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 occasionally 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.
I have done my masters in business administration from the University of Chicago and a Masters in Supply chain from the University of Warwick. I worked for over 22 years with IBM and other startups while living in the UK, US and Singapore. I worked in various business roles and feel fortunate to have diverse exposure. I moved to Auroville with my family in Mid 2018 from Singapore. I have two children who are currently studying at Future school(daughter) and Deepanam school (son). Auroville has helped change my perspective about the self and the world we live in.
I connected with STEMLand through the Vipasanna group and was interested in supporting youth with skilling and job creation. The initiative with Quilt.AI ( Singapore partner company) has helped us bring the latest in Tech (AI) and Content ( Market Research) to the youth in the bio-region. I currently Mentor the Content Team and am eager to see how we can facilitate the development of highly-skilled, confident and purpose-driven youth.
Sanjay Tumati received his BTech in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and the Masters Degree also in Analog Electronics from Texas A&M University, USA. He has 14 years experience working in the industry having been previously employed with Silicon Laboratories and Analog Devices and locations in the USA, India, Singapore and Canada. Sanjay’s work has found it’s way in chips being used in Cell Phones, Televisions, Automobiles and medical equipment. Sanjay first started mentoring youth in STEMLand starting Jan 2019 and found that he really enjoyed teaching and simplifying complex concepts. Sanjay enjoys solving problems from the Math Olympiads in his spare time and also working on some interesting circuits on breadboards and crude circuit boards in his home Lab. He hopes to help set up a very nice physics and electronics lab in StemLand so children can have fun doing a whole lot of cool and interesting experiments.
After completing a Master degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, I worked as a Senior Assistant professor and Head of the Department in an engineering college for 10 years. I am much interested in building new things which help the society better. I guided many innovative and interesting projects for my students. I believed that I was teaching the students what really needed for their life and growth. But later I realised that the problem is with the existing education system. One fine day I read Sri Aurobindo’s principle of true teaching ” Nothing can be taught”, I felt like “what? …What am I doing? This is not what I suppose to do!”. So, I quit my job and the doctoral research program which was at the final phase and started exploring about alternative education. I came to know about Auroville and its education systems then I joined as a volunteer and started teaching children in Isai ambalam school and later joined in STEM LAND.
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.
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.
I completed M.tech in the field of electronics and Communication. After completing master degree. I felt that, I wasted two year in my career, because I haven’t learned anything useful from my master degree. Then I started learning programming and looking for IT job and came to know about stemland. In stemland, I new got opportunity to (learn, teach, work and grow), which is mostly aligned with my lifetime goal (constant learning). So I felt that being a part of stemland team makes me as a complete being and opens new possibility in my career. Currently I am working on layout team.
My name is Sandhiya Ravi. I deeply care about Courage and Happiness for myself and others. I started(June 2018) my learning and career in STEM land-Aura Auro Design. I learned many of the things like hierarchy based learning, Real-time examples using mathematical concepts, scratch, Geogebra, EBD’s(Education By Design), etc. And I have learned to notice myself through stewardship for new emergence workshop. This workshop really helped a lot. I found my gap and notice myself and I found a solution to handle the situation. I am also getting opportunities to attend Vipassana and Amma Appa workshops.
I have completed B.Tech in Electronics & Communication Engineering. While doing my college I used to attend the evening courses ( Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Basic Electronics, Layout, Elixir, Python Django and Scratch) offered in STEM Land. I enjoyed all the courses and was inspired when I built a Mobile Charger on my own which I also taught to other students. The students also shared their knowledge with me which was very helpful. Currently, I am working for Quilt.AI and looking forward to my and other’s growth.
My name is Prabaharan. I was inspired by STEMland-Aura Auro Design. In Stemland, I learn electronics, programming, and teaching. Stem provides a learning environment where it stimulates curiosity and creativity in learning new things.
I am a Mechanical Engineer worked in several roles with the leading glass container manufacturing unit for 11 years.Knowing that i am not in the right path and crowd, i planned to move out of the conventional life.Risked to kick start a startup providing educational services to Engineering colleges. Worked on 3 different product prototypes catering education and environmental research domain. This journey lasted only for 3 years.
I moved to STEMLAND as a part of my enthusiasm to contribute for the betterment of youth. Intrigued with the way the daily routine was handled, i pivoted myself to the ideologies of STEMLAND. I admitted my two kids(boys) in Isai Ambalam school to make them experience the education is life long journey. Through this, I understood various unknowns and flaws in the current education system. Thanks to the team, who agreed me to be their part and trusted my skills and intentions.
My name is Jenifa. I have completed my bachelor’s degree in the stream of Information technology. Then I worked in sql database for two years in an organization in Chennai. Then there was a big gap in my career before joining Auraauro.
