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Persistent Systems hold smart school hackathon, may work with Atal Innovation Mission

PUNE: After having established the Smart India Hackathon as a national level event, Persistent Systems today held the pilot edition of the Smart School Hackathon for students in class 7-9, in collaboration with the Persistent Foundation and i4c. The company is now working with the Atal Innovation Mission to grow this further.

Vivek Kulkarni, Delivery Head & Chief Architect, Persistent LABS, Persistent Systems and Secretary, Executive Council, i4C said, “For India to remain at the forefront of global technical leadership, we must seed innovative thinking in young minds from the school level itself.” The next step, he said, would to take this to Tier II cities, and eventually at the state and national level. Persistent Labs and i4c are also looking at how they could work with the Atal Innovation Mission, a NITI Aayog initiative to take this further. A large number of schools now have Atal Tinkering Labs and participate in annual contests. The company would try and work with these to help growth the Smart School Hackathon further.

Unnat Pandit, Program Director at Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog, Govt of India, said, “Witnessing the Smart School Hackathon unfold and watching these school students come up with innovative ideas has been a refreshing experience. Competitions like Smart School Hackathon encourage students to work together on issues outside their regular curriculum and broadens their horizons in terms of the latest technology and industry expectations.”

The event received 100 applications from students in Pune and Nashik, of which 40 ideas were finalised. The selected ideas are all at a prototype stage, which the students would further refine or modify over the course of the 12-hour event. Kulkarni said that because they were working with students, the problem statements given to them were such that they reflected issues that the students would be familiar with- like whether the school bag can send an alert if a particular text book needed on that day is not in the bag, or how to send an alert if the decibel levels in the classroom rise above a certain level when a teacher is absent etc. The five critical concerns addressed include topics like water conservation, waste management, cleanliness, noise pollution control & wonder out of waste.

Sonali Deshpande, Chairman, Persistent Foundation, said, “What impressed me most about SSH’s model was its self-exploratory and heuristic approach towards learning and problem solving – the ability to seek solutions on their own will benefit the students in their future technical careers.”

Source: Economic Times