Chennai, India – April 18th, 2023: The LEAP Inter-Collegiate Open House, powered by the IIT Madras Incubation Cell was held at IITM Research Park, displaying the ingenious creations of 110 students from three colleges who underwent the LEAP approach of project-based learning. These students identified social issues, conceptualized solutions, and fabricated functioning prototypes during a single semester. Out of all the teams, the top seven were picked to participate in the Open House competition.
The student’s product concepts stemmed from personal experiences and a keen observation of societal needs, resulting in a diverse array of innovations such as a bike accident detector, a robotic feeder for the elderly/disabled, and a CO-detector for cars. The product demos effectively showcased the team’s innovative thinking, with the guidance of LEAP-trained faculty and industry experts, who provided mentorship and conducted sessions on product design and development.
LEAP, or Learn Engineering by Activity with Products, founded by Prof. Timothy A Gonsalves, Founding Director of IIT Mandi, aims to revolutionize the way engineering colleges approach education by offering a unique reverse engineering led learning methodology. LEAP also collaborates closely with colleges to train and empower faculty, ensuring a multiplier effect for knowledge dissemination.
The Open House event was attended by industry experts such as Ms. Damayanti Bhattacharya, CEO of Maker Bhavan Foundation, and Ms. B. Jayasri, Vice-President of HCL.
Speaking on LEAP’s approach, Prof. Timothy Gonsalves, Founding Director, IIT Mandi, said, “LEAP provides hands on experience building useful products from 1st BTech onwards. Students in remote areas such as Idukki and Tirunelveli interact with industry experts to gain product-development skills on par with students from the best colleges in the cities and metros. We aim to impact 7000 students, 500 faculty and 70 colleges over the next 3 years.”
“Projects shown today highlights the potential of budding engineers to create solutions for societal needs. This initiative is a part of IITM Research Park’s 10 X vision to foster technical skill development among young engineering graduates, particularly from tier 2 and 3 cities. The goal of the program is to equip, nurture, and encourage these students to emerge as leading technologists in the nation, and develop home-grown solutions to address India’s most critical challenges.”, added Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala, President, IITM Research Park & IITM Incubation Cell.
The LEAP initiative aims to continue to facilitate the participation of engineering students, including those from rural engineering colleges, in hands-on projects that address real-world challenges. This empowers them to engage in creative design and contribute towards solving practical problems faced by society.