NXplorers prevails through lockdown

Like many places around the world, India’s schools and colleges remain closed. With rapid increases in COVID-19 cases, these closures may be longer than expected. And while many schools are embracing virtual learning, others are faced with major barriers including a lack of access to internet and technology.

Our NXplorers facilitators face these same barriers, but amongst the challenges, there have been a number of notable successes.

Lockdown success stories

Lockdown has not kept India’s resourceful students from developing their NXplorers projects. They have harnessed online communications to brainstorm, work with NXplorers tools, build a sense of community and teamwork, and utilise in-house materials to convert their ideas into prototypes.

Amreen Basha and Kubra Ameer, both in Grade 9, have been looking into ecological energy production and conservation, and have been able to use food waste to generate biogas. Vijeth Acharya, Anush Shetty and Dhanish Pujari from Mangalore, Karnataka, on the other hand, have been trying out a model for purifying seawater by harnessing the process of distillation.

Despite the current challenges, the team in India has been able to develop 290 change projects, and many NXplorers students have submitted their projects in national science contests and challenges. This shows that, regardless of the situation, when students are given the right tools and support, they’re able to produce incredible results.

Adapting and thriving

With schools closed, NXplorers students, teachers and facilitators have adapted their methods of communication, collaboration and guidance. In some cases where a lack of digital literacy and access to computers pose a particular challenge, NXplorers teachers and facilitators have been able to go back to basics, phoning students directly to offer continued support.

In many other cases, they have been able to provide regular virtual check-ins, maintain engagement and even run a competition through free messaging apps. These apps proved to be hugely effective as they are low cost and easily accessible for most students, enabling them to take part without any expensive technology or background knowledge.

What can we learn from this?

NXplorers is about collaboration, and when we collaborate wonderful things can happen. In these challenging times, our students across India, with support and mentoring from our trained and experienced facilitators, are overcoming huge obstacles in their lives to achieve amazing results. NXplorers is also about finding creative solutions to seemingly insurmountable problems - and so, it is safe to say that India is embodying the spirit of NXplorers.

“I feel proud to be an NXplorer, thank you so much to Shell and Learning Links Foundation (LLF) for bringing NXplorers programme to our school. I wish to take my project to my community, in order to help the people by establishing a smart village model”

Vignesh Udhayakumar , NXplorer student, Govt Higher Secondary School,Thoraipakkam, Chennai, India

Pictured above: Amreen Basha and Kubra Ameer, Grade 9, utilizing food waste to generate biogas.



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