In 2020, Learn for Life’s founder, Mr. Thomas Thekkethala (SJBHS 1977) developed a vision for a center for STEM education at St. Joseph’s Boys High School (SJBHS). He worked closely with the BJES leadership, OBA and JAANA advisors and JTF leadership to establish the Loyola Technology Center for STEM education at SJBHS. Ms. Asha Sundararajan, Lead, JTF STEM Labs, and a pioneer of high-school STEM programs in the US and India joined the team in 2021. She worked closely with Mr. Thekkethala and Dr. Ajit Paranjpe (SJBHS 1977 and Lead, JTF High School STEM Programs) to develop a long-term plan with achievable near-term goals. The design of the physical space was executed between January and April 2022, with execution of the first year STEM programs starting in July 2022.
“STEM education offers students extraordinary career opportunities, and the lack of access to STEM resources in schools impacts students from lower income families disproportionately,” said Thomas Thekkethala, Founder of the Loyola Tech Center. “Our vision is to create a network of LTCs across India to empower and inspire students of all backgrounds to pursue career opportunities in STEM”.
“Our mission is to help students go beyond themselves through engagement and active interaction in workshops,” said Asha Sundararajan, Founding Program Director of the Loyola Tech Center and Lead, STEM Labs, the Joy Thomas Foundation. “Our goal is to create 21stcentury functioning skills and engender holistic global citizenship among all our students”.
Fr. Sunil Fernandes, Principal of SJBHS, added that “The Loyola Technology Center will establish St. Josephs as a pioneer in high-school STEM education, where we encourage our students to develop projects which embody the Jesuit code of living and giving back to the community.”
Nov - Dec 2021
An Advisory Group including Dr. Praveen Rodrigues, President of the OBA and distinguished alumni General Devaya MN, George J Ollapally, Jimmy Anklesaria, Shashi Lewis, Jacob Kurian, Ben Mathais, Srinivas Prasad Madapusi and Thomas Thekkethala had several meetings with Fr. Brian Pereira (Rector, BJES) and Fr. Sunil Fernandes, Principal, St, Joseph's Boys High School to discuss the vision and plans for the Loyolat Technolgy Center (LTC)
Fr. Sunil Fernandes, graciously offered a 3500 square foot hall in the academic building to build out the Loyola Technology Center (LTC) to be financed by Learn for Life Foundation (LFL)
Joy Thomas Foundation (JTF) agreed to add its support to the LTC Project.
Asha Sundararjan from JTF, a veteran of two decades of teaching and developing STEM programs in the US and in high schools in India took over as LTC Lab Director and presented plans for the lab, education programs and workshops.
Fr. Vishal D'Souza (SJ) joined the project team as the overall Lab Manager to oversee Operations
Gen Devaya agreed to oversee the tender process to select a vendor for the lab build-out and ran a comprehensive process to select Vericonn as the primary partner.
Asha led the search for a STEM Master to lead the actual programs at the LTC
Fr. Vishal, Shashi Lewis and Asha are working closely with Vericonn to complete the buiild-out and progress has been quite rapid.
Preparing for the partition
Here comes the partition
Here comes the partition
Energy efficient air conditioning
Electrical Work as the fresh paint dries.
We would like to thank Fr. Brian Pereira, BJES Rector for his early support of the vision and Fr. Sunil Fernandes, Principal of SJBHS for his time, support and dedication throughout the process, Fr. Vishal D’Souza for his responsive ground support, and Fr. Joy for assuming fiscal responsibility. In addition, we would like to thank Gen Devaya for putting together the tender requirements and equitably and openly helping choose the vendors for LTC’s construction, Mr. George Ollapally for his time and energy from the earliest days and through each step of the process, Dr. Praveen Rodrigues, President of the SJBHS OBA for his leadership and support through interactions with the school administration and staff and the recruitment or LTC staff and Mr. Shashi Lewis for his extraordinary energy and dedication to ensure the seamless construction of the lab and for his generous financial support of furniture, networking and related equipment. We would also like to thank the members of the LTC Advisory Groups, the OBA Management Committee, the JAANA committees and the Learn for Life and Joy Thomas Foundation leadership for all their support.
Thomas Thekkethala (‘77) Founder, Learn for Life Foundation; Member Joy Thomas Foundation Advisory Board
Ajit Paranjpe (‘77), Lead, High School STEM Programs, the Joy Thomas Foundation and CTO Veeco (NASDAQ: VECO)
Asha Sundararajan, Lead, STEM Labs, Joy Thomas Foundation and Educator & Founder of Children’s Technology Workshop, India’s first STEM Institute
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Learn for Life Foundation is a non-profit organization staffed by volunteers. LFL is a New Jersey registered non-profit (Registration#: CH3558800) and a United States registered 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. EIN/Tax ID: 45-5070897 DLN:17053319302022
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