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India lab wants to be ‘like MIT in the US’

Published April 15, 2019
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MUMBAI, India – When Reetu Jain noticed her nine-year-old son taking an interest in building and programming robots, she decided to find a way for young students to explore and experiment with their budding interests.

Jain, who opened On My Own Technology (OMOTEC) in Mumbai, India, in 2016, said the concept of hands-on robotics is fairly new to India. “There is loads of conceptual knowledge, and India has an amazing level of performance with academic knowledge,” she explained, “but we need more practical, hands-on, application-based learning.” Hence, the idea behind OMOTEC. “We want to get young minds to create their own gadgets and explore and experiment with their imagination.”

In just two short years, OMOTEC has gone from working with a handful of students to bringing engaging robotics programs to 1,200 students and helping integrate robotics into the curriculum of three different Mumbai schools.

“We have mapped the Indian curriculum concepts and worked on developing innovative, practical, hands-on projects that allow students to explore and implement robotics concepts in the real world,” said Jain. “We generate curiosity and open their minds to discovering magic with science, math, engineering, and creative design.”

Another important way OMOTEC helps students solve real-world problems through robotics is by sponsoring and coaching competitive robotics teams. And Pitsco’s TETRIX® is a big part of that. “We chose TETRIX specifically, as it was sturdy and steady in its performance,” said Jain. That choice has paid off for two robotics teams already.

Their 2017-2018 rookie FIRST® Tech Challenge team, Mad Engineers, was the only team in India to fill all 12 glyphs. Likewise, their 2017-2018 World Robot Olympiad team took first in the Open Category in India using TETRIX and will be heading to Thailand in November to compete against teams from all over the world.

OMOTEC has found TETRIX to be a great tool for teaching robotics and coding to students of various ages. “TETRIX gives the real-world feel to young explorers in understanding and executing ideas,” said Jain. “They are dealing with components which they will experience even in their daily lives.”

Jain said OMOTEC hopes to be “the innovation lab of India, much like MIT in the US.” If their early start is any indication, they are well on their way to achieving this goal!

“Young learners benefit from the quality of Pitsco products. The straw rockets, tape measure racers, bridges, KaZoon Kites, as well as straw structure activities allow them to question, explore, wonder, create, and investigate while learning.”

– Rena Mincks, first-grade teacher, Jefferson Elementary, Pullam, Washington

We enable young learners to develop the mind-set, skill set, and tool set needed for future success.

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