Way to Go! Varun Mehta, Hauppauge
A Hauppauge high school junior is using the power of technology to help educate children in India.
Varun Mehta, 16, created a series of educational videos in the Hindi language this school year to teach kids in the village of Nizampur the concepts of Vedic mathematics, a system of math that enables problem-solving without the use of a calculator or paper and pencils.
He got the idea after his mother took an online certification course last year and then taught the children firsthand — and observed their enthusiasm — during a trip to the country.
"They're very eager to learn but have a lack of resources," Mehta said of the village's children. Of the benefits of Vedic mathematics, he said: "In exams in India, you don't get to use a calculator."
The Vedic videos are about 20 to 30 minutes long, Mehta said, and he sends the files to his 50 pupils via email. He has created four videos so far and plans to continue the effort when the children's summer vacation ends in mid-July — at which time he expects to get an additional 25 students.
Mehta is a member of his high school's National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Math Club, Spanish Club, Interact Club and varsity tennis team.