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AWS extends the Think Big Space Program to two municipal schools in Thane to empower students with science and technology knowledge

Education, Technical, India

Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced the expansion of the AWS Think Big Space program in the Mumbai Metro Region by introducing it to two government-run schools in Thane, Maharashtra. The AWS Think Big Space is a focused program to enable students to cultivate an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) disciplines. The program has been introduced to students of Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) School number 60 and number 112, to benefit more than 220 students in the age group of six to 15 years. This marks the 20th Think Big Space to be setup in India by the AWS InCommunities program, which aims to make a positive difference to communities, especially in regions where AWS builds and operates its global cloud computing infrastructure.

AWS Think Big Spaces are labs designed to provide students from underserved communities a place beyond the classroom to explore and cultivate an interest in STEAM disciplines. These labs encourage a hands-on approach, enabling students to tinker and explore so that they can think big to solve real-world problems. The program provides learners a STEAM-based curriculum, practical knowledge sessions, and advanced learning methods. Experts in the STEAM fields take part in the program, and use the learning materials to explain STEAM-related concepts to children. The program aims to develop a generation of students who can address challenges, think critically, and solve problems for the future through early inspiration and exposure to STEAM subjects.

Abhijit Bangar, Municipal Commissioner, Thane said, “We are truly delighted with the initiative taken by AWS in bringing the Think Big Spaces program to our municipal schools. It is a significant opportunity for our students to cultivate their interest in STEAM disciplines, and a step that opens doors to tremendous opportunities for our young learners. The program’s name itself is inspiring, as it encourages students to think big and dream beyond boundaries. We are grateful that AWS chose these schools among many options available in Thane to start this program, recognizing the potential and talent within our students. Together, we will empower our children to make the best use of this platform and foster their curiosity in the fields of STEAM.”

Saji P.K., Director of Data Center Operations, Asia-Pacific, Japan and China, AWS said, “AWS is committed to making a positive impact in the communities where we operate, and help bridge the learning needs of underserved and underrepresented communities. Our Think Big Space program provides the impetus for schoolchildren to explore topics like robotics and artificial intelligence, and apply their classroom learning. Educators tell us that this program spurs creative thinking and problem-solving capabilities in students, supplementing classroom lessons. We have also seen that students who actively take part in this program have gone on to showcase their science and technology ideas in state and national-level competitions, which give them immense confidence and unique opportunities to excel. We  are pleased to introduce this program in Thane, and would like to thank the Thane Municipal Corporation for their support.”

The new program by AWS InCommunities in Thane adds to the multiple initiatives already undertaken by AWS in the Mumbai Metro Region to enable access of STEAM education in fun and interactive ways, such as the launch of the AWS Think Big Space in 2020, and the AWS Think Big Science Carnival in Navi Mumbai in March this year, where more than 2,000 school students from 50 Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation schools attended the finale showcasing innovative projects in agriculture and food safety, health and hygiene, environment conservation, renewal energy, and disaster management. AWS has previously invested INR 30,900 crores (US $3.7 billion) in the AWS Asia Pacific (Mumbai) Region between 2016 and 2022, which is estimated to have contributed more than INR 38,200 crores (US $4.6 billion) to India’s total gross domestic product (GDP), and supported approximately 39,500 full-time equivalent jobs annually in Indian businesses.

The initiatives under AWS InCommunities are focused on holistic community development, including the environment, people, and overall wellness. The AWS InCommunities program was first implemented in India in Maharashtra’s Navi Mumbai in 2018, before being extended to Telangana’s Rangareddy district in 2020. Since then, AWS InCommunities programs have focused on the development of sustainable communities by implementing impactful programs to protect wildlife and the environment, and bolster the local economy, essential education and health infrastructure, market linkages, connectivity, and other basic amenities. 

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