Higher Education Review Magazine

Higher Education Review ›› Magazine ›› June-2018 ›› Special issue

STEM Center USA: To Embrace Creativity, Invention and Innovation

Author : HER Team

HER Team

Dr. Mariappan Jawarharlal, Founder STEM Center USA

The National Science Foundation, a United States government agency that supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering, predicts that 80 percent of the jobs created in the next decade will require some form of math and science skills. However, with an existing school education system focussed on exams and grades, Indian students have limited opportunities to explore creativity, innovation and invention in their schooling days. This is where specialized Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths educators like STEM Center USA come in to fill this gap.

"The term STEM is increasingly used in the context of a nation’s economic competitiveness. Thus, STEM education not only addresses the demand for scientists and engineers but also is a key component of responsible, global citizenship," opines Dr. Mariappan Jawarharlal, Founder, STEM Center USA. The STEM education program conducted by STEM Center USA has been the culmination of more than 20 years of research and application experience by Dr. Mariappan Jawarharlal, who is also known as Dr. Jawa, a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at California State Polytechnic University (Cal Poly Pomona), Pomona in California, the U.S. He has been developing and implementing engaging STEM activities since 1993 in Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey and California.

With the support of 18 trainers who hold B.E/ B.Tech degree with 4-5 years of experience, STEM Center USA has implemented a well thought out Guided Discovery Approach that is seemingly unstructured and chaotic, but internally well structured and logical.



"We have started in India in 2010 in Chennai and have implemented our concept in schools and our centres in Chennai, Bangalore, Dindigul and New Delhi," shares Dr. Jawa. The institute has developed a unique methodology named Guided Discovery Approach to teaching STEM through Robotics. Dr. Jawa explains, "Guided Discovery is an effective approach that provides an excellent framework for learn-by-doing. It utilizes an authentic context in which the problems are presented in certain sequence and choices that enable the learner to reach an outcome."

With the support of 18 trainers who hold B.E/ B.Tech degree with 4-5 years of experience, STEM Center USA has implemented a well thought out Guided Discovery Approach that is seemingly unstructured and chaotic, but internally well structured and logical. "Our Guided Discovery Approach allows students to personalize the concepts. In a nutshell, we allow the students to reinvent," claims Dr. Jawa, who is also known for founding the renowned Robot Rally initiative, which has become a National Model and being adopted in various countries including India and China.

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