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Parag Gore Education Venture Box Of Science Activity Based Learning Pune

He unboxes a child’s potential with his Box of Science

Most of us agree with the notion that Education System in India needs a revolution of sorts and not just reforms. The current system of book-based and theory-oriented teaching ought to be modified to make the students learn by practice and experience that will enable cognitive growth and development. While a majority of us only keep harping about it, there are few who have taken it upon themselves to change the current learning models. Meet Pune based Parag Gore, who, through the unique DIY kits produced by his edu venture Box of Science, is transforming the way science is experienced by the students and taught by teachers. With over 50,000 students benefitting from his Activity Based Learning models in the last 5 years, Parag feels his journey has only begun.

Parag Gore - Box of Science
Parag Gore – Box of Science

The Actuation phase

The seeds got sown in 2003 when Parag , then in 10th standard, wanted to make his friends aware about an important space event. There was news in newspaper about possible visibility of International Space Station (ISS) with naked eyes. A curious mind throughout his schooling, Parag went through a number of books and magazines, but he couldn’t find much on ISS. Internet was costly and Internet cafes were limited in those days in Ahmednagar. Still, he managed to download some information. So much excited was he that he convinced and gathered tens of friends for the unique event. The night came and they saw a small dot of light passing over a clear beautiful starry sky. It was mesmerizing! It turned out to be a defining moment for him. He got so enthused that he decided to start a science communication group with the help of his friends. They started with public lectures on astronomy, organizing talks of scientists, slide shows, sky observation programs, science festivals in schools etc. Their network of volunteer friends made it possible for them to reach hundreds of students in those days.

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Parag Gore at Ahmednagar Bhaskaracharya Astronomy Research Center in 2005 with Dr SB Nimase and mentor Dinesh Nisang
Throwback : Parag Gore (right) at Ahmednagar’s Bhaskaracharya Astronomy Research Center in 2005 with Dr SB Nimase (now VC Lucknow University) and Dinesh Nisang

 

Parag Gore with mentor Dinesh Nisang
Throwback : Parag Gore with Dinesh Nisang and the telescope they made

 

Parag Gore at Daund Station
Throwback : Education needs no bounds – Parag Gore mentors at Daund Railway Station

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By the time Parag cleared 12th, he was drawn into Science popularization activities. He started writing series of articles for newspapers. One of his article series , VigyanVarta, ran for more than 100 weeks. Apart from this, he also wrote number of episodes for Akashwani (explaining about miracles of the Universe). His dream back then was to become an Astrophysicist. So he took admission in BSc and graduated in Physics. He also made a telescope as part of his project in B.Sc.

After completing B.Sc., he got admission for M.Sc. in Pune University in Instrumentation Science. During his PG, he got an opportunity to do a project at India Meteorological Department (IMD), Pune. There he learned in detail about atmosphere, meteorological observations, instruments used for observations, aviation meteorological data acquisition, RADAR and other interesting things. Meanwhile, he held number of training programs for teachers and kids during these years. Most of them were focused on activity based science education. He realized that there is a huge gap between talent and skills, knowledge and application within kids. During this journey, his inclination shifted from being Astrophysicist to building a career in Science Communication.

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Parag Gore Science Popularization Activity in a school
Parag Gore believes science can be best understood through experiential learning models

 

Parag Gore Science Popularization Activity
Parag Gore during a Science Popularization session

 

Parag Gore believes activity based learning helps in boosting creativity and confidence among children
Parag Gore believes activity based learning helps in boosting creativity and confidence among children

 

Parag Gore during a Renewable Energy Workshop at Surat in 2013
Parag Gore during a Renewable Energy Workshop at Surat in 2013

 

Parag Gore during MIT College Astronomy club inauguration in 2011
Parag Gore speaking during MIT College Astronomy club inauguration in 2011

 

Parag Gore Box Of Science - Workshop at Jnan Prabodhini Nigdi Pimpri
Parag Gore Box Of Science – Workshop at Jnan Prabodhini Nigdi Pimpri

 

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Unboxing Education

After completion of his PG, Parag joined a firm as a science trainer. But shortly, he quit the job and started Science in Action Club with his friends for training and developing resources on Experiential Education. Soon they developed number of kits and programs under brand of Box of Science. In the initial stages, their first hurdle was scarcity of funds and resources. As there were very few people in science activities, they had to develop their own structure and do exhaustive research. Soon, they succeeded in developing around 50 activities that were mapped with school syllabus of major boards around various states (Including CBSE,ICSE etc.). Parag then started contacting schools and educational institutions for spreading this culture of activity based education. But, he faced another hurdle.

