Initiative

GyanJam: unleash your dream

Tawsif Rahman Chowdhury | Published: 00:00, Jun 16,2019

 
 
Initiative

GyanJam during a session with students at Holy Cross College, Tejgaon, Dhaka. — Soumen Sikdar Shuvo

A group of young students, while searching for guideline to make their dream true found out that there are not many inspirations available. To fill that gap up and offer the next generation with proper guideline, they have established GyanJam. GyanJam is an educational institution offering lessons and guidelines on robotics, machine learning, skill development and artificial intelligence and run by a group of dedicated youth to expand the culture of learning robotics and revolutionise technology among the enthusiasts through both online and offline platforms, writes Tawsif Rahman Chowdhury

ARKO, a regular urban Dhaka kid, who is studying in class 9 came home being excited. In the afternoon, he did not make a scene to go out, play with the neighbour kids. He stayed in his room in front of the computer.

His mother became worried. She had no clue what he was doing. She asked him about this at night after the dinner. Arko had his explanations ready. Today, his school organised an ‘interesting class’. He went to attend that.

The class was conducted by some interesting people. They showed something interesting. It was a stick for the blind people. It was not a normal stick. This stick had fancy lights and buzzers on it. It was a smart blind stick.

It would vibrate if it senses any holes or obstacles in its ways. This incident triggered the latent scientist in this young fellow. For quite some time, Arko has been planning to make something interesting, make something of his own. But he never had the idea where to start. The guys from that interesting class today, taught him how to work on his own projects like this.

Arko is just an example. There are millions of Arkos out there in this country. Who is there to help them? Provide them the guidance to work on their projects? Who is there to ignite the flame in these tech enthusiasts of this country?

The answer is simple. GyanJam is there to help them. What is GyanJam? What do they actually do?

GyanJam is an educational institution run by a group of dedicated youth to expand the culture of learning robotics and revolutionise technology among the enthusiasts. GyanJam is the first ever online platform in Bangladesh to teach robotics, science and electronic projects.

GyanJam has not only confined itself online but also, they conduct free workshops in schools, colleges and universities on robotics, machine learning, skill development and artificial intelligence.

 

The team GyanJam from the left: Sumaya Sharmin, Nusrat Binta Nizam and Latifur Rahman. — Soumen Sikdar Shuvo

 

GyanJam aims to reach every student, every latent tech enthusiast hiding in each and every corners of Bangladesh. GyanJam values the creative potential of the students and spark the flame inside them to revolutionise robotics and technology by providing proper guidance.

Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, popularly known as BUET is regarded as the premier institute of our country that produces the finest engineers. School and college going students from all over the country dreams of getting admitted there and fulfill their dreams of being fine engineers. But three undergraduate students from BUET, Latifur Rahman, Sumaya Sharmin, Nusrat Binta Nizam had some other ideas.

Latifur Rahman, one of the co-founders of GyanJam talks about them. ‘Since I was a little kid going to school, I had a great passion towards science and tech. I always tried to participate in science festivals held in school and submit my projects. But living in Barisal, it was not that easy. I had to wait for my father to make a trip to Dhaka for his office works and bring me quality science books, components for my projects. It was quite a hectic wait for a little kid. Also, I didn’t know how to start, where to start. There was nothing to provide proper guidance. I discovered that I was not alone in this. There were a lot of other kids seeking the guidance. Everyone is dreaming of making something, inventing something but these dreams went in vain due to lack of proper nurturing’.

He continued his story, ‘when I got admitted in BUET, I found people doing projects and all sorts of robotics related works. Still everyone has to start from scratch and implement their projects through much hardship. I also started to work on robotics. I planned to work on a project and after working on it for sometimes, I came to know that some of my seniors have already worked on same type of project but due to lack of communication and a proper archive, their unfinished works were no help to me. So, I personally felt the need of a platform for all the projects and project related guidance in form of tutorials and blogs. While working, I had to browse internet for necessary information. One day while I was searching, a thought occurred, there’s everything I need in this internet. But why there are no proper learning materials in Bangla. If someone attempts to start making video tutorials, blogs, vlogs in Bangla, it will certainly be a great help for the school, college going students’.

‘Till now, I just had the idea. Business has always been fascinating to me. There were a lots of business competitions going on around me in university. I intended to take part in those. All of these competitions demanded a group of 3-4 people. Searching for teammates, I came across Sumaya and Nusrat. We registered for a competition. The task given in this competition was to propose a business model that would involve the students. We were brainstorming for ideas, but it was not going that well. Then I told them about the dream, the idea struck my mind a few days earlier. In my utter surprise, I discovered that Sumaya and Nusrat had also thought something similar to this always. That was it; we furnished our idea and presented it in front of the judges. They seemed quite satisfied. So, we had our fingers crossed. The result came out and we didn’t win it. I guess that was the push we needed’.

Sumaya Sharmin, another co-founder of GyanJam added to that, ‘the result made us a bit stubborn, I guess. We were so frustrated. They didn’t find the potential in our idea. So, we planned to make them see it. For the other contestants, it was just a competition. But for us, it was a long-cherished dream we all three had. We started working to implement the idea. We worked really hard and started GyanJam within a very short period of time.’

Nusrat came to join the conversation, ‘there are a ton of ideas floating in this country. But very few are brave enough to work on that. It’s not like we have done something unique, we have pulled out something impossible. It’s that we were just crack enough to take a leap of faith towards our dream.’

Latifur Rahman said, ‘we are gradually getting bigger. At first, we only had two or three youtube video tutorials on basic robotics. We had to reach out to people to know what they need. We organised workshops in many renowned schools, colleges and universities. More than 10 thousand students have attended these workshops. Now GyanJam has a large number of high-quality video tutorials on different project development, a well-furnished blog site and one of the finest web-sites in the country for engaging enthusiasts with the contents. People are always attending our workshops on project and skill development, machine learning et cetera and the feedbacks we get from them, are wonderful. These feedbacks, these supports help us to work harder towards our dream.’

Bangladesh stands on the verge of a technological revolution. The young bloods have to lead the path towards this revolution. GyanJam is always there with them, providing the necessary guidance and motivation to these enthusiasts. Together we will certainly reach our destination. We just have to believe that we can and we will and there will certainly be a better future. GyanJam believes and so in GyanJam we always say — be the revolution, be the future.

Tawsif Rahman Chowdhury is a student of Bangladesh University of Electrical & Electronics Engineering 

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