By Prajna Subedi
Karkhana works on STEAM education. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths where they use physical objects to understand theoretical concepts. With classes, every week, inside their 1400 sq foot building and classes in schools they work with, Karkhana tries to inculcate 21st century problem solving skills into young minds. Teaching children tinkering, critical thinking and problem solving methods is Karkhana’s major aim.
The classes are tailored where in children are taught to use normal day to day materials and apply the knowledge they have. Examples are the Energy Mela where children use their understanding of conversion of energy, prototyping, presentation skills and more to create carnival games. Karkhana Innovator’s Club focuses on giving enriching afterschool classes to children where they work towards solving a challenge in a 8-12-week period.
Parents perceive Karkhana to be a cool aid that would teach their children to build things and learn to follow instructions, while Karkhana is more focused on giving children life skills and teaching them how to become innovative and personal thinkers.
Parents perceive Karkhana to be a cool aid that would teach their children to build things and learn to follow instructions; while, Karkhana is more focused on giving children life skills and teaching them how to become innovative and personal thinkers. Even if the viewpoint may not necessarily match, Karkhana’s major proponents are educators and principals of schools.
Rakshya Chand, Chief Marketing Officer and one of the ten members of the core team of Karkhana, talks about how there is a fluid hierarchy in Karkhana which basically means that if a person leads a programme, everyone reports to him/her regardless of their position. The core team works with a certain sense of informality all in an environment of learning and mentorship. Karkhana internalises the 4Cs:communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity.
They have impacted 5000 kids and their beecreative classes has expanded to 52 schools – not an easy feat especially when you take into consideration the challenges of demand of accreditation to foreign universities, scarcity of trained-educators, finding people with since they work with a wide milieu of educators which include engineers, designers, scientists, artists, writers among others. Karkhana has always been proud of their failures as they always work to make it better.
They have made a semester course for New York University Abu Dhabi and New York University Shangai and aim to become a regional programme. With an app on the way, Karkhana is expanding to Biratnagar and Pokhara at the national level and are testing waters in Dhaka and Lahore to go regional.