Encouraging Scientific and Mathematical Thinking

Promoting a chain of youth innovation development centres ( YIDCs)

The following is the opening para of the Wikipedia article on the homebru computer club from Wikipedia. Its last sentence is very significant. The link is : http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homebrew_Computer_Club

The Homebrew Computer Club was an early computer hobbyist group in Silicon Valley which met from March 5, 1975 to December 1986, and was depicted in the movies Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999) and Jobs (2013). Several very high-profile hackers and computer entrepreneurs emerged from its ranks, including the founders of Apple Inc. The open exchange of ideas that went on at its biweekly meetings, and the club newsletter, launched the personal computer revolution. The Homebrew Computer Club has been called “the crucible for an entire industry.”

Now about 40 years later, it would be interesting to create a National Chain of such Youth Innovation Development (YID) clubs that would develop and continuously enhance the following qualities in their members:
* Curiosity
* A questioning mind
* A Scientific temper ( this is a constitutional requirement)
* Mathematical thinking ( computer based maths of a Conrad Wolfram and Mathematical modelling and simulation)
* A Learning Disposition: developing a self-directed autonomous learner
* A thinking and logical mind
* A tinkerer and maker mindset
* Appropriate values for living into the 22nd Century

All of the above would be organised in the context of modern and emerging technologies.
So in the physical space available at the YID clubs, there would be lots of resources, both software and hardware.
Hardware such as Raspberry Pi, Arduino and similar devices will be made accessible to the members with appropriate accessories to develop useful projects in their interest areas. Members will be provided drones, robots and 3D printers to explore. They will also be encouraged to create mobile Apps and explore the Internet of things. With these basic ideas, their natural combinations and evolution would follow.

To make this a crucible for the new innovative economy, we have to create a new entrepreneurial model for their creation and rapid expansion. One suggestion is:
1. Space is provided by a promoter agency, such as a School or other Institutional structure. The Club can then bear its name in the pre-fix : The XXXXX Youth Innovation Development Club.
2. The hardware/software infra-structure can be provided by the same unit or a philanthropist or under CSR as required under the Companies Act or by crowd-sourcing.
3. The actual running and operations of the club should be entrusted to a young entrepreneur, preferably one who is personally interested in one of the domains being explored in the clubs, and should not be put under too many restrictions.

The clubs would be supported by a strong central unit headquartered at a suitable place, which will support the club and its members with the required knowledge base. It will have an observatory whose observers will keep track of latest developments in allied areas and share it with the community. It will run a 24×7 HeldDesk to support all the members as well as the entrepreneurs who are running the YIDCs.
This central unit will keep the fold together, draw up plans and schedules that can be supplemented by the other clubs and make a thriving and vibrant community of thinkers, tinkerers and makers. The Central group itself will have access to experts and mentors from all over the world who are interested in pitching in.

A pilot can begin with about say 25 centres, in the 4 metros and an additional 21 smaller cities. That would be a good size to seed the idea, and then every quarter more can be added.

Invite parents also to these clubs. Their role is very critical.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s