Sensing the rising wave of STEM education across India and other developing countries across the globe, an enthusiastic entrepreneur from Coimbatore, India decided to become a part of this wave by becoming a STEM and robotics solution provider and inspire students to become makers by helping them develop skills of the future. And that is how STEMians was born – an Edtech startup, led by the able leadership of its CEO, Mr. Baranee Dharan, that provides students with a holistic and fully rounded knowledge in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.
STEMians has been empowering students with STEM by educating them in electronics, coding, robotics, 3D designing, and IoT for the past 7 years. With a task so monumental at hand, one needs the right STEM resources to ensure its fulfillment. For that, STEMians turned to worldwide popular STEM kits and resources such as Lego Mindstorms, MBot, Vex, Makey Makey, and EZ Robot. While all of these are exceptional in what they’re meant for, Mr. Barane Dharan felt the need of having something more economical, versatile and, in his words, that provided the desired STEM learning outcomes. He needed DIY STEM kits and STEM resources which could be used by students spread across a wide range of age for making projects and carrying out activities appropriate for every age group, which enabled students to add external components and tinker around with the kit, and which motivated them to explore STEM concepts through hands-on experience.
How STEMians Took the STEM Movement Far and Wide
STEMians were looking for versatile products and services that could be used to provide complete STEM learning to students of all levels of learning: right from the very beginners (class 1) to those with some experience in science and math (class 10). In his search for the right product for him, Mr. Baranee Dharan came across STEMpedia’s website where he found all that he needed for an all-round STEM learning: versatile kits, expert STEM curriculum to go with the kits, technical assistance, curriculum implementation assistance, assistance in organizing competitions, workshops, and exhibitions, and more.
Mr. Baranee Dharan himself flew down from Coimbatore to Ahmedabad, “experienced” our kits and curriculum, became well-versed in them, and from then on started a strong relationship between STEMians and STEMpedia. He took our products and services, went to schools with the aim of training students in STEM and enlightened a lot of young minds by conducting STEM workshops for schools. The outcomes speak volumes:
Robotica, an interschool robotics competition organized by STEMians in association with STEMpedia is a major example showing how STEMians was able to propagate STEM with a much stronger impact with the right resources and support. In this task-based competition, participants got to learn robots, design and build their own robots, and program it to complete the assigned task. While the STEM aspect of the competition was handled by STEMians, we assisted them with laying down the rules and regulations, marketing, website design, setting the judging criteria, and judging the entries. The competition turned out to be a huge success with around 200 students from 6 schools participating in the competition.
STEMians’ Success Story in Its Own Words
Following is an excerpt of a conversation between Mr. Barane Dharan and STEMpedia in which he shared his story with us from then to now:
STEMpedia: What made you switch to evive and its kits? What problems did you face with the previous tools/kits?
Baranee Dharan: We switched to evive because it’s the best platform to do many projects along with a lot of learning, exploration of many tools also with excellent learning resources. Few platforms that we used before evive were not open-source. The accessories and add on price was on the higher side. After-sales support was poor and few kits didn’t have proper learning outcomes and other resources.
S: Have you tried anything else apart from the kits? PictoBlox, Dabble, courses, tutorials, or projects?
B: We are using Pictoblox, Dabble, tutorials, and courses.
S: What do you think about them? Have they helped you? If yes, how?
B: Yes, Pictoblox is easy to program with blocks which is easy to understand for students, Dabble is very useful for getting sensor values, controlling actuators, etc.
S: How have STEMpedia’s kits helped you make learning fun yet impactful at the same time?
B: Pictoblox along with [the] evive Starter Kit helped to explore many concepts and programs in a realistic way along with fun which impacts them more in STEM concepts.
S: How do you think schools and other educational institutions benefit from these kits and resources?
B: Cost-effective kits with less add on cost along with STEM learning resources will encourage students to be ready with 21st-century skills.