Hyderabad: In order to encourage a culture of thinking and innovation among school students, the Telangana government announced the unveiling of the Telangana School Innovation Challenge 2021.
Jointly organised by Telangana State Innovation Cell (TSIC), UNICEF India, YuWaah and Inqui-lab Foundation, the challenge intends to provide a platform to students from 6th to 10th grade on problem-solving methods and enable them to showcase their innovative solutions for the identified problem statements.
This is the second edition of the challenge and the first edition was aimed at nurturing Design Thinking, Innovation and Entrepreneurial mindsets among young people. SIC is a one-of-its-kind programme catapulting Telangana as the pioneer in promoting design thinking among teachers and students.
Starting from October 2021, the programme will include a host of activities from learning modules to activity-based problem solving, conceptualising innovative solutions for the chosen problem statements. The top innovation from each district across the State will be selected, which will culminate with a boot camp for the 33 finalists followed by the Grand Finale.
This year the programme aims to include Social Welfare schools, Tribal schools, Residential schools, and Private budget schools in addition to Government schools and consequently impact a larger set of students. All the finalists will receive incubation support and the top three winners win cash prizes.
In the previous challenge, over 25,000 government school students (Classes 6-10) and 5,200 teachers were on-boarded and engaged on UNICEF’s UPSHIFT social innovation curriculum. On completion, SIC got 7,000 youth-led entrepreneurial solutions addressing social problems from 33 districts of Telangana.
Telangana IT and Industries Minister K T Rama Rao formally launched the challenge on Monday and said, “Launched the Telangana School Innovation Challenge 2021 along with Education Minister Sabitha Indra Reddy garu to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship among school going students. It is a joint effort of TSIC along with UNICEF India and Inqui-Lab Foundation.”
Telangana Education Minister Sabita Indra Reddy said, “We were delighted with the overwhelming response of 25,000 excited students participating in the first edition of the Telangana School Innovation Challenge. This year too we are happy to partner with UNICEF, YuWaah and Inqui-Lab Foundation to conduct the online ideation challenge across 5,000+ middle and high schools in 33 districts of Telangana.
Dr. Shanta Thoutam, Chief Innovation Officer to Government of Telangana, said, “Through School Innovation Challenge, we sensitise the stakeholders of both government and private budget schools including education officers, science officers, and teachers across the 33 districts who in turn will inculcate design thinking and entrepreneurial mindset among students to solve pressing challenges of their localities.”