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Residential Internship Gr. 11-12: May Report, July Plans+

+Gifted Summer Program International, July 2023 for Grades 6-10

“I feel there has been a metamorphosis of sorts in just 2 weeks. Harsh has gained tremendous confidence and the mindset to look at options/ideas from different perspectives. He has returned with tremendous respect and admiration for all his mentors…. we’re so happy that he has ‘real’ life heroes to look up to.” -Suchitra Bajaj, Parent of Participant in the May 2023 Internship Program

Hi, this is the GenWise team– we bring out this newsletter to help parents and educators to complement the work of formal schools and associated systems. We can help our children thrive in these complex times only by exchanging ideas and insights and working together. 

We are also a founder-member of the Gifted India Network– if you are interested in issues related to gifted education and talent development, an easy way to keep updated about talks, programs and resources is to join the Gifted India Network telegram channel (https://t.me/GiftedIndia).

In this week’s post, GenWise Co-Founder, Shrikant Patil, who designed and moderated the May 2023 residential internship program, shares the rationale behind the program design and what students experienced in the two weeks. This will give parents and students who plan to attend the July 2023 program a better idea of what lies in store for them.

This program is designed for students who have entered grades 11 and 12 recently (though students taking a gap year after grade 12 will also benefit from it). The program duration is 2 weeks from July 13th to 27th and will be held at the Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) campus in Manipal.

If you would like to read a short summary of what the program is about and/ or to watch what students of the May program had to say about their experience, click here.

Program Design and Moderator

We started developing this program when we realized parents and students do not have the complete picture of the current trends, opportunities and the various courses/ options that are available in India and across the world. The 15 days at the Residential Internship course was designed to allow students to clear some of the doubts they had, start searching for their self expression and develop a sense of purpose in life. Evaluating some of the feedback we received from parents and students, I think we did reasonably well in terms of meeting these goals. We hope to make the next session in July even better.

Approach in Developing the Program

We wanted the student to have the opportunity to research various career options that exist. As they research the various options, we wanted them to converse with people from different walks in life such as medicine, engineering, academia, design, architecture etc. We also wanted them to understand the 5 must-have skills in any career or walk of life that need to be worked on continuously- i.e. Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Leadership.

Before the course started I shared an essay on ‘Passion and Self Expression’. We spent time understanding the difference between Passion and Self Expression. As these students venture into the real world, we hope they can find an area where they can apply their self expression and seek a higher purpose in life. If they are able to discover their self expression motivated by a higher sense of purpose I am pretty sure they will not only be successful in their careers but also lead a happy and fulfilling life.

Program Customization

We curate the experience for the specific cohort of the students who participate in the program. All participating students share their areas of interest, prior to start of the program, and the overall program flavour and content – Expert Interactions, Lab Visits, Internship Projects – are designed basis the information collected from our participating cohort.

​Based on their area of interest and discussion with their mentors, students finalize and start working on their projects. GenWise ensures the student has access to hardware, software and equipment required to conduct the project. The student also has access to the mentor for the duration of the project, or 6 months post the program, whichever is earlier.

Additional activities that broaden participant horizons, enhances their socio-emotional development, make connections with their peers and mentors, and have fun (in a device-free environment) are also an integral part of the program.

The time split between project work and other activities is 50:50.

In the 2-week program, participants get a chance to visit labs and to interact with an extremely diverse / elite group of leaders, and this is possible mainly because of the personal network of the GenWise founders and mentors.

My Profile and Experience

Shrikant Patil, co-founder GenWise, B.E. Comp Engg- PICT and MS Elect & Comp Engg- University of Colorado

This is how I described myself to a Professor at IISER, Pune where I am supposed to be talking to teachers from Bihar next week.

Brought up in Pune. Did BE Comp Engg in 1988 from PICT. Nobody wanted to hire Computer Engg/ Science graduates then. Masters in ECE from Univ of Colorado

Joined Intel in 1991 and worked on Pentium Processor. Career Progression @Intel Chip Design -> Software Enabling -> Software Services -> Sales Marketing -> Intel Capital (Biz Side)

Worked in 4 countries with Intel – US -> Israel -> India -> HK – responsible for 16 countries (saw the world on Intel’s nickel). left Intel in 2005 after 14 years

Currently serve on the board of Indus Biotech that develops nutraceuticals from natural ingredients and DesmondJi – beverages from Agave – a Cactus. Day 1 investor in Educational Initiatives, Clover Greens, Doolally, Agave India, Town Essentials

Legal expert through experience in Land, Probates and now Corporate.

Environment – follow 20-20-20 rule

What happened in the May 2023 Program ?

Before the students arrived in Manipal, they took an online psychometric assessment which was conducted by Dr. Itishree Mishra of MapMyCareer. The outcome of the assessment was discussed with the parent and the child. It would be ideal that parents and children try and discover what the aptitudes, interests and personality of the child. The findings from the psychometric test are not a prescription but another data point to be considered. Before arriving, the students also wrote a statement of purpose which captured the sense of purpose in life they were aspiring for.

