This past weekend witnessed the finales of IRC League Nationals Season 9 and the first ever Avishkaar Makeathon at Thyagaraj Stadium, New Delhi. The grand event aptly named #CelebrateAvishkaar attracted a crowd of 3000+ people who can lay testament to the enormity of the event. Here, one beheld a glitzy and spectacular opening ceremony, brought to a crescendo by ‘Avishkaar Aurora’ – a light show engineered and created by Avishkaar makers.
The opening ceremony was interspersed with a cultural dance performed by students of Darbari Lal DAV school, Pitampura. Next, the audience was treated to a flag march ceremony where the participating schools, their students and teachers took part. It was a sight to behold as proud students hoisted their school flags up and marched down the length of the auditorium.
Then came the time to launch a new initiative of Avishkaar’s, to honour and celebrate makers – Makers Hall of Fame. Herein, makers from all walks of life who’ve been making an effort at the ground level to inspire those around them were chosen to be featured in the magazine. The class of Makers Hall of Fame 2018 is a mix of established names in their respective fields, makerpreneurs, CEOs and Founders, as well as, young students raring to make their mark on this world.
Later, Mr. Tarun Bhalla, the man behind Avishkaar, gave a presentation on robotics and showcased new, exciting robots (like the Scissor bot!) made from upgraded metal parts. Also, he blew the bugle for Avishkaar’s newest offering, Tweak, a modular, programmable bot created for children ages 6 and up. The children were hyped to see Tweak and made the stadium ring with their cacophony. All in all, it was a fantastic beginning to the event.
Over the next two days, the participants, mentors, teachers, and general audience were treated to a maker extravaganza with over 60 stalls set up by enthusiastic schoolkids hailing from all corners of the country. Some of the highlights of Avishkaar Makeathon 2018 were projects by Team Scropian of The Shri Ram School, Moulsari who created Audoptik – glasses for blind people which make a sound to warn the blind person when they come close to an obstruction or an obstacle. Team Scropian were crowned the Makeathon Champions and won a sponsored trip to Russia.
Some other interesting projects were presented by Young Tinkerers of Navrachana Vidyani Vidyalaya, Vadodara who designed a mechanism to separate oil from water. Also, Dr. Kalam Science Club from Govt. Multipurpose Higher Secondary School, Bilaspur fashioned Atal Krishi Mitra, a system designed to help farmers plant their fields and reduce expenses on agricultural equipment. It was a Makeathon fest alright with the stalls bustling with activity over the two-day affair.
While this was going on in the corridor outside the main indoor stadium of the Thyagaraj Stadium, inside, 1000+ students were vying to become the IRC League Nationals Season 9 champions. The arena runs were full of all the excitement, energy, adrenaline, tension and (drama!) which you’ve come to associate with IRC League. The students were charged up and animated as they hovered around and put their robots to the test. In the end, Universal Fever, the team Scottish High International School, Gurgaon were declared the Overall Winners of IRC League Nationals: Season 9 and won a sponsored trip to Russia.
And in the midst of all this action, holding its own fort, was ‘Avishkaar Zone’. The ‘zone’ was buzzing with enthusiastic kids and parents (giddy with excitement) checking out 3D Printing and Make Your Own Robot workshops. Apart from a makerspace, there were other fun activities – Robo Soccer, Robo Wrestling, Robo Archery (there’s a running theme here, in case, you missed it) and Cross the Battleground which kept the visitors enthused! Moreover, people visiting the Avishkaar Zone were treated to an exclusive sneak-peek of ‘Tweak’, Avishkaar’s newest product, displayed in a showcase. Though, a few lucky kids got to test it out and take Tweak for a spin! All in all, the event was infused with verve and vigour of the participants, teachers, mentors, guests and not to forget, the army of Avishkaar employees.
#CelebrateAvishkaar was graced by not one but three chief guests – Mr. G P Upadhyaya (Chief Secretary, Human Resource Development Department, Sikkim); Ms. Komal Sood (Principal, The Army Public School, Dhaula Kuan); and Mr. Aleksey Shaposhnikov (Head of Science & Technology, Russian Centre for Science and Culture) who had words of inspiration, courage and wisdom for the students.
The event was brought to an end with another rendition of the fantastic ‘Avishkaar Aurora’, a huge hit with the crowd, an impromptu beatbox competition, and a dance-off! And thus, we all said goodbye to Thyagaraj Stadium, having made a few memories to tide us by until the next year. Till then, in the words of the iconic Arnold Schwarzenegger, “I’ll be back!” 🙂