Atal Tinkering Lab Launched & Solar Panels Blessed at St Aloysius Gonzaga School

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‘NURTURING YOUNG MINDS TO INNOVATE’! Atal Tinkering Lab (ATL) Launched & Solar Panels Blessed at St Aloysius Gonzaga School (SAGS), Mangaluru

Mangaluru: With a vision to ‘Cultivate one Million children in India as Neoteric Innovators’, Atal Innovation Mission had established Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATLs) in schools across India. The objective of this scheme is to foster curiosity, creativity, and imagination in young minds; and inculcate skills such as design mindset, computational thinking, adaptive learning, physical computing etc.

ATL is a workspace where young minds can give shape to their ideas through hands-on do-it-yourself mode, and learn innovation skills. Young children will get a chance to work with tools and equipment to understand the concepts of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). ATL would contain educational and learning ‘do it yourself’ kits and equipment on – science, electronics, robotics, open-source microcontroller boards, sensors and 3D printers and computers. Other desirable facilities include meeting rooms and video conferencing facilities. In order to foster inventiveness among students, ATL can conduct different activities ranging from regional and national level competitions, exhibitions, workshops on problem-solving, designing and fabrication of products, lecture series etc. at periodic intervals.

The Objectives of ATL are -To create workspaces where young minds can learn innovation skills, sculpt ideas through hands-on activities, work and learn in a flexible environment; To empower our youth with the 21-century skills of creativity, innovation, critical thinking, design thinking, social and cross-cultural collaboration, ethical leadership and so on; and To help build innovative solutions for India’s unique problems and thereby support India’s efforts to grow as a knowledge economy.

On Saturday, 23 October 2021, the Atal Tinkering Lab (ATL), a flagship initiative of the Atal Innovation Mission of the Government of India, was inaugurated in St Aloysius Gonzaga School, Mangaluru.The Chief Guest Dr K.V. Rao, Director of Regional Science Centre at Pilikula NisargaDhama, Mangaluru, inaugurated the lab and expressed his views that grooming young innovators is the need of the hour, to make our nation self-reliant which will happen only when we provide opportunities to students to learn the subject through hands-on experience. (Listen to his entire speech on the video below)

Guest of honour Ms Jayalaxmi A- Regional Teacher of Change for ATL & HM of Sri Ramakrishna School-Puttur, Presided over by Fr. Melwin Joseph Pinto SJ-Rector of St Aloysius Institutions, Mangaluru, Fr Melwyn Anil Lobo SJ-Principal of SAGSand Vice-principal of SAGS-Ms Laurel D’souza also joined in the inaugural ceremony. Also present at this event were the Staff of the school, Parents and Students of SAGS.

During the formal programme, the Principal, Fr Melwyn Anil Lobo SJ gave an introduction of the Atal Tinkering Lab and said that it is a proud moment for St Aloysius Gonzaga School to receive a grant from the Government to establish ATL lab to foster curiosity, creativity and imagination in young minds and thereby help the students to enhance the skill of innovation.

Fr Melwyn Lobo SJ further said, “Steve Jobs says “Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity – not a threat”. We are living in a world of change today. With the onset of the 21st century, the entire world has witnessed an era of intense change in all areas, whether it is education, global trade, economy, technology or society. The challenges are on multiple fronts. The covid-19 pandemic has been a big challenge of our time. Naturally, to live in these challenging times, a different skill–set is required that would enable an individual to cope-up and succeed in facing the challenges in real life, leading to holistic progress. These skills are addressed as 21st Century Skills. The skills have been grouped into three main areas: Learning and Innovation Skills; Digital Literacy Skills; Career and Life Skills. Among the three skill sets, Learning and Innovation Skills play an important role today. Govt. and private organizations who have realized the value of learning and innovation skills are ready to invest in it in a great measure for a better future”.

“The Indian government had plans to set up 10,000 ATL labs out of which 8700 are already established and I am happy to say that among them ATL of St. Aloysius Gonzaga School is one of them. We had applied for the ATL, 3 and a half years back finally after all the compliance ATL had been approved for our school. Rs. 20 lakh has been approved by the Govt. out of which Rs. 12 lakh has been sanctioned. We have already established the ATL with 7 lakh worth of equipment and 3 lakh worth of furnishing. We are happy to mention that we have partnered with a reputed training agency named Vitvara Technologies which has already trained 37 of our students in the first phase of this project. I congratulate them for the dedication and commitment that they have shown so far. I also must congratulate the 37 students who participated in the 1st phase of the training. I also would like to congratulate the ATL In-charge Teachers Ms Deepa Karkada and Ms Shilpa Ballal who have given their best in terms of training and motivating the students for this project. Let’s give our best to make this project a successful one”, added Fr Lobo.

Fr Melwin Joseph Pinto SJ, Rector, St Aloysius Institutions, blessed the newly equipped lab and in his inspiring message gave a call to students to create something new and share the knowledge they gain from this lab with people around them and society at large.(Listen to Rector’s entire speech on the video below). The Guest of Honour Ms Jayalaxmi A, Regional Teacher of Change for Atal Tinkering Labs, H.M of Sri Ramakrishna High School, Puttur, in her address congratulated and advised the students to make the best use of the opportunity provided.

Deserving students were distributed with scholarships by Ladies Circle India, Mangalore Ladies circle 82 & Mangalore Round Table 115. Teacher of SAGS Ms Deepa Karkada welcomed the gathering and Teacher Ms Shipa R Ballal proposed the vote of thanks. The programme was compered by Ms Acquina Rebello and Ms Laveena Kunder. After the blessing, the dignitaries and parents perused the models that students had prepared.

On this occasion, the newly installed solar panels – an initiative taken by the school towards going green and opting for solar energy as a part of it – was blessed by Rector-Fr Melwin Joseph Pinto SJ. Thus, St Aloysius Gonzaga School has another feather in its cap especially in terms of making the school a green school. It’s the successful completion of establishing the Solar energy panels at St. Aloysius Gonzaga School. The management with the leadership of our Rector took a bold step in going for 500KV alternative renewable Solar energy in the entire institution this year. The project got completed recently in record time and out of the 500KV, 150KV will be generated through the solar panels put up over St. Aloysius Gonzaga School rooftop which covers 75% of the electricity consumed by St Aloysius Gonzaga School and St. Aloysius PU College. Moreover, the project is a boost in terms of learning as well as, as it would inspire the students to think in a creative and innovative way on various aspects.

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