Editorial Notes: Educate to Innovate

Educate to Innovate rather than making an exam machine. Several years back, US President Barack Obama announced such a program for engaging science students in performing and invention. This was not the first time but since the 1990s several initiations, program models, and massive resources afforded by the US government to upgrade the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) development; most of the investments provided for school level or pre-college level developments.

The basic aim of involving school students in practical STEM development was to mature scientific interest in younger minds; you know younger ages are the best time to learn first, once young kids realize the beauty of science, their creative minds spontaneously think about scientific modifications and inventions. The repeated call for innovation and investment of huge funding in STEM programs rewarded promising gifts to the nation; today US science is rocking with millions of creative and innovative scientists/engineers, 60k+ doctoral students, and 50K+ postdoctoral fellows who are directly involved in the STEM field.

STEM News: Developed vs Developing countries

Unlike the first-world countries, including the US, Japan, and some of the European nations, most of the third-world countries are lagging far behind. China and South Korea are definitely the exceptions; although these two are considered as developing countries, recent advancements in the STEM field remarkably uplifted the scientific growth in these countries, which reflects in the world’s most reputed scientific journals as well as worldwide popularity of trending products. Notably, both of these countries followed similar STEM development strategies in the last few years, as the US did in the far past.

Another most discussed developing country, India is treated as one of the growing markets in the world. Many multi-national companies have settled their branches in India mainly for two reasons:

  1. Spread their market through the nation.
  2. Hire brilliant Indian brains at a lowest expense.

Also, the country is rich with pharmaceutical, mechanical, agrochemical, and other production houses, thus very popular to the international business world for low-cost production availability. But, the biggest tragedy of the nation is in-house scientific development. Although the recent efforts by a few sincere scientists and researchers afforded some publications in reputed international journals, the science of this country is suffering from almost zero novel discoveries. Such a big nation with a huge population and plenty of natural resources, so more STEM efficiencies are expected.

Notably, the Indian brain is well-demanding over the world; plenty of Indian scientists have shown their efficiencies along with the globe, and of course well appreciated, but still, India itself is lacking with the reports of unique discoveries that an acceptable in practical life. Why?

Reasons behind slow growth of Indian Science

1.Indian educational system is mostly theory-oriented. Thus Indian science students are very strong in theoretical knowledge, but lacking in the sense of dynamic science.
2Insufficient funding scientific research. A few top-rated institutes get funding for modern instruments, but the majority of Indian universities are lacking with minimum research infrastructure or funding.
3.The majority of research students are more focused on job search rather than performing quality research, and this is very usual because the after-research future is highly insecure in India.
4.Gradation system for the university faculties is more dependent on the number of publications rather than quality. Also, there is no specific govt. rules for getting rewarded for high-class research works. So they focus on quick up-gradation.
5.Many Indian faculties perform world-class research during their postdoctoral carrier abroad but become inefficient in the Indian scenario. Among many possible reasons behind this act, poor infrastructure, insufficient research funds, and the Indian gradation system may be highly responsible.
6.Unlike the research environments abroad, many Indian research scholars spend suffocating years during their research periods. Student-guide relationship often becomes extremely poor due to over-pressure or high irresponsibility by the supervisors. Research is the summation of theoretical knowledge and innovation, which need a fresh mind. A disturbed environment influences inefficient research work.
7.Indian parents often avoid understanding their kids’ interests; rather over-force their kids to a specific direction of study. Most parents are over-focused on the theoretical gradation system, but don’t try to grow their interest in an alternate way (practical basis).
8.At the same time, most Indian parents also lead their kids to job-oriented study; the reason is the same, getting a likely job in India is pretty difficult.
9.Last but not the least, STEM programs for engaging young students happen very rarely in India; only a very few institutes arrange this with their personal funding. Unless younger minds realize the beauty of real science, how they can innovate?

[Discussed the discovery scenario in India just for an example; the similar similar situation (or even worst) is faced by most nations those are listed in third world countries or developing countries.]

Educate to Innovate: Why Restrictions?

Scientific development is one of the reasons behind becoming a first-world; that’s why those are also called developed countries. Common people already enjoyed the facilities of scientific inventions hence they are keen to carry the progress upward, and their government is helping them to promote science.

On the other hand, most of the developing countries are suffering from a poor economy and thus the majority of common people of those countries have been unprivileged from the modern facilities, starting from health to technology; mentioning the worst facts, many people in the third-world countries can’t educate their kids, some even can’t feed their babies properly! So, they don’t have ways to think of science, educate to innovate is a completely strange term for them! But this should be changed; otherwise, a part of the world will sink soon.

Governments of different countries have different policies based on geographical, economical, and sociological situations. But, delivering education and science in a proper way is not a difficult job; it’s all about willpower because science is not a property owned by a specific nation, race, or religion. Sustainable science is a wealth precious than anything else that provides us comfort and helps us survive. Subsequently, the slogan of “Educate to Innovate” makes a country real wealthy.

Your Role in “Educate to innovate” Mission

As a resident of a third-world country, you can’t wait for the government’s policy about scientific improvements due to several reasons (these aren’t part of this discussion). But you can rely of your kids’ teachers. If the teachers have restrictions, as a parent you can at least rely on yourself. Try to educate your kids in a manner, so that they can innovate.

Worried? Are you confused about the way to initiate?

It’s simple! Theories are essential. After they learn a theory, just offer them hands-on experience to realize the theory in a practical sense; and do this in a playing manner. Science will become their best friend in a few days.

Not every experiment is possible to perform at home. Contact your kids’ teacher for the specific experiment that needs special requirements.

Also, teach your kids unknown scientific facts with explanations, and let them search for further scopes; provide them STEM toys instead of video games on smartphones. And definitely give them a free space at a specific time of the day; it’s very much required for mind refreshment. Innovation comes from a fresh mind.

Our initiation to succeed “educating to innovate” mission

Kids’ development is a major part of our sustainable science promotion mission. From the very first issue, we are introducing unknown and interesting chemistry and biology-related facts. Following are some of the corresponding links.

Also, we are regularly publishing scientific word puzzles which are very useful for reminding science knowledge (word puzzles are suitable for senior students). (Haven’t published in the current issue due to certain reasons, and will be available in the upcoming issue again).

From this issue, we are starting a new section for your students to grow their scientific interests. This section covers, one experiment that students can perform at home and corresponding theoretical knowledge. You can ask us any question, our expert will answer you with the best possible explanation.

From now and onwards, every issue will contain 1-2 such experiments.

Before wrap up, I must request every parent, must educate your kids to innovate. This is precious, and you and your nation will get the rewards for this in the future.

Finally, here is a call for contribution!

If you are for a scientific background (Chemistry/Biology related), contribute here by sharing your scientific knowledge/expertise.

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