People

He has completed his undergraduate and post-graduate studies in Chemistry from Loyola College (1994-97) and Indian Institute of Technology Madras (1997-99), respectively. In the fall of 1999, he moved to Duke University, USA to pursue his doctoral studies, which he completed under the supervision of Prof. Eric J. Toone in Dec. 2005. His post-doctoral research work was carried out at Wake Forest University, where he worked with Prof. S. Bruce King and the National Cancer Institute, under the mentorship of Dr. Larry K. Keefer.

He joined IISER Pune in July 2009 and is currently Professor of Chemistry.

Sourabh Dube is an experimental particle physicist, and is a member of the CMS collaboration at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva. He completed his Ph.D. in particle physics from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and he was a Chamberlain Fellow at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory before joining IISER.

He is deeply interested in scientific communication, outreach, and ensuring that the next generation of students develop a genuine scientific outlook irrespective of their desired profession.

Programme Management Unit

PMU is responsible for implementation of all four strands of iRISE. It gives necessary project management and strategic support to the programme. It also provides the secretarial support to the Joint Steering Committee.

Nitin is a highly accomplished professional with over a decade of experience in science communication and teacher education programs. His passion for scientific communication began during his research on Nagpur mandarin (Citrus) lab to land, where he communicated scientific knowledge to farmers. Nitin has contributed to several flagship programs of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), including Science Express (exhibition train), Innovation Hub (NCSM), National Teachers Science Congress (NTSC), Vigyan Mela (Vigyan Prasar), Mobile Science Labs, and ATL Labs. He is a staunch advocate for promoting science and mathematics education among students, teachers, and youth, and strives to instill a scientific mindset through creative teaching techniques and improved teaching-learning materials (TLM). He travelled to over 400 cities in 1500 days, reaching out to over 5 lakh kids and 10,000 teachers so as to inculcate a scientific temper and foster an innovation ecosystem in India. He is playing an integral role in the iRISE programme, specifically in the Teachers Development strand. He is responsible for planning and executing this strand, supporting the team in its implementation, and managing the project to ensure the programme's success.

Preeti is a researcher turned science communicator with more than 7 years of experience in public outreach and scientific project management. She has been leading the national-level science outreach activities for Project Manav at IISER Pune as the Head of the Science Communication, Outreach, and Public Engagement vertical for the past 3 years. She possesses strong technical expertise in geomicrobiology and environmental genomics with 15 years of research experience from premier research institutes like IIT Bombay, Agharkar Research Institute (Pune), and Institute of Bioinformatics and Biotechnology, SPPU (Pune), National Centre for Cell Science (Pune).
She has Data Science relevant Outreach experience wherein she has led the Manav Data Science Webinar Series (starting from networking with data scientists from India and abroad, supervising the logistics, registrations, publicity, and feedback analyses). She is also experienced in writing successful grants application to government funding agencies and corporate giants for scientific research (from CSIR, ONGC) and scientific conferences (from DST, DSS- TAKARA).

Nishant has completed B.Tech in Computer Science. He has completed the various training programs by Microsoft in School Education and was recognized as Microsoft Innovative Educator for one of its program. He has been working in the field of Education to integrate technology with Education and enhance the learning outcome of the students at various levels. He has developed an e-Library (e-LOTS: e-Library Of Teachers & Students) for the students and Teachers of Bihar which contains various resource materials which can be helpful for students as well as teachers. He has also developed various e-Content on Maths and Science for the school students in innovative ways for the students to understand any topic in a much easier way. He is certified with “Constructive Teaching and Learning with Technology” certification by Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

Sandeep Kharbanda

Shrikant Darvatkar

Teachers' Development Strand Team

TDS has a strong team of passionate individuals committed to science education. It is responsible for design and creation of the training content for Pedagogical content knowledge, inquiry and activity based learning and innovation for STEM for teacher education focusing on creative and innovative thinking. It conducts the training of iRISE Innovation Champions and Innovation Coaches and supports on ground implementation of activity and inquiry based learning to promote INSPIRE Manak Awards programme of DST.

Shraddha did her Integrated Masters in Science at IISER Pune through the flagship BS-MS dual degree course with an interdisciplinary background. Her Master’s thesis was in Micropaleobiology exploring evolution and adaptations in paleo stress-induced environments at IIT Bombay. Apart from Paleontology, she has worked in Natural product synthesis lab and Cell adhesion lab. She recognises and believes in implementing a holistic and multidisciplinary approach to problem solving and hence found interest in science communication and outreach. Shraddha joined Smt. Indrani Balan Science Activity Centre right after its inception as a science communicator and also makes scientific illustrations. She has conducted several workshops for students and teachers, created video resources and scientific content related to school curriculum, in collaboration with Pratham Digital, Tata Technologies’ STEP for STEM programme, North Western University’s CT-STEM, IIT-CCL, University of Glasgow, MKCL and VIgyan Prasar. She is a certified Royal Society of Chemistry’s Teacher Developer since 2019 and works as a passionate STEM Educator.

