From ITI to IIT Gandhinagar – 10 students from ITIs impress with their work during the MACOM Program by CCL IITGN

Gandhinagar: A total of 10 students from different Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) across Gujarat recently completed their four months’ intensive hands-on internship under the MACOM (Makers and Communicators) Program by the Centre for Creative Learning (CCL) at the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN). Prof Sudhir K Jain, Director, IITGN and Shri Supreet Gulati (IAS), Director of Employment & Training – Gujarat graced the students’ graduation ceremony and appreciated their work on display.

These 10 students were selected from a pool of about 250 final year ITI students from all over Gujarat, after conducting six experiential learning workshops, to constitute the pilot batch of the MACOM program. This flagship program for ITI/Polytechnic students, actively supported by Directorate of Employment & Training, Government of Gujarat, is meant to train the next-generation makers and exemplary communicators for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), in order to advance STEM education across schools and colleges. The idea is also to equip ITI students with new-age skills that can prepare them better for today’s technologically advanced world and boost their employment opportunities.

During the past four months, these 10 students, namely Akash Umraliya from ITI Shihor; Parth Kumbhani from ITI Surat; Vinod Gutukade from ITI Surat; Dinesh Rathod from ITI Saraspur; Ajay Raydas from ITI Maninagar; Hiren Vasava from ITI Vyara; Nirav Patel from ITI Pardi; Rohit Prasad from ITI Gorwa; Hina Patel from ITI Gorwa Mahila; and Sandip Baraiya from ITI Porbandar, have worked round the clock under the mentorship of Prof Manish Jain and Shri Neeraj Sharma at CCL lab, to learn how to make STEM education experiential and interesting.

The students hadn’t worked on computers or software earlier, but at the end of this program, they are equipped with the knowledge and application of five software and more than 10 machines, including Autodesk Inventor & OnShape for 3D Modelling, CorelDRAW for 2D design, Laser-cutter, Power tools such as jigsaw, sander, table saw, welding machine etc., TinkerCad for electronic simulation, Python, and so on. They operated 3D printers, programmed Arduinos as well as understood the underlying principles of all models and machines. As a major project, they carved approx. 2 ft. automatons out of raw wood. They have also made Science and Math models out of inexpensive everyday materials such as pen, pencil, paper, bottles, safety pins etc. Not only this, after acquiring these skills, the interns also went to the government schools of Palaj and Basan to impart the knowledge to high-school students.

Some of their project put on display included Charkha Generator, Electricity Generator, DC Motor, Mechanical Laser Cam, Magnetic Pen Stand, Pencil Spinner, Coin Picker Automaton, Pushing Man Automaton, Marble Machine, Ghost Cubes, Platonic & Archimedean Lamps, Logo Maker, and so on. All the students were awarded certificates by IIT Gandhinagar. Earlier in September 2019, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Vijaybhai Rupani has also felicitated these students for their accomplishments.

Appreciating the ardency and skills shown by these students, Prof Sudhir K Jain, Director, IITGN, said, “There is immense talent and skill in our youth even from the remotest part of the country. They only need the right guidance and mentorship to turn their ideas into reality. Through the MACOM program of CCL, IIT Gandhinagar intends to reach out to grassroots youth of Gujarat, help hone their hidden skills and boost their interest in STEM education. We are very glad to see what these students could achieve in a mere four months’ time.”

Shri Supreet Gulati (IAS), Director of Employment & Training – Gujarat, was also impressed by the work of ITI students.

Vinod Gutukade, a student of ITI Surat, who worked on Rouleaux Car and Mechanical Laser Cam along with his team-mate Dinesh Rathod from ITI Saraspur, described this internship as a great opportunity and shared, “When we came to IITGN, our knowledge was very limited. But we are going back with ample practical skills and knowledge of latest software and machines as well as underlying principles behind all the models. We came to know how scientific toys can attract school kids towards learning it. Now I want to dedicate my life to this and spread Science in places where it hasn’t reached.”

Hina Patel, a student of ITI Gorwa Mahila, Vadodara, who worked on Platonic & Archimedean Lamps and Ghost Cubes along with her team-mate Sandip Baraiya from ITI Porbandar, shared her journey at CCL IITGN and said, “We did not know how to work on software, drill machine, laser machine etc., but we could learn all those things practically during this time. My fear for software, machines has gone. I am from draughtsman line, but this experience has completely changed my interest and now I want to take this knowledge to various schools. I will also share it with my friends at ITI.”