Jan 22, 2015

NY Tri-State Donor Brings Science to Life


Hundreds of middle schoolers in rural India are enjoying hands-on science education thanks to the generosity of Professor Eswar Phadia. The former math professor of William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ—now a visiting professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Statistics—is a longtime Pratham supporter who wanted to make his giving more tangible.

This desire manifested itself in the form of a mobile science van.

Like most other subjects in India, science is typically taught through repetitive rote learning. In 2010, Pratham designed a curriculum for middle school children that brings scientific concepts to life by encouraging them to “learn by doing.” Since then, our science program has been introduced in over a dozen states, becoming one of our most popular offerings.

Mobile science vans allow us to bring this curriculum to remote areas of India where schools lack laboratories or even basic science equipment. The van allows children in rural Masuda, Rajasthan (four hours from the nearest city, Jaipur) to enjoy tactile learning experiences using models, telescopes and microscopes.