Dr. Sanjeev Ranganathan Dr. Sanjeev Ranganathan received his PhD from Columbia University in Electronics. He is the recipient of the Lewis Winner award for best paper at ISSCC. He also volunteered for Asha for Education in various capacities and interacted with over a 100 NGOs in India working on education. He has worked at Silicon Labs, NXP, ST-Ericsson, Aura Semiconductor and has built chips used by over a billion people. Sanjeev is passionate about developing critical thinking skills with children and in helping them learn and connect with themselves. Since Jun 2013 he has been working with children in Udavi School and Isai Ambalam School, both outreach schools of Auroville. In Jan 2015 he founded Aura Auro Design along with engineering graduates in and around Auroville and in Sep 2015 with them established STEM Land (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics Land) a space of learning for children and adults. He also conducts electronics classes to anyone interested and here is more information of the current program conducted at STEM Land. For the really curious, here is his resume, a note on volunteering. Sanjeev maintains a person blog and of his experiences with working with children at smallisbeautiful.blogspot.com.
I am a Computer Science Engineer who moved from Seattle in mid-2018 to Auroville, after working for 18+ years in the IT field. I have a vast experience developing various software projects using state-of-the-art technologies. Other than software, another thing I am very passionate about is school education. I homeschooled my two daughters pretty much during their elementary years. I believe in self-led, child-centered and hands-on education. That is why I chose to use Montessori principles in our homeschool. Along with my daughters, I learnt many new things and made a lot of connections which was missing from my own education!
In Auroville, I came to know about STEMLand and saw an opportunity to be involved in their work. I realized that I could combine my technological skills and my passion for alternative education. The best of both worlds! For now, I am currently involved in mentoring young engineers and assist them in developing a school software that would help in the activities in STEMLand. I am hoping to be more involved in the STEMLand activities as well as give short software courses to interested folks.
The Year 2017-2018, Progress occurred in various aspects. I am able to notice a vast change in my inner being, and abilities as well.I have realized that happiness is something special that I create within me, and this emanates in all things that I do, and participate small or large. Supporting children in their growth and seeing them accomplish their goals gives a huge sense of awe, and responsibility. As a learner and technologist I have gained the confidence to support my fellow colleagues and learned from the team as a whole, this has made my knowledge rich and diversified. Each member of the team has a unique set of universal values, skills and accountability, and seeing them engaged with commitment gives me an adrenaline drive to progress towards perfection along by their sides. I have shared many moments of inspiration and clarity that remain special to me. There has been a lot of new experiences in courses that were conducted and seeing new people join the team, and fellow ones progress and search towards their new goals, attachment has become something I have realized that needs to be let go, in order togo with the present flow of things being put forward for a higher purpose. I am privileged to be at the place of most potential were I own the opportunity to learn, grow, work and support others in their learning’s. Research has given me the curiosity to think beyond what I could have imagined it would be, to get down to details and provide clarity on what is that has made me all this change in me and bring it out to others to experience.
The first time when I came to STEM land in Udavi school I felt that learning has no end. I also learnt that age doesn’t matter when I am open to learn from anyone. As an engineer I couldn’t do anything that children could do in STEM land. I felt that I have wasted 4 years in college and stared working on what I wanted to accomplish. I got inspired by the childrenand facilitators who were doing a huge change in education. I started coming to STEM land to learn programming and electronics from scratch. Being part of STEM land AuraAuro Design makes to grow in different ways like a better teacher, engineer and researcher. I am happy to now be part of STEM land.
Poovizhi.P I completed B.E in the stream of computer science Engineering. STEM Land and all the activities in STEM were new for me. I learned lot of things from children such as printing 3D models, Alice, Scratch, Geogebra, Goanimate, Puzzles etc., and I’m learning rubiks cube now. STEM land provides a space to cover what ever I have missed to learn in the past and visualize concepts. I learned to value my time and others. I am exposed to different opportunities (eg., Stewardship for new emergence, Vipassana) through STEM Land AAD to make myself whole, both technically and as a being. I have learned to come out of my comfort zone to explore new things and as a result I’m learning electronics. I’m grateful to each individuals in our team for supporting me to learn and grow.
It feels happy to be a part of STEMland-Aura Auro Design. As the slogan of Aura Auro Design says learn, grow, work, teach I learn from my team and children, I grow along with my team, I work with the team and I teach and learn from students. It is incomplete even if one of the term is missing. I not only learnt technical aspects, also learnt some tools from the Stewardship for new emergence which are really important in life.
Past long term volunteers and employees
I persuaded B.Tech in electronics and started being a part of STEM LAND – Aura Auro in Jan 2015. Now its been around 3 years. I would say it turned out to be a turning point in my life. This place exhibits the mentality of Abundance. Abundance in sharing knowledge, abundance in courage to create/start new, abundance in nourishing younger minds to be a change maker.
I was so good at rote learning, but STEM Land made me to think beyond that and in a pragmatic way (of course I found it hard initially). Being with children gives me more responsibilities. Responsibility to inspire children to get them started on their own by doing projects, give attention to details to support them and make things simple and effective for better understanding . Indeed, this is where I changed my view on Education system. Because, its not only about me sharing my knowledge, it also me gaining it from my peers (Children, my team, STEM volunteers, adults who visit STEM Land). Most importantly, the feel of content I get on seeing the progress in my children is priceless.
Professionally, I’m enjoying what I’m doing. Because I never get to work on the same kind of projects again. Each one is unique and requires me to think differently. I thought, programming was not meant for me before joining here. But now, I laugh at what I thought then. This did not happened over night. My team contributed, my mentor contributed and the unique quality of this place is willingness to learn is contributed.
I’m also getting opportunities to attend, practice Stewardship for New Emergence workshops and Vipassana. Every Stewardship workshop, tunes me closer to the values (Love and Courage) I stand for and adds values to what I do. In other hand, Vipassana helps me let go of things that I no longer needed and keeps me aware.
Bala Anand T Aura Auro has provided a space for me to learn, grow and explore myself. I have progressed and become more efficient and efficacious at work(writing scripts and automating code). I also really care about the work I do in the schools and the contribution I do to the society.