Brainfeed in conversation with Sneha Priya, Founder of SP Robotics, about STEM, Indian pedagogy and helping children solve problems with hands-on solutions
The journey of SP Robotics Works is a testimony to the unearthed potential Indian children have in conceptual thinking and app development.
What starts with a journey one, becomes a journey of many! However, there are always challenges along the way, and problems to be solved that contribute to the stability of the business at every stage of growth.
Back when we started SP Robotic Works, we started with a single centre in Chennai. This small community of students (around 500) were creating waves across India on their innovations like Swachh Bot, which even received appreciation from the Prime Minister’s Office! These children, aged 7 to 17 were thinking differently, and executing tasks as a team. They were not only solving problems with hands-on solutions but also showcasing skills that made them stand out in a crowd of millions in India.
As we navigated through our first task in hand of using our centre as a model and creating a manual for all the things to do, we found that the bigger and most important task was that of teaching.
Having come from a family of educators, I am an ardent believer in the value of high quality teaching, and the manner in which concepts must be taught for the highest level of understanding. Since every class involved kit based experiments to build or code Robots, for every trainer this was a new skill to be acquired. Is teaching children easy? Oh no! They really are the toughest lot! The number of questions you are asked, and the variety of questions are unimaginable. But that’s what made our children stand out. This motivated us to gather and train the best of the best, entailing rigorous training workshops to upskill trainers, and teaching workshops.
Having come from a family of educators, I am an ardent believer in the value of high quality teaching, and the manner in which concepts must be taught for the highest level of understanding.
With all things set, we took the franchise route to set up the new centres in Chennai – and as an experiment. After a couple of training sessions for our franchisee, we had everything up and running in our two new centres just 2 months.
In 2016, what was the inspiration or reasons behind the inception of SP Robotics Works? Was there a lot of potential market in India?
Sneha Priya and Pranavan started SP Robotic Works with a vision to inspire millions of students through their experiential learning techniques.Indian market gives a lot of importance to the way their child learns any concept in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Every concept in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) can be visualized and learnt better with the help of hands-on kits. Sneha and Pranavan wanted to bridge the huge gap in availability of such kits and also the unavailability of best teachers for every child – to teach such concepts practically.
Please tell us about the pedagogical style followed by SPRW.
Today, SP Robotic Works has its own Online A.I. teacher which teaches any subject using hardware kits in a personalized manner to each child delivering the best quality education across borders!
SPRW develops the hardware kits in-house ensuring each experiment is complete FUN for the child! The curriculums are developed in association with child psychologists, academicians and industry experts to provide the best quality education in a personalized manner to each child.
A perfect experiential learning combo using hardware kits, animations, real-world examples and the best teacher’s guidance is what a child experiences with the courses from SPRW. Each concept is taught using real world examples to help children develop their application thinking skills. The aim of SPRW is not only to increase the conceptual knowledge but also to increase the creativity, logical thinking and problem solving skills of the children.
Children can either buy the kits online and learn from home, or they can go to their nearby MAKER LAB to use the robotic kits and computer to learn from the centre.
Today, SPRW provides courses in the Technology sectors to kids of age 7 to 17+. Coding, Robotics, Drone, Internet of Things, Virtual Reality, A.I., Android App Development are some of the courses offered today. Soon the company will be offering courses in Science and Mathematics too, mapping it to the curriculum.
What services does the team provide in educational institutes?
Educational institutes can setup these Maker Labs within their premises. All that is needed is a computer lab setup and SPRW will provide all the hardware kits and courses required for their students to learn and experiment. Live support for any technical query is also available for the students in case they have any doubts.
In India, what is the prevalent attitude towards STEM and how does SPRW seek to change that?
Parents understand the importance of STEM in India, however the need to score higher marks and stay competitive in academics forces the parents to choose where their children have to concentrate. With SPRW also entering into the academics with Science and Math based experiential courses, we believe that our fun way of learning will motivate more students to take up the technology courses as well.
SPRW is also working towards creating awareness and showcasing the needs of such interpersonal and conceptual skills for the child at their early developmental age.
A perfect experiential learning combo using hardware kits, animations, real-world examples and the best teacher’s guidance is what a child experiences with the courses from SPRW.
Moreover, Coding, STEM and experiential based learning has been given huge importance in the NEP and having it as part of the syllabus is a definite improvement in alignment with our vision to make every child ready for the real future in a fun and engaging way.
How far are Maker Lab and Robotics Camps personalised for Indian education system?
Indian Education System is predominantly theoretical today with very little emphasis and option for any child to learn a concept with hands-on experiment. Also visualizing a concept and understanding it with real-world example is highly essential to improve the child’s interest towards the subject as well as the application thinking skills. When a child understands why they are learning a particular concept, it makes the subject more interesting and meaningful for them. Also, the huge FUN FACTOR is missing in our entire curriculum.
SPRW’s courses bridge all these gaps – FUN FACTOR with robotic kits and interesting projects, hands-on experiment for every concept.
The Robotic Camps teach Science, Math and Coding concepts through robotic kits bridging all the gaps mentioned above. Maker Labs are centres for students to access these courses and kits. Alternatively, they can also order the kits online and learn from their home too.
In which areas of education would SPRW focus on and introduce changes in once schools shift to blended learning ?
SPRW’s courses, today, covers T and E in the STEM section (Technology and Engineering based courses) like Robotics, Drone, Artificial Intelligence, Android App Development, Internet of Things, Virtual Reality, Electronics and more. We plan to focus soon on launching experiential courses in Science and Math (S and M in STEM) mapped with academics to each grade of the school year.
[Story by: Puja Sinha]