Shivani completed her Master of Engineering in E&Tc from Pune University. She has Industrial Experience in the Power generation unit in GSECL and Teaching experience in ATL tinkering lab and Coordinate to execute projects with School students as well as Engineering college students. Shivani is interested in STEM education related to technological perspective along with Teachers & Students.She is a Woman Chair of ISHRAE technical society of HVAC and refrigeration system where organised many technical talks related to the field of technology and woman entrepreneurship.

She has completed M.Sc. and M.Phil. in Electronic Science from Savitribai Phule Pune University. She is interested in STEM education, active learning strategies/lesson planning based on activities, and research fields. She has 2 years of experience in the research field on piezo-resistors in the Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology (C-MET) and 4 years of experience as a science educator in IUCAA as well as IISER Outreach.

Jahida has completed Master’s of science in physics from Pune University and also B. Ed from women's University. She has worked in Agastya international foundation for 2.5 year as an instructor. Before that she was teaching physics to junior and senior collegeI am Interested in teacher training, hands-on activities and experiential learning.

Mohammad Taquee has completed M.Tech in Mechanical Engineering and B.Ed, From Kurukshetra University and Maharishi Dayanand University.He has completed various other training courses from NCERT and CBSE. He has worked in Eklavya Foundation for more than 2 years. His professional interests focus on STEM Education, Teacher training, and Content designing.He has published various research papers for Hands on Minds on learning. He was honoured with the REX Karmaveer Chakra Award for the best work in Tribal areas of Maharashtra for his contributions to science education.

Aparna Date

Akshay has completed M.SC. in Physics from Savitribai Phule university Pune. He is having work experience with Agastya International Foundation for 10 years as a instructor. He is interested in making Low cost models in Science & Math's also interested in "TODO-FODO-JODO type of working. He conducted various offline and online teacher training programs in Science and Math's.

Sujeet has received his Master’s in Physics and Bachelors in Education from Pune University. He has worked with various organizations like Science for All, STEM learning and Kendriya Vidyalaya as a teacher and teacher trainer. Sujeet is interested in interacting with students, communicate Science and STEM education

Her career is driven by curiosity and passion for learning. She earned her Bachelors and Master's degrees in zoology (oceanography) from the University of Mumbai, as well as a Bachelors in education. She is an avid learner who keeps up with technological changes as well as a novice astronomer and photographer. She has also worked at MAD SCIENCE. She has been actively participating in numerous skill development courses in the educational industry.She has been teaching biology, primarily zoology, at the college level as an Assistant Professor for over 7 years. She was also educating postgraduate students on biodiversity, wildlife conservation and management. She is a career counselor who has guided students from middle school to college.

Rohit has completed his B.Tech in Instrumentation & Control Engineering from Savitribai Phule Pune University. He has work experience in Pratham Education Foundation as a Mathematics trainer. He was working on the development and execution of different teaching strategies like cooperative learning with the highschool students as well as designing TLM in Pratham.

Vaishnavee is a dedicated professional with a Masters degree in Biodiversity Conservation and Wildlife Management from Garware college, Pune University. She currently serves as a teaching fellow at iRISE, IISER Pune. Vaishnavee has made significant contributions to the field. Her research focus was the ghost crab she has recorded  and two new crab species on the West coast of Maharashtra, Her study on owls in collaboration with WRCS has resulted in a published book on owl diet. With 7 years of teaching experience, she has imparted knowledge at institutions such as Dr. Patki's Biology Academy and B N Bandodkar College, Thane, further enriching her profile. She was also educating postgraduate students on biodiversity, animal conservation, and management. She is a career counselor who has guided students from middle school to college.

As a dedicated STEM Educator with over 8 years of enriching teaching experience, I am passionate about fostering a deep understanding and appreciation for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

CBSE Physics Topper in 12th grade and PM Scholarship. I hold a BSc degree (Life Sciences) from Osmania University, Hyderabad, and an MSC (Life Sciences) from Central University of Gujarat. In 2019, I was named Creative Person of the Year at Central University of Gujarat.  Research trainee at the Industrial Biotech Training Program(IBTP) by Gujarat State Biotechnological Mission(GSBTM) at Prerana Bio innovations Pvt Ltd. 

Teaching Associate at DY PATIL International University Pune in the Bioengineering and Biosciences Department. Project Associate, STEM READY project at IISER Pune Science Activity Centre, Additionally, my linguistic prowess spans multiple regional languages as well as two foreign languages, facilitating effective cross-cultural communication and understanding. 