Expert Talks and Interactions

Purpose behind the Expert Talks

The aim of the expert talks is to introduce the students to the various career choices one can pursue. Many of the experiences shared will hopefully inspire the students to choose a career which matches their inner calling or self expression. We at GenWise believe that once students discover their self expression and are motivated by a sense of purpose, then the outcomes operate on a cosmic scale. We try to make the mix of experts and their areas of interest as eclectic as possible.

The experts shared with students their career paths, what they had learnt in the various jobs, shared some of the wisdom they had acquired along the way. (all photos are from the program)

IAS, 2005 Batch, Maharashtra Cadre Mr Mundhe has many accomplishments to his credit and has been featured in the “Top 10 of the most inspiring individuals in the civil services which make India Proud”

He challenged the students with the question “Is Government Necessary?” At the time of speaking to Program participants, Shri Mundhe, an award-winning IAS officer, held charge as the Election Observer for Udupi district for the just-concluded Karnataka Vidhan Sabha Elections.

B.E. Mech College of Engg Pune, M.S. Clarkson University, is part of the executive team that manages over 100 SSRVM schools across India, formerly COO of GS Labs, and has worked for tech companies such as Qlogic, EFI, Cacheflow. Students has conversations on various topics and the world of work over a couple of days with Madhu.

MSc IIT Bombay, PhD UC Berkeley

Siddarth currently heads Data Science at Lyft a Ride Sharing company in the US. He discussed the different kinds of Big Data at companies he has worked at- namely Demand Tec, Twitter, Pandora (music streaming) and Ride Sharing at Lyft. He is also the source of inspiration on which the movie 21 was made.

He discussed why he chose the corporate world, over research. He also spoke about what has been common thread in all the jobs he has done. Trends in the music streaming industry were discussed, including the differing strategies of Pandora and Spotify and how success is not driven by tech algorithms alone but depends to a large extent on strategic bets and capability to execute.

Smriti Jalihal

Center for Knowledge Alternatives, FLAME University, pursue M.S. in Environmental Science at Oxford University on full scholarship

After completing her bachelors from Flame University, Smriti worked on various projects across the country- from Snow Leopard and Bear conservation in Himachal Pradesh where she visited over 92 villages to studying the natives of Nicobar Island.

Her research work has be recognized internationally and she has got full scholarships to 3 Universities- Duke, Yale and Oxford. Her advice – commitment to a subject or field of study should beyond what is taught in class.

M. Tech., Analog Electronics, Power Electronics, Energy IISc

Rachit is an electronics engineer who has been designing analog circuits and systems for around 13 years. He now works at Cradlewise, a startup, that builds smart cradles, as an electronics systems architect and has since been working for the development and improvement of the product.

He shared with the class, his transition from designing circuits and systems that reside inside integrated circuits (ICs), to designing systems that form a significant portion of a physical product a user directly interacts with, and how this has been a steep but rewarding learning curve. For context, the smart cradle he is working on relies on multiple sensors to monitor a sleeping baby and detects early signs of their waking up by using machine learning algorithms. The cradle then responds by starting a (very silent) bouncing motion, and even white noise/nature sounds/music as configured by parents. These help put the baby back to sleep before they are actually wake up, thereby improving the quality of sleep for the baby as well as their caretakers/parents. Rachit shared that there are numerous interdisciplinary factors at work in the product that contribute to its usability, reliability, user experience, manufacturability, and fitness for a given market and this intersection of domains allows him to go beyond his core domain expertise in electronics and to apply a first-principles based approach to identifying and solving problems.

In his spare time, Rachit likes to spend his time on reading, music, and fitness through various forms of activity. Amongst other things, he has picked up woodworking, built speakers, and studied and experimented to further his understanding of audio.

The class asked him to name one song as his favourite – which was ‘Sound of Silence’ by Simon & Garfunkel.

B.E. Mech COEP, MBA IIM-Calcutta

After completing his engineering from College of Engineering Pune, Atul worked at Tata Motors for two years before doing his MBA at IIM-Calcutta. After that he sold Coconut Oil under the Parachute Brand for 2 years at Marico Industries. He co-founded a coaching institute – Bulls Eye for IIM aspirants which at its peak was operating in 13 cities. Today he lives and breathes EV and is advising many companies to scale their products and operations.

Atul Gopal is an authority on Electric Vehicles in India. Until recently he used to be the man behind Plug In India. He is the point person at GenWise for any question or clarification on EVs. He talked to students on how EVs work, the difference between IC and EV engines, the challenges of scaling the technology and challenged students with the question- are EVs really environment friendly?

Dr Freston Marc Sirur

Assistant Professor at the Dept of Emergency Medicine at Kasturba Medical College

Dr Freston is an Emergency Physician whose focus areas are on wilderness medicine, envenomation, toxicology, pre-hospital care, infectious diseases and trauma.