I came to know about stem land auraauro design where we can get the opportunity to learn and grow along with others. I have got an opportunity here to continue my Growth & Learning with auroaura. It is a space that is open to explore new things and to develop inner capacity, Skill where one could serve their community and for social wellbeing. And, the alternative education inspired me to be a part of STEM Land which is totally different from the existing school education system.
After joining Aura Auro Design my critical thinking has improved. I am learning new programming languages, scratch programming and mathematics to support children. I can notice a change in my inner being. There have been a lot of new experiences. I am happy to be at the place of most potential where I got the opportunity to learn, grow, work and support others.
My name is Kalaiarasi. I stand for honesty and happiness for my self and others .I have completed B.Tech in the field of information technology and have a degree in Bachelor of Education. I have started my career at STEMland as an intern from (3nd Feb. 2020). I feel happy to be a part of STEM land as it is a place for learning. Every day I am learning something new and I am adding value to the skills that I have learnt before. Along with the technology I also learnt the values of Humanity , Trust , Responsibility and Equality . I am looking forward to make my valuable contribution here.
After completing my B.Tech (Computer Science), I joined STEM Land as an intern in July(2018) to learn something new. I see STEM Land as a place of growth in many aspects and a resource center where I gained knowledge in different fields such as Electronics, Mathematics, Programming, and many other technical skills. Apart from that, Workshops like Stewardship for new emergence and Vipassana has helped me grow as a person. I feel happy to be a part of STEM Land where I can learn, grow, work and contribute to other’s growth in every possible way.
I deeply care about human unity. I have completed a Master in English and comparative literature at Pondicherry Central University and received a Master in Education at Azim Premji School of Education at Tata Institute of Social Sciences ( TISS). While I was pursuing my undergraduate and postgraduate I was volunteering at Thamarai After school with kids who come from various schools and different grades. I was a coordinator of the team and scaffolding the kids with their homework. I was part of the Stewardship for New Emergency program. Initially, I was a participant who got an opportunity to know about myself and what I really care about. This made me feel who I am as a being and what is my role in the community and for society. Later I was a practitioner coach for the program both in English and Tamil session Amma Appa Program.
Then, I have got an opportunity to continue my Growth & Learning at Aura Auro Design Organisation. It is a space that is open to explore new things and to develop inner capacity, Skill and Competency, where one could serve their community and for the social well being. Here, I’m still continuing the stewardship practice along with meditation called Anapana which adds to my growth, inner capacity and grounds me in what I do. I am still continuing my learning and growth by engaging in a field study by entailing through various new projects and by involving at school teaching the kids. I don’t feel like an employee of Auro Aura Design, it just gives me a feeling of space where I am enriching myself and contributing to society.
The alternative education inspired me to be a part of STEM Land which is different from the existing school education system. When I was pursuing my Education Degree I was curious about alternative education and interned at Isaiambalam School and learned a lot of new methods of teaching the Syllabus and the framing of different curriculum. Later when I joined STEM Land I got engaged in an English Second language research and implemented it in the school. This made me content where I engaged in my field of education and contributed for the well being of the rural children and my community. Being a teacher, teaching the children, I am also a learner who learns new things from kids and my colleagues in the organisation and interested in augmenting my knowledge and skill.
Likewise the organisation aided me to attend the Epi-STEM-8 conference to build my confidence and research skill. Similarly, I am involved in various activities such as research and teaching in STEM land and working on projects of the Quilt.AI content team at Aura Auro Design where I am learning new things from various projects with contentment 🙂
Perseverance and equality are the most important values that I stand for myself and others. I completed my Bachelors in Engineering. Then, I experienced in the fields of Business Development and Inventory Management in a couple of companies, I worked before joining STEM land. My interest is to learn more about language and curious about creative arts. Through the opportunity of being a volunteer at Isai Ambalam school, I embarked developing my skills in June 2019. I learnt to teach children by observing the classes of other fellow teachers. I learnt Abalone, Rubik’s cube and Scratch from children, and learnt the basics of Python from adults in STEM land. And I got a different opportunity to explore with the Quilt.AI content team in September 2019. There, I understood more about human empathy, demographics and cultural perspectives.
STEM land supports a lot for my growth, notably, the Stewardship for New Emergence, where I noticed my strength and fear and began to develop my inner values. Using the tools, I found solutions to raise myself in life whenever I felt myself down. So I could notice the gap in myself. I developed patience, self-awareness, compassion and started paying more attention to the present moment by practising Vipassana. As the next step in my career, I got involved in English research works along with my teammates. I was surprised being included as a part of the Anapana (Awareness through breath) research team, that too in 20 days after the completion of a ten days Vipassana course.
