Impact of LIB
“Lab in a Box is very helpful for rural government school children and teachers. LIB is developing a new method of education that would make learning scientific concepts fun, useful and accessible. It has to be extended to all rural government schools.” – Mr Thyagarajan Sharma, Journalist
Despite its short inception, Lab in a Box has had far-reaching benefits to its target audience – the rural community. Within the first seven months of commencement, LIB has exposed hands-on education to over 115,000 students and teachers, setting the record of reachability amongst all the programs in Agastya.
Besides that, LIB is also highly successful in developing scientific temper amongst rural students and teachers. Quantity and quality of questions from students have improved, with students now becoming less afraid to raise their doubts. Those who are more familiar with the LIB models have also taken the initiative to explain the concepts to their peers, thereby building up their confidence in public speaking.
Just recently, staff and students of Government Higher Primary School (GHPS) Nagarahalli organized a community science fair with the help of the LIB team. Students took centre stage, explaining the LIB models to their parents and the general public. Aimed at creating awareness about the importance of education, the event was successful in convincing parents to send their kids to school. Echoes Ishappa, parent of student Manjunath, “Everyday when my son Manjunath gets back from school, he tells us what he has learnt from LIB. This facility was not there when I was studying in school, but it has been provided by Agastya International Foundation. All the students and teachers of this village should take the benefit of this project.”
Apart from the enthusiastic response from parents, the fair also rekindled the interest in learning in many dropouts and a significant number of them returned back to school for lessons. Many credit the stimulating of curiosity to LIB, which has turned a good deal of dropouts into excited learners impatiently waiting for the arrival of a new box.
LIB models have reportedly also reignited the passion in teachers as the simplicity of the models allowed them to grasp concepts faster and be more involved in the subject they have been teaching for a long time already. In fact, some have even requested for Agastya to help them in setting up science labs in their schools. To date, labs have been set up in GHPS Agadi, GHPS Nagarahalli and GKGS Ghantikeri; collaborations between schools students, teachers, Agastya’s LIB team and model making team. What’s worth noting is that teachers are now encouraging students to ask questions and providing them with space to try out their ideas. Both parties have even started contributing to the collection of models in the labs.
Models made by teachers and students
These results are certainly encouraging and reaffirming to Agastya in the quest to spark creativity and curiosity at the grassroots, bringing Agastya one step closer to goals of positively effecting the lives of 50 million children and 1 million teachers by Year 2020 (read more about Agastya’s goals here).