Webconference II

Saturday, 21 August 2010. 8:30-10:00 p.m. India Time.

Participants: Dr. Uma Garimella (Teachers’ Academy, Hyderabad), Dr. Naresh Sunkara (U C Berkeley), Dr. Santanu Banerjee (U Penn), Dr. Manoj Nair (Ohio State), Dr. Sriram Satagopan (Ohio State), Katyayni Vinnakota (Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin).

Moderator: A n i l  K u m a r  C h a l l a

Meeting summary:

  1. The group is exploring ways in which it can improve the science education.   It is open to any sector, some feel K-12, others are more comfortable at undergraduate level.
  2. The group should gain deeper understanding of the current state of school education, initiatives in both private and public (Government) sectors.  Dr.Santanu Banerjee mentioned a report on Indian Science by the National Council of Applied Economic Research.
  3. Skills of group members and resources available should be listed so that we know what and how exactly they can contribute to the efforts in India.
  4. Dr. Uma Garimella suggested that the group adopt a few schools and work on their real issues, conduct some ‘popular’ science activities (like summer camps) which will interest both students and parents to pursue careers in science.
  5. Dr. Uma Garimella shared some of the resources in terms of her own experience and web resources, like yardstick.co.in and arvindguptatoys.  She can connect the group to the Yardstick team.
  6. Dr. Uma Garimella is working on a few ideas to infuse talent into the teaching profession and she will communicate those with the group.
  7. Since the group members outside of India cannot be physically present to do work on the ground, creative ways to to get involved have to be explored.  Web mentoring for students and teachers may be taken up as the first step.

Action items:

  1. Do a webconference to interact with a student group or classroom.
  2. Partner with a school and contribute according to the needs of the learning community.

One Response to Webconference II

  1. Uma says:

    Hi friends,
    I am really glad to be associated with you all for this work.
    In the last couple of weeks, I brought up this agenda with some people. One point they mentioned was that it is not enough to enthuse people for Life Sciences ( I assume that is a by product of better teaching of life sciences) but match it with career opportunities. A few years back there was a forecast of careers in this area and many people opted for these subjects but were later left high and dry and had to somehow migrate to IT. I agree with them. I was heading a ‘healthcare’ project while in Bodhtree where we used to hire life science post graduates for a very small salary and these people’s opportunities elsewhere were very bleak. QC openings at entry level in pharma companies are also difficult to get.
    So if this is the mission we want to undertake, one idea was that, as a beginning we could take some of such qualified people and see what we can do with them. Can we involve them in our needs analysis and strategising phases? Assess/Guide them for opportunities? Can we get some feel of their concerns/issues?

    Let me know your thoughts. I am posting this on the blog since I was not able to send mail to the group.

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