From the Inspiration project, I learnt several good qualities that I need to build and incorporate myself. I realized the actual values of integrity and responsibility in this organization. I could see such inspiring people in the community and their dedication towards the welfare of society. With that motivation, I accepted the opportunity to volunteer with the CoAST(COVID Action Support Team) India. That initiated my thoughts towards society into action.
My name is Hariharan. I completed my bachelor’s degree in the stream of Mechanical Engineering at SMVEC affiliated to Pondicherry University. After my course completion, It was a roller coaster of my carrier. I began my carrier as a design engineer in a manufacturing company. Later started to work in a financial company for a year and an opportunity came to serve for SBI (Digital banking unit). From 2017 I began to work in SBI till the end of 2019.
I did my Bachelors in Electronics and Communication Engineering. Currently, I’m pursuing a Masters in Business Administration. Previously I worked for IBM in TSM(Backup and Recovery) for two years due to some personal issues, I left the job and looked for a job near pondy. I joined KINISI, an E-cycle assembling and rental unit in Auroville and worked almost a year. I came to know about STEM land were you get an opportunity to learn, grow and help others. In a few months, I can see changes in myself. Sessions with renowned Professors like Sundaram and Ravi gave me a different perspective on education and how to educate children progressively. I’ve volunteered to help the Jharkhand migrants to go back to their state, which gave me job satisfaction which I haven’t experienced before. My English speaking and writing skills improved due to book reading and writeup sessions by Sriman. I’m eagerly waiting to teach students what I learned to make them grow.
I have completed B.E. in Electronics and Communication Engineering. After completing my college studies, I was working at an E-publishing company, where I used to format contents which were written by other people. There wasn’t any time to stop and read the content. I used to type, format and send the drafts, repeatedly. After some time, I realized that I have stopped learning new things and was doing things repeatedly, which I knew. I got frustrated and wanted to learn more than this. That time I came to know about the opportunities at STEM Land by my friend, and I joined as an Intern here. After joining, I saw my world different from my past. I saw people teaching, learning, working, simultaneously engaging themselves in many activities and progressing. I felt very happy and excited to be here and learn. I joined Quilt Content Team and now learning many tools, learning many things from each task, reading books every week and from these I could see progress in my skills and my English. I also had an opportunity to attend the Stewardship program, I found it helpful for my personal development. Overall, I am feeling very happy to teach, learn and be part of this team.
Myself Poovendiran I’m B.Tech graduate in the field of Mechanical. I have started my career as a volunteer in the field of 3d printing in Auroville and start to travel around some places near to it. At the month of March 2020, I heard about Place STEM Land the place where people work, develop themself, teaching children and Exploring new things. Later I had an opportunity to meet some nice persons and started my journey with them. I joined in the content team which supports Quilt.AI. Developing myself by learning many Tools and writing skills. Supporting children by teaching and interacting with them gives me self-satisfaction and happiness. It is a great opportunity for me to explore myself. I feel happy to be a part of STEM LAND.
I started exploring in many activities during my school days. At the age of 17, I was a facilitator in Swalearn organisation, and it was the space for youth to learn by themselves. I have learnt Photography, Graphic design, Hands-on activities, Concentration activities, etc. I have learnt HOT skills like Collaboration, Leadership, Decision making, Creative, Analysing, Time management, Planning, etc. I also volunteered in Mohanam Kindergarten School, Swaram and did documentary videos for Bamboo centre, Earth & Us.
By then, I completed my Bachelors in Computer Application. During my 3rd year of college, I got the opportunity to join as an intern in Yaha Life Private Limited (wellbeing company). After a year, I was employed by Yaha Life Private Limited as a Junior product developer. Simultaneously I was working in the design team, also learnt the basics of Web designing. I have documented seminars conducted by the company in Chennai, Mumbai, Surat and Indore.
I came to know about Stem land, which has qualitative and quantitative skilled person up to their level. I felt that I could learn and deliver a lot more in this space. This makes my curiosity to join in Stem land. I feel happy to be part of this innovative organisation. I want to learn and improve my inner capacity and share my knowledge and skills with my community.
I am Punithan, a Post Graduate from Pondicherry/Auroville and currently an intern at Quilt.Ai. During my bachelor’s degree, being an outgoing person, I have actively participated in various outreach programs through which I was able to serve many youth in the near-by slums at Chennai providing them service such as helping then set a job, opening bank accounts, etc. While pursuing my MBA is when I took a keen interest in research and marketing related work and also had the privilege to present my papers in international conferences and seminars.
Being a person who loves to participate in things from where I get to learn something new and enhance my knowledge, coming across STEM Land through an acquaintance was a cherry on the cake. Having met Dr. Sanjeev Ranganathan it was not only inspiring for me but also one of the prime factors that drove me to be a part of this organization where I have the privilege to expand my area of interest.
