TFoE, India’s First Teenage Think Tank, Provides a Unique Platform to Help Students in Research Projects
TFoE (The Future of Everything) is India’s first teenage think tank. Launched by three teenagers – Veer Bathwal, Maahir Jain and Govindnarain Khandelwal – the objective of TFoE is to find the most committed, enthusiastic, and bright-minded teenagers, through a selective process, and provide them with the platform to voice themselves and engage with research on a topic of their interest.
TFoE aims at using its social media platforms and website to spread awareness on the research conducted by the program’s participants, which often address topics of global significance. With their target audience being high-school students who have little or no research experience, they provide them with a platform where they can voice their interests. To add to the learning experience, the founders – who have done research before – also share their experiences and provide resources to make the process smoother. Furthermore, TFoE holds regular community sessions, where all the program’s participants discuss their research ideas and get feedback from the whole group – the diverse perspectives open up a myriad of opportunities for everyone, and this helps them grasp what direction they want their research to go in.
Veer Bathwal – Founder, TFoE said, “TFoE primarily looks at future prospects of multiple fields that the program’s participants are passionate about. For example, some of the work previous participants of TFoE have done include a literature review on the potential of novel methods to develop organs artificially, an exploration into the impact of sport medicine on career-threatening injuries in athletes, a survey into how the test-optional policy in the US has affected the economic scenario around standardised tests such as the SAT and/or ACT around the world, etc.”
The benefit of engaging with other high-school students, instead of an older mentor, is that the participants are able to receive feedback and constructive criticism from like-minded individuals – while, of course, also having fun. Another differentiating factor is that TFoE provides an opportunity for current participants to become a part of its Leadership Team, and use their experience with research to guide and engage with participants of future cohorts. The program is also completely free for participants.
TFoE’s first cohort had 13 students and each student was assigned a mentor from the start of the program. The batch had their first orientation meeting during June of 2020 and had multiple community sessions, support meetings, and dedicated feedback sessions throughout the summer of 2020 until the culmination of their reports during the first week of August. Upon seeing the enthusiasm of the first batch, they were offered to be a part of the TFoE Leadership Committee. In the leadership committee, selected students would take on responsibilities such as managing TFoE’s social media presence, student mentorship for future batches, or handling logistical aspects of the TFoE program. The leadership committee allows students a unique opportunity for them to help manage a large scale project and matches TFoE’s vision of empowering the young adult.