There came number of days when we had to just sit and revisit our plans, strategies due to setbacks. But something inside gave me the strength again to stand and explore new directions, to keep exploring what we have started.
Parag Gore, Founder – Box of Science

The hurdle was cost! They realized that the schools were finding the cost of their add-on learning tools and programs as a roadblock in clinching deals. Parag and his team then decided to go back to the drawing board and with further research and brainstorming, they were able to come up with cost effective kits and programs not only for urban schools but for rural ones as well. Their smart work started bearing fruit and many of the schools accepted their learning models of science education.

Education for passing exams and getting jobs is mere one way to look at it. Education can be more than that. At Box of Science, we innovate ways to nurture curious little geniuses, and we believe that education comes first for any transformation to be achieved.
Parag Gore, Founder – Box of Science

 

Box of Science Portfolio

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Parag Gore Box of Science - Robotics workshops
Parag Gore Box of Science – Robotics workshops

 

Parag Gore Box Of Science - DIY Chemistry Lab Kit
Parag Gore Box Of Science – DIY Chemistry Lab Kit

 

Parag Gore Box Of Science - DIY Solar Car Kit
Parag Gore Box Of Science – DIY Solar Car Kit

 

Parag Gore Box Of Science - DIY Reusable Energy Kits
Parag Gore Box Of Science – DIY Reusable Energy Kits

 

Parag Gore Box Of Science - DIY Reusable Energy Kits
Parag Gore Box Of Science – DIY Reusable Energy Kits

 

Parag Gore Box Of Science - Science Activity Clubs by Partnering with Schools
Parag Gore Box Of Science – Science Activity Clubs by Partnering with Schools

 

Parag Gore Box Of Science - Teachers Workshops
Parag Gore Box Of Science – Workshops for Teachers

 

Parag Gore Box Of Science - Science Exploration Activities
Parag Gore Box Of Science – Activity based Science Exploration Activities

 

Parag Gore Box Of Science - Astronomy Popularization Activities
Parag Gore Box Of Science – Astronomy Popularization Activities

 

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Achievements
♦ Reached out to more than 50,000 students since 2012
♦ Conducted workshops in more than 100 schools so far
♦ Teachers trained so far – 1000+
♦ Last Year:  Reached 17 schools, 5000+ children in Pune alone
♦ CSR projects for many organizations like SAMPARC Balgram, Snehalaya, Smriti Pratishthan, ISKON, Aranyanand etc.
♦ Got affiliation with Vigyan Prasar’s VIPNET
♦  Box of Science kits delivered across many cities in India

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Parag Gore Box Of Science Kids Enjoy Activities
The sparkle in their eyes, the amusement, a feeling of achievement – children provide us some of the best feedback mechanisms – Parag Gore, Box of Science

Parag Gore Box Of Science Kids Enjoy Activity Based Learning
It feels so great to see the children beaming with pride when they complete their activities – Parag Gore, Box Of Science

 

Parag Gore Box of Science - Girls had fun learning science
Science can be a lot more fun than how it is taught today. We are doing our bit to bring a positive change – Parag Gore, Box of Science

Parag Gore Box Of Science Kids Enjoy Activity Based Education
That smile on their face is what keeps us going – Parag Gore, Box of Science

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Currently, they have more than 200 activities in science, robotics, astronomy and other fields. They have partnered with many schools to run science clubs for students and also frequently conduct science teachers’ training programs with their DIY kits to augment classroom teaching. Moreover, they also conduct robotic programs, astronomy events and innovative science activities based programs at their facilitation centres. They are in the process of scaling up and developing their own centres called Box of Science hub across multiple cities in India.

Parag Gore with his team from Box of Science
Parag Gore with his team from Box of Science

At Box of Science, we believe that education has power to transform any nation. But the way of educating little curious sparkles needs to be revamped. Current system lacks in many ways. One of that is experiential approach. Hence we have dedicated our efforts to transform it.
Parag Gore, Founder – Box of Science

 

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