Internationally Acclaimed Innovator William Kamkwamba Addresses Students on Green Energy at the Shiv Nadar School STEAM Conclave

May 8, 2024: Internationally acclaimed innovator William Kamkwamba, whose life inspired the popular Netflix biopic, “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” addressed students from different schools of Delhi NCR at the Shiv Nadar School campuses in Noida, Faridabad, and Gurgaon on May 6th, 7th, and 8th respectively. He was invited as the chief guest to the STEAM Conclave themed, ‘Innovate To Sustain: Green Energy, Essential For Earth’s Tomorrow.’

Mr. Kamkwamba is a Malawian inventor, engineer, and author. He gained fame in 2001 when he demonstrated resourcefulness and self-education by building a wind turbine to power multiple electrical appliances in his family’s home using blue gum trees, bicycle parts, and materials collected from a scrapyard.

Addressing the students, he said, “It was indeed a great experience to be at the Shiv Nadar School STEAM Conclave. My advice to students is they shouldn’t be afraid of failure. Failing is just an opportunity to learn and explore different ways. Also, don’t be afraid, don’t be shy about asking other people.” Speaking further, he said, “In order to deal with climate change issues, we need to work together. It’s not going to take just one solution; it will take several solutions. “Working with younger people in schools is a great starting point because if we instill the idea in their minds that they can be part of solving climate change issues, they will grow up knowing they can have an everlasting impact on the world. Training young people will also empower them to educate future generations.”

Additionally, he shared invaluable insights on cultivating an ecosystem within educational institutions that nurture students’ talents and skills. He interacted with the students and discussed STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) and explored hands-on activities aligned with Sustainable Development Goal 7 – ensuring access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy for all.

The Shiv Nadar School’s STEAM department is actively involved in engaging students in hands-on activities related to SDG- 7. Multiple other STEAM projects showcasing student stewardship towards the environment were put on display during the conclave, respectively, in the presence of esteemed guests: William Kamkwamba, Dr. Nitendra Singh, President IYNS, Nuclear Safety and Design Engineer IREF France and Dr. Sandeep Chatterjee, Senior Director, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology Government of India.

The conclave comprised a panel discussion followed by paper presentations by students from Shiv Nadar School and other schools. The winners of the pitch presentation were “Project Urja” from Shiv Nadar School, Noida, which secured the first position; the first runner-up “Flowing water energy plant” from Shiv Nadar School, Faridabad and the second runner-up project “Pots made of cow dung and fly ash” from Shiv Nadar School, Gurgaon

The conclave served as an excellent platform, bringing together students, educators, and experts to honour science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM). The school’s focus is on sustainable progress, with the theme showcasing their commitment to cultivate innovation in green energy.

Priya Nanda, Director of Education, Shiv Nadar School, said, “Today, sustainability is an imperative for all of us, and as a responsible institution that believes in preparing students for a better tomorrow, this initiative underscores our commitment to nurturing a culture of innovation, collaboration, and achieving the sustainable development goals. The STEAM Conclave represents our dedication to giving students a chance to engage and learn from people like William Kamkwamba, who serves as an inspiration to many across the globe in championing the sustainability cause while overcoming barriers in life.”

Speaking on the importance of innovation and collaboration in the education sector, Vinita Sharat – Head of STEAM & Science Outreach, Shiv Nadar School, emphasised on the importance of prioritising these skills among students in addressing the current reality of climate change. She highlighted how learning that extends beyond books can equip students with the abilities of deep observation, ideation and critical thinking to solve problems effectively.

Shiv Nadar School, renowned for its dedication to cultivating young talent, consistently spearheads initiatives to nurture innovation. Events like the STEAM Conclave serve as platforms for meaningful engagement, where participants tackle significant societal challenges, engage in constructive dialogues, and ignite transformative ideas.

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