Big Idea

Tactile learning

Experiential learning programme developer, ThinkTac, is teaching schools how to put scientific theory to practice 

Deepak G Pawar

For many kids, science period is just another boring class — a teacher reading out experiments from a textbook and children perfecting the art of rote learning to secure a good grade. If you are lucky, you might have a shot at understanding the theory being fed to you in a laboratory as you watch the teacher perform the experiment but may never have the chance to do it yourself. But, what if you had a chance to try your hand at it as many times as you wished, till you understood the pricniples of science? Well, a Bengaluru based start-up ThinkTac has found a way out.

ThinkTac, an education start-up has come up with a model that promotes experiential learning. Currently focusing on students from grade 3 to grade 8, the start-up provides an activity tool-kit, videos and topic guides (for connecting it to theory) for each student. The activity tool-kit has been designed for the Karnataka State, CBSE and ICSE boards, where one can chose either a subscription model with 20 activities that cosst Rs.3,500 or 40-activity pack that can be purchased as an annual pakcage for Rs.6,000. The start-up received a Rs.15 lakh-grant from the Karnataka government. Apart from that, it has raised Rs.40 lakh from angel investors. The start-up offers three stages of delivery, the first one is at partner schools where they participate in ‘TACtivity sessions’; the second one is conducted in class, where the curriculum integration takes place and the last stage is at home, where students can explore further through other 'do-it-yourself' or advanced TACtivities.

The founders, Vishal Bhatt, Procheta Mallik, Raghu AP and Ravi Rangan were earlier running an NGO called Innovation and Science Promotion Foundation to develop an interest for science and technology among students in government schools. In April 2017, they created a platform to cater to private sector schools as well and currently it is affiliated with six such institutes in the city. Apart from schools, the company also retails its kits on e-commerce platforms such as Amazon and conducts short-term theme-based workshops, which bring in additional revenue. 

Till date, ThinkTac, which formally launched operations in November 2017 caters to 500 students across six schools, its estimated revenue for FY18 is Rs.850,000. The start-up is also in talks with schools in Hobli, Dharwad, Belagavi, Mysuru, Mumbai and aims to cater to 4,000 students by the end of March 2019. Additionally, ThinkTac is also seeking the help of NGOs and rotary clubs across cities to enter more schools. The time has finally come to move over the age-old practice of rote learning and promote experiential teaching methods.