing. Synopsys Inc.
Pradip K. Dutta, President & Managing Director. Synopsys India
"Agastya is a place of convergence. This hot, windy, dusty spot of rural, southern India draws to it flora and fauna that have not been found here for many years. It draws to it to it people from many places, many backgrounds, and with diverse ways of seeing the world. While the burgeoning lower class generally is seen as holding India back from the greatness she might otherwise achieve, Agastya taps the potential that exists here. By educating the children and dispelling many of the myths and superstitions that have dominated the decision-making process in rural India, Agastya is tapping the potential of a powerful resource that is still considered by some to be India’s weakness".
"Our experience and feedback received from Teachers & Students indicate that they have benefited greatly from these Education Programmes. This has resulted in a significant improvement in the quality of teaching & learning, which has substantially increased the performance level of students. The Government of Andhra Pradesh in Hyderabad has noted the performance improvement of students in Kuppam Constituency. We would like to continue the excellent momentum that has been established and request Agastya International Foundation to continue to run its Education Programmes and help to lift the education standards and opportunities in Kuppam Constituency". More . . .
Special Officer, Kuppam Area Development Authority
"At the outset, I profusely thank you for your cooperation in conducting the fortnight long 'Vignan Mela' in the schools. The Vignan Mela not only evoked good response among the students and the teachers but also created scientific temperament, rational thinking and application of science in day-to-day life. The Mela was was successful, to some extent, in addressing the much prevalent superstitions amongst the villagers, in general, and the Lambada (ST) community in particular". More . . .
Dr. Kota Harinarayana
Board of Trustees, Viksit Bharat Foundation
"I would like to record my appreciation for the work done by Agastya International Foundation in conducting rural Mobile Lab science education programs in the District since August 2002. The Hon’ble Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Shri Y.S. Rajashekhar Reddy, launched an expanded program on August 2004. Since then (and up to 12.8.05), five Agastya Mobile Labs have covered 1,938 primary, upper primary and secondary schools in Chittoor, Puttur, Piler and Madanapalle Divisions, benefiting 203,364 disadvantaged rural and poor urban children, including 97,100 boys and 98.953 girls and 7,311 teachers. Many children and teachers in Kuppam also have free access to the Agastya Science Center in Gudivanka". More . . .
Shri Shamshre Singh Rawat
Chittoor District, Karnataka
"On behalf of the Govt. of A.P., I want to extend my sincere thanks to Agastya International Foundation for their excellent work for their contribution in spreading science education and learning skills among the teachers as well as children in Kuppam constituency". More . . .
Project Officer, Kuppam Area Development Authority,
"All children are naturally curious, until schools and examinations kill their inquisitiveness. The great thing about Agastya is that it allows children to learn stuff for themselves, using simple inexpensive items.
What really impressed me is the fact that the teaching is done by the children themselves! The Agastya staff train the students of the school - whom they call Young Instructors" - to actually perform the experiment themselves. Once they have understood the science behind the model land can demonstrate it themselves, the Agastya staff then allows the students to become teachers. Not only does this allow the children to become confident; it also encourages the other students to ask "stupid" questions ( which they are often reluctant to do in class)".
More on his blog at The Patient's Doctor
Dr. Aniruddha Malpani
"The science models and devices from Agastya International Foundation are very interesting and useful to our students to understand the basic concepts of science. It has helped the students to develop the self confidence in them and also to cultivate the leadership quality. We congratulate the Foundation for doing this much much needed service. We also thank you profusely for sending the mobile science lab to us."
Secretary, Ramakrishna Mission Ashram
"We are grateful to you for exhibiting your Agastya working models in our school campus for the benefit of our High School students. The exhibit is really wonderful in that they are made in such a way as to permit the young students to handle and learn themselves the science of the subject with assistance of teachers wherever necessary. This is the type of science education badly needed in our schools. We could see the enthusiasm in the children by the sparkle in their eyes when they are able to verify in physical form what they are taught on black board."
Secretary, Ramakrishna Mission Students Home
"The Agastya science fair I saw in Hubli was one of the most wonderful things I have witnessed in the field of children's education! The enthusiasm I saw in the children's faces and the sparkle in their eyes was an incredible experience for me. They wanted to learn, and they wanted to teach. I would love to see Agastya light up all of rural India, urban India and then the rest of the world!"