IIT Bombay launched a new program – WiSE (Women in Science Engineering from Rural Parts of India) under the leadership of Prof. Rajesh Zele, Department of Electrical Engineering, as part of its outreach activity.
The goal of WiSE is to reach out to girl students studying in the ninth grade who hail from the rural parts of India and get them excited about STEM. The program is committed to mentoring young girls long term and helps them make wise decisions about their future and career choices. Accompanied by their science and math teachers, around 160 girls from 40 schools in the rural parts of Maharashtra, Bihar, and Odisha arrived at IIT Bombay in May 2023. They were hosted by Hostel 15 where they stayed for a week and got a feel of campus life.
The young girls had a jam-packed and intensive schedule during the week which included activities from 9 am to 7 pm every day. Each day started with an interactive discussion with Winspirers (women inspirers) from diverse backgrounds and professions who motivated the girls by highlighting their unique stories.
Each afternoon, the girls had hands-on sessions in STEM. They started with simple light bulb circuits, making FM radios, and intelligent systems using microcontrollers, sensors, and actuators. Then they moved on to building a remote-controlled Rover robot from scratch. On the final day, the girls made a small drone that they were able to fly.
A group of over 70 student volunteers ensured that the entire program was executed flawlessly.
The WiSE program will be conducted annually with different schools from rural parts to fulfil the National Education Policy’s (NEP) ambition to curtail the dropout rates of Socio-Economically Disadvantaged Groups (SEDGs). This year’s WiSE program was sponsored by the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society, Maire Tecnimont Foundation – Evolve, Tecnimont Pvt. Ltd., Eastman, and IIT Bombay Institute of Eminence (IOE) Outreach Initiative.