Initiatives in the Works
We are currently in contact with libraries in under-resourced areas of New York City and plan to offer free workshops in collaboration with these libraries in the near future. A more long term goal for AK Academy is to expand globally and reach lower income communities in other countries. Below are some ideas for our future initiatives in India.
Aim: to provide students in low-income communities with resources to become interested in science and nurture this interest
According to India Today, “the rural schools are still stuck on inculcating rote learning in its students. This has to change”.
The resources created by AK Academy are the opposite of rote: they are innovative and provide a way for children to become excited about their education. AK Academy's goal is to provide resources to rural government schools in India to address the lack of funding and focus on these schools. The ways we plan on doing this is as follows:
Providing Videos in Accessible Format
Prior to the pandemic, our goal to reach low income communities was to hold a series of workshops and formulate a sustainable program in these schools to continue science exploration through experimentation. It has been a challenge to connect with these schools due to the pandemic, so we have now planned to compile our science experiment videos and put them into a format (most likely a DVD) that schools that don’t have many resources will be able to access. Most of our experiments use readily accessible materials, but there are exceptions so I also want to create a package with materials for these experiments that not everyone might have. We would also like to donate these DVDs to libraries and other schools that can benefit from them as well. We are also thinking of selling these DVDs and using that money as additional funding for this initiative.
Science Passion Accelerator:
Foster Life-Long Success
In an area in India, we would like to hold a contest for students attending government schools to have an opportunity to go far in their lives and take a step into a path that really motivates them. The application process for this contest will be very simple, but extremely meaningful. Our focus in this organization is for students to learn to LOVE science. For this contest we will ask students to write a paragraph about something science related that they are passionate about and ask them what they would do if we provided them with funding to take some sort of initiative connected to their passion. We will evaluate these sentences on the criteria of passion and action/plan for next steps to address this passion. We will choose 5 individuals. The prize would be a mentorship program with successful science professionals, as well as preliminary funding for their proposed project. The students would use this preliminary funding to carry out their project for around two months. We would check in with them after this period and select one student to receive a final grand scholarship based on what they did with this funding. They will use this scholarship for their project and/or for school expenses. We hope to be able to make this contest a yearly, sustainable program.