Kashyap Mankad, Ex Group Director ISRO, Founding Member and Consulting Technical Director, Saras Inc

Kashyap Mankad is the Ex Group Director at ISRO and Founding Member and Consulting Technical Director, 3D EdTech. He has developed expertise in the fields of Project Management, Program management, Space systems engineering, Payloads characterization especially the ones operating in IR spectral range. Electronics Circuit Designer. Systems Engineer for Electro Optical Payloads. Development. System integration and characterization. Includes post launch operations. A. Project Director, INSAT 3D/R/S, GISAT 1&2 Payloads. As the Course Director, Space Systems Engineering – an in house Structured Training Program for ISRO’s middle level scientists and engineers, generated detailed course content. The course was widely appreciated across all ISRO work centres. Represented India as the member on Expert Team on Satellite Systems, UNO-WMO, Geneva.


With the world changing rapidly, society’s need for innovative professionals is becoming increasingly more urgent. Innovation competence is one of the most important 21st century skills that employers are now looking for in job candidates. To fill the pipeline, educational institutions throughout India are looking for ways to foster innovation competence within their students. Teachers and students are both experiencing the pressure this shift creates. Students are under more pressure than ever to grasp a greater depth and breadth in STEM learning quickly, while teachers are challenged to explain complex concepts immersively and thoroughly in less time. This crunch has created a need for fresh innovation in education that will make it easier for teachers to instill innovation competence in students.

Innovation competence is the capacity to generate original, appropriate and implementable solutions to problems. This skillset is central to successful STEM careers and the future of our society. Students can develop their propensity for innovation by acquiring the key skills that make it possible for them to be able to identify gaps where innovative solutions are needed, generate creative ideas, and then transform these ideas into realistic, practical, and marketable products, services, procedures, or strategies that can be implemented in a way that solves the original problem.

In 2019, the international journal Learning Environments Research published a paper called Educating for innovation: students’ perceptions of the learning environment and of their own innovation competence. The authors discovered that to successfully achieve innovation competence, there are six main skills that combine to create the ability: creativity, leadership, creative self-efficacy, energy, risk propensity and ambiguous problem-solving.

Schools have the opportunity to create learning environments that foster these skills. It all starts with identifying innovation competence as a key educational goal for students to master. From there, the six skills can be woven into the ways that teachers approach the material and shape how students learn. For example, conceptual learning environments that prioritize hands-on learning and exploration over rigid lectures and flat textbooks support the development of innovation competence because it gives students the chance to exercise all of the six innovation skills while truly mastering the concepts and achieving long term retention. 

Conceptual learning is the solution that deepens understanding while developing creativity, leadership, creative self-efficacy, energy, risk propensity and ambiguous problem-solving. It is all activated through hands-on experience and real world application in an environment where mistakes are easily fixed and curiosity is the guide.

Conventional teaching methods, on the other hand, rely on rote memorization to temporarily create a superficial acquaintance of knowledge. We now know that rote memorization is ineffective because it fails to help students understand the underlying concepts of the material. This is why students struggle to retain knowledge and think innovatively. 

3D stereoscopic technology has the power to transform students into future innovators because it creates the ideal conceptual learning environment. Hands-on learning with three dimensional objects represents a constructivist approach in which the students develop their knowledge and understanding through interaction. Knowledge is transferred not only through visualizations, but also through a hands-on experience that allows the student to grab and hold the model as they alter, rotate, and explore. This enables participants to make decisions such as communications, analyses, evaluations, and revisions that cannot be made as conveniently in any of the individual modes alone.

When students use the interactive models as a learning tool, they are more successful in learning the concept due to aided visual perception skills and the sensory experience. This method accomplishes so much more than from merely viewing images on a printed page. Better understanding and deeper skill development is associated with the students who use their hands to physically manipulate models and engage with the material in creative, risk-taking ways.

Handling objects in this way simplifies complex concepts and supports the ability to make abstract observations quickly, thus enabling students to develop their language where they can talk about the new concepts and think through creative ideas. 3D learning breaks apart a complex topic into simpler pieces and demonstrates each step in a tangible way. This trains students to be active investigators of their world where they learn best by exploring and making connections to the world around them. Inevitably, this way of thinking leads students to habitually identify problems to be solved and develop innovative solutions.

This conceptual and exploratory type of a layered, experiential learning environment helps students learn twice as fast. Teachers are empowered to use the 3D simulations to coach students to go deeper and better understand the nuances of complex concepts in more concrete and tangible ways. Each lesson becomes an engaging journey instead of a boring lecture. This results in excellent engagement, rekindled curiosity, and ultimately, a deeper, more efficient learning for the entire class, developing the six components of innovation competence in each student that will shape them into tomorrow’s innovators.

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