Vishnu Anirudh is a volunteer mentor for the Savanturiers programme at a school in Gatwick during the 2017/2018 school year. He talks about his commitment to the students of the school’s science club.
Who are you and why did you decide to get involved with Les Savanturiers?
VA : “I am a Software Engineer working for the Avionics business unit of Thales UK. I joined Thales in 2015 as part of the Graduate Development Programme.
During the Big Bang Fair (a major UK STEM fair targeting youth), I was made aware of the fact that too few high school students are pursuing STEM careers. Having a passion in technology, I thought I can share my experience with the students and thus, kindle their interests in engineering careers. Les Savanturiers is an adventure that immediately caught my attention. I want to give back to society what it has enabled me to achieve so far, by helping young people understand scientific issues and challenges.”
Can you please briefly describe the project you are leading as a Savanturiers mentor?
VA : « As a Savanturiers mentor, I help the STEM club of the Gatwick school to conduct a scientific project. I go there about once a month to supervise the students from 9 to 20 years old who are members of this club. This year, they want to build a submarine that can move underwater, take water samples and analyze them. At the end, this machine should be able to measure water pollution and raise environmental awareness.”
What type of skills do you have to use or implement to lead this project?
VA : « I think it is important to be able to explain complex concepts in a simple manner. This simplification captures children’s attention and shows them that they are capable of dealing with any difficulties. Also, it is important to help the students plan the project as per the required timeline.»
What impacts on the children have you noticed?
VA : « I observed they were very excited as they were bringing an idea to reality. They have been enthusiastic and proactive all along. They are very proud to see their creation in reality.This eventually makes them confident to try more ideas. From the beginning, I’ve really seen progress!
I was surprised at how their ideas have been taking shape. It is good to see them taking full advantage of their resources and thinking through various stages on their own.»
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