I did my graduation in mechanical engineering in 2017. I prepared for GATE after my graduation. I started working as a teacher in Isai Ambalam school in the year 2018. I was very keen on learning and teaching mathematics. When I was working as a teacher I learned how to teach maths using STEM, Montessori materials, and tools like GeoGebra and scratch. I found that my learning curve raised steeply while teaching. During this time I also attended a stewardship program which gave me more insight and helped me in improving the quality of my work. Along with teaching, I started working as an intern in the layout team of STEM land from Feb 2020. Initially, I thought that being a mechanical engineer, working in electronics might be difficult. Then I took an online basic Electrical circuits course by prof. Nagendra KrishnaPura that boosted my confidence. Now I am undergoing training in the analysis and design of Analog circuits under the guidance of Sanjay Tumati. By the design course, I have understood solving the circuits intuitively and how to use the Lt spice simulator. I also become comfortable with cadence virtuoso, Skill programming, and Python programming. For me, STEM land is the learning place where I can focus on my inner growth as well as professional. I am looking forward to my growth in design, layout, and in automation.
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 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 of the Education system. Because, it’s 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 happen overnight. My team contributed, my mentor contributed and the unique quality of this place is a 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 awake.
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 society.
Currently works on smart-irrigation systems at Auroville Consulting.
He had volunteered in STEM Land(Science Technology Engineering Mathematics Land) from June 2015. From January 2016 he has been working with children in Udavi School and Isai Ambalam School, both outreach(rural) schools of Auroville. STEM instructor for 3 years in innovative pedagogy STEM Land(Science Technology Engineering Mathematics Land) a space of learning for children and adults in Auroville. Also received training as a professional teacher through government supported program for in-service teachers.
Has worked with Aura Semiconductor Pvt. Ltd for about 2 and half years and delivered products with them on embedded system software and worked as a Data Scientist with Singapore based company Quilt.AI.
Delivered at Sinthanai Sangamam seminar and has published 4/5 papers on innovative education at peer reviewed international conferences like the MES as well epiSTEME.
He is also trained as a Practitioner Coach by Dr. Monica Sharma (ex-UN Director of leadership) in leadership training programs. He has also been organizing(English and Tamil leadership training programs) and delivering the tools in Tamil leadership training programme in Auroville. Conducts sessions for teachers and children as well as the stewardship program in Tamil for the past 3 years. Currently works on design of drinking water systems in Auroville.
The first time when I came to STEM land in Udavi school I felt that learning has no end. I also learned that age doesn’t matter when I am open to learning 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 started working on what I wanted to accomplish. I got inspired by the children and 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.
My name is Thamizhselvi. Perseverance and courage are the two values that I stand for myself and others. I completed my B.Ed in Pope Jhon Paul college of Education in 2014. I started my journey of teaching at Aikiyam, and I learnt many techniques and skills there as a teacher. In 2019, I joined Stemland as a part of the Quilt.AI content team, which helped me to understand more about the minds of people and to improve my skills as a desk researcher.
After joining Stemland, I enjoyed the new culture, which was being practised there. I never saw any organization which provides a space for constant learning as Stemland. It supports a lot for my growth, especially after attending the Stewardship workshop, I found myself that I have deepened myself. It helped me in strengthening my creativity and my level of thinking. When the tools are being practised together as a team, I noticed that the impacts of it were astonishing. It also helped me to understand human unity better. This organization helped me to be a better human in the earth by providing an opportunity working there. The most touched tools for me were was integrity and responsibility. I realized that these two tools are powerful tools to shapen myself. Stem land is a place where one can continuously grow.
By being part of the Isaiambalam school, I really enjoyed working with the kids there. By teaching the kids there, I learnt many things from the students there. Many activities are going there simultaneously. Sanjeev has created such an incredible teaching system which is different than a regular school. He has also implemented some of the Stewardship tools to the children, and I was amazed to see the impacts of it with the older kid. I really loved being a teacher there. The inspiration project taught me many values, and I saw the results it brought to them. At some point, I was also jealous of the children by recognizing the skills, especially at the Rubix cube competition. I learnt the basics of the Rubix cube from the children of Isaiambalam. I am very grateful to Sanjeev who gave me an opportunity of working at Stemland, and I acknowledge him for caring others growth consistently.
I have completed my B.E. from Pune and have been working since then in border regions of India – Jammu – Kashmir, Ladakh and North Eastern states in the field of education, social entrepreneurship development and awareness on the triad of Communication-Trust-Development.
Auroville itself is a place where the emphasis is on the thorough development of an individual and it’s no different for STEM Land volunteers. From daily morning meditation (Anapana) to teaching school children and learning from them to working on improving my programming skills at work has been an enriching experience. With everyone always there to help, I never felt that I have come far from my home state. I am grateful for this opportunity to learn and grow as part of STEM Land.