Amidst a gentle drizzle on a Saturday morning, the Nook division of the Sohrarim Trailblazer Community Lab lit up with vibrant balloons and the infectious smiles of young learners. August 26 marked the third Exhibition Day – a dynamic celebration.
This event crowned the achievements of each learning cycle within the bespoke Nook learning space. Nook is a vital part of the Trailblazer Community Lab, now known as CM Youth Centres.
These centres encompass not only the Nook but also the community Library, a sports-for-development zone, an arts division, and the STEM-centric Curiosity Gym.
The whole journey began with the Smart Village Movement launched by the Meghalaya Government. Sohrarim and Nongwah became trailblazing pilot projects under the Chief Minister’s Youth Centre initiative. Their triumph set the stage for an impressive expansion, now spanning 20 centres in the past year.
The Exhibition Day is the grand stage where learners showcase their journey’s fruits. It’s where they spotlight their projects, research, and creative triumphs to a wider audience, earning well-deserved recognition. This showcase isn’t just a display; it’s an inspiration for others to dive into self-directed learning, showing the real value of this educational path.
Moreover, it’s a front-row seat for parents, educators, and stakeholders to witness the concrete results and perks of self-designed learning. This exposure drums up support, nurtures understanding, and forges partnerships with groups keen on championing self-directed education.
The event welcomed remarkable individuals and local community champions. The guest list included Ramkumar S, the Smart Village Movement’s Nodal Officer; Gavin Miguel Mylliem, a Member of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly; Nagakarthik MP, Founder of the Sauramandala Foundation; Divine Dkhar, Education Project Lead of the Smart Village Movement; among others.
The event burst into life with dance and music by the learners. Their projects ranged from traditional barbecues to global cuisines, handcrafted flowers, elegant clothing, captivating jewelry, and even a DIY drone.
This third Exhibition at the Sohrarim Salesforce Trailblazer Community Lab, aka CM Youth Centre, outdid itself. It featured not just Nook projects but also creations from the STEM Innovation Hub, an offshoot of the Curiosity Gym concept. Learners were thrilled to present their projects for the first time. The Innovation Hub showcased wonders like a Digital Clock, Solar Street Light, Home Automation Lights, and Solar Tracker.
Ramkumar urged the learners to own their self-designed space and rallied everyone to support such initiatives. He shared, “Meghalaya faces high dropout rates and a significant number of out-of-school children. We must engage children positively to equip them with skills.” He took pride in the pioneering centre that paved the way for 20 more in the state, hoping for greater growth ahead.
Twinborn Hinge, the former Centre Manager of Sohrarim Nook, chimed in, “This centre has been a boon for the community. We’ve seen dropout students turn into skilled entrepreneurs, some even travelling to Delhi for exposure trips and participating in the recent SARAS Aajeevika Fair. As the Nook manager, I’m immensely proud of this growth.”
The Exhibition empowers students with feedback and reflective discussions. Attendees get to provide input, ask questions, and engage in meaningful conversations. This feedback loop fuels ongoing learning, allowing learners to hone their skills and knowledge.