Beyond the classroom, I embrace an active and adventurous lifestyle, with a penchant for sports and games. Traveling fuels my curiosity and broadens my horizons. I am committed to nurturing the next generation of critical thinkers, problem solvers, and innovators, empowering them to thrive in an ever-evolving world.

Pankaj is a highly motivated and experienced zoologist with a Master's degree and Bachelor of Education from University of Mumbai. He has teaching experience at the Kendriya Vidyalaya and Abhinav College, and  also worked as a Programs Implementation Associate at STEM Learning. In his previous roles, He has  developed and delivered engaging and informative lessons on a variety of science topics to students of all ages.He is passionate about using his knowledge and skills to inspire and educate others about the natural world.

A scientist specializing in interdisciplinary chemistry, motivated by the idea of bridging diverse international scientific communities and industries for global advancement of science and education. Also interested in connecting science and technology with people via storytelling.
A proven experience in effectively communicating science to a variety of audiences, in international collaborations in research projects, and in managing complex projects within an academic context.

Suman, a Master's in Education, has more than 11 years of progressive work experience in handling programs of Development sectors. He is facilitating School outreach programs and teachers capacity building in Bihar. He has Tata Institute of Social Science program “Constructive Teaching and Learning with Technology '' certification for content development and teachers training in hybrid mode. He has supported in conceptualizing, designing, roll out and monitoring of various Samagra Shiksha intervention in Bihar such as- Curriculum and academic program for teachers capacity building, Students Learning Enhancement, Rashtriya Aavishkaar Abhiyaan, STEM Education, NIPUN Bharat implementation in schools of Bihar. He is good at building alliances and facilitating the program implementation with coordination of state and district government officials. His strength lies in execution of projects in timeline with active stakeholder participation.

Rahul Iyer

Swanand Athalye

Advisors and Mentors

Neeraja Dashaputre completed her undergraduate studies in chemical technology from Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai. During her doctoral studies in organic chemistry at University of Maryland, USA, she recognized her love for teaching and completed the University Teaching and Learning Program. She later worked as a faculty at Claremont University, USA and is currently a Principal Technical Officer (Education) at IISER Pune. She has keen interest in developing inquiry based pedagogy for teaching chemistry. She loves participating in various science workshops as a workshop trainer and interacting with students and teachers alike.

Asim Auti has been teaching science at UG level for the past 10+ years. He is a Biologist by training. He has taught various branches of biology at the college level and has been a part of curriculum designing for SPPU affiliated colleges. He is a content creator and trainer for school and undergraduate level teacher development programmes.

He believed in science education without 'subject' boundaries, and enjoys studying biology from molecular to ecosystem levels. He has a keen interest in developing and implementing various pedagogical tools centered on Active Learning classrooms. He was a National Academies Education Fellow in the Life Sciences 2013-14 by the National Academies USA.

He has been part of diverse workshops and conferences organized by CoESME at IISER Pune, and others for educators and learners. He is a member of IISER Pune outreach team since 2019 and works as a Coordinator of MS-DEED programme for UG teachers in collaboration with Maharashtra State Faculty Development Academy (MSFDA).

Dr. Mungi has completed his Ph.D. from IISER Pune in the field of Astrobiology, focusing on the origin of life aspects of it. During his Ph.D., he worked on how information-containing molecules such as RNA may have formed on early Earth in the absence of enzymes. They have published their findings as research papers in several international journals. After completing his Ph.D., he joined the IISER Pune Science Activity Centre (SAC) as a Project Coordinator. Established under the Centre of Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education, at SAC they design hands-on science activities and models from readily available materials and conduct workshops on how to use these models to understand various scientific concepts better. He has conducted sessions regarding the incorporation of hands of activities in the curriculum in schools and colleges. They document these activities in the form of videos and graphical manuals which is available in the public domain.

With a masters degree in Physics and a B.Ed, Ashok has been popularising science activities among students, teachers, and the general public for the past 25 years. Along with 3500 hands-on workshops in India as well as abroad, he and his team have made ~1400 educational videos on low-cost science, with over 98 million views. Ashok has been involved in setting up and running the SAC at IISER Pune since its inception in 2017.

After completing M.Sc. in Physics from VNIT, Nagpur and teaching for over 3 years in Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Ankish  joined IISER Pune in 2019. He coordinates various outreach programmes at SAC and develops low cost classroom teaching tools.

Currently, he is deeply engaged in developing low-cost interactive science toys that can be used to teach science in an participative and hands-on way. The objective is to strengthen teaching and learning of science & mathematics through these simple toys and hands-on activities, which students can build and experiment with.

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