He shared with students different aspects of Wilderness Medicine. He shared his real life experiences of treating patients with snake bites, scorpion stings (he corrected us many times that a scorpion stings, not bites), bear and tiger attacks. Of all the attacks, the bear attack is the most gruesome. He also explained why training the rural folks is the best chance to save a human life, especially in the case of snake bites.

Dr Freston also hosted the Residential Internship class at the Department of Emergency Medicine, Kasturba Medical College.

Dr Navin Kabra

BTech IIT Bombay, PhD Wisconsin Madison, both in Computer Science

Navin Kabra is CTO and Co-Founder at ReliScore, a company that provides skill and capability assessment solutions to the software industry. He is the GenWise point person for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

Navin facilitated an enthralling session on perpetual motion machines (PPMs). He shared drawings and videos of several PPMs and challenged students to find a flaw in the mechanism. There were always a couple of students in the audience who were able to spot tricky flaws in these PPMs.

Dr Ganesh Nayak

Department of Instrumentation & Control Engineering

Dr Nayak took note of his inner calling and took to cycling. His message to students is that once you start working on your self expression you have to make many sacrifices to better focus on what you enjoy.

An avid cyclist, he was on the road for 8 months from Manipal to the Himalayas. He shared the process of planning the trip and the physical preparedness he had to achieve before he embarked on the trip. He also shared many experiences on this 8 month journey.

On the importance of seizing the moment, Dr Nayak advised students to be on the constant lookout for moments to seize. There are times in life one has to seize the moment, and they don’t come along very often, these moments are once in a lifetime opportunities, and once seized can change your life forever.

Joel Ishaan Valentine

Bachelor of Design, IIT Guwahati

Joel talked to the class about the role design plays in our lives. As a recent graduate in design he shared the various areas his peers are pursuing in industry and in further studies. This gave students an idea of the various opportunities in the field of design.

Joel’s passion led him to immerse himself in game design and visual development projects, amplifying his artistic talents. Embracing the freedom of freelancing since graduation, he fearlessly pursues his dreams as a digital illustrator.

Nilosha Dave

Bachelor of Architecture, CEPT University

Nilosha was the mentor and guide for the Internship Class. She guided students on how to develop a narrative for making a presentation or a video. This would help them to market themselves or their ideas better. Nilosha directed the full class to produce a video on ‘What it is to be a GenWise student’. She was also responsible for capturing many candid moments in the program.

Narrative Video Project done jointly by the students

The students visited all the classes and captured various aspects of the program. Nilosha took the class through the formal process of making a film. The film was ready a few hours before it was screened at the graduation ceremony.


Lab Visits

All the labs visits were facilitated by the management and professors of Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal. GenWise is extremely grateful for the support provided.


Department of Physics and Photonics, Manipal Institute of Technology


Department of Emergency Medicine, Kasturba Hospital


Major Student Projects – Mars Rover, Formula 1 and All Terrain Vehicles etc.

Internship Projects

At the start of the program, all participating students shared their areas of interest. These were extensively discussed before the project work started. We enlisted support from mentors who were also part of the program. The projects are


Robotics project, modeled on the Duckietown platform


Business and Brand Strategy for Assisted Living/ Senior Citizens


Secondary Research on Cancer Cure via Gene Therapy


Building an app to solve the Rubik’s cube, after capturing the initial state using a camera


Designing a Football Coaching Academy for children in the age range of 6-13


Group Project developed a video on the student experience at GenWise programs.

Activities

Every evening there was some activity or the other, where the children had a lot of fun and created some unforgettable memories. Children every day looked forward to activities such as Treasure Hunt, DJ Nite, Lip Synch, Talent Nite etc.

Presenting a brief performance by the Internship students at Talent Nite (May 2023)

Internship Class performance at Talent Nite


All in all, it was great to see the students learning and having fun in the program, and I look forward to refining the program and making it more effective in the future. Share your comments and suggestions here in substack, or write to me at shrikant@genwise.in.

Gifted Summer Program International (Gr. 6-12)- July 2023, MAHE Campus, Manipal

The program is exclusively for gifted students from UAE and students on the international calendar from India and other countries. Top performers on Ei-ASSET Talent Search (Ei- ATS) are eligible to apply for the program. If you do not have an ATS score, but are interested in the program, please contact us with your ASSET scores. If you haven’t taken ASSET recently, you can take it here.

Gifted Summer Program- Senior- July 6-27 (for students moving to grades 8-10 in 2023)

This program offers different choices- Soft Robotics, Forensic Science, Architecture, Astrophysics and Data Science. While the majority of students attend the entire 3 weeks, there are also some 2-week and 1-week options.

Gifted Summer Program- Junior- July 13-27 (for students moving to grades 6-7 in 2023)

This is a single track where students engage with Science, Math, Media etc., in an authentic way. 

Residential Internship Program- July 13-27 (for students moving to grades 11-12 in 2023)

UAE Parents– For more details about the above programs, and to register, look at this brochure and visit this page.

India Parents– For more details about the above programs, and to register, look at this brochure and visit this page.

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