Our Journey so far
Started in 2016, The Learning Community at Quest is a vibrant space in Palavakkam (we are moving to Besant Nagar in June 2021) that brings together different learners who are actively engaged in learning a variety of skills in many different ways.
We have created unique learning experiences through our events, workshops, field trips, and summer camps. Collaborations with schools like KC High, HLC International and Akshar Arbol International School, has helped us create unique field trips, exciting events and other specially curated events in our space.
The success inspired us to curate our unique after school programme in 2017 — the Individualised Engagement Programme (IEP). Inspired by self-directed learning, IEP is designed to encourage every child to take charge of their own learning journey, with or without the assistance of others, by identifying their learning goals, choosing their mode of learning and evaluating their own performance and outcomes as well.
All the zones at Quest (Ratatouille (kitchen), S.T.E.M, Art Hacks, Thread Works, Performing Arts, Games Zone and Library), include numerous skills and activities for children to explore, and they could choose all that interests them. With Bloom’s Taxonomy, (a model which encourages higher forms of thinking such as analysing and evaluating concepts, processes, procedures, and principles, rather than just remembering facts or rote learning) each of the activities are designed to help children learn anything, in an easy and fun way.
We began merging tech to aspects of IEP, and we soon realised the lack of a safe and comprehensive cyber learning space for children. This motivated us to create a fun and safe learning app in 2018 — Breadcrumb: The Learning App
Aimed at encouraging children to be independent learners, the app is available worldwide on the App Store. The unique features of the app include setting limits on the screen time, a checklist for materials required for each activity, recording notes (photos, recording audio, doodling) and a Schedule Section which helps the learner prioritise their learning goals.
For our work in the field of self-directed education, we were recognised by The Alliance for Self Directed Education, and are a part of a global network of self-directed education institutions.
Our team includes dedicated individuals who passionately believe that every child is a gifted learner and can reach for the stars in whatever they set out to learn.
Our role as facilitators is to simply help the child discover as many opportunities as possible, and make learning as fun as it can possibly be! Together we can power through learning goals, make the most of your potential and work through any road blocks you face while learning.
Let’s talk about: designing versatile Math continuums, movies and deciphering the video edits that make them spectacular, shooting and creating your own content for YouTube, my fascination for DSLR photography, video games, anything tech, road trips, cars, bikes and food — every kind of cuisine.
Together we can: make learning math a lot of fun, problem solve through STEM and coding, choreograph a dance number, explore chords on the guitar, play cricket and basketball, conceptualise an idea, shoot and edit videos.
Frank started out by helping children of the community access Quest to bridge various learning gaps and expanded into taking Quest and Breadcrumb to schools. He co-hosts Talk-u-mentaries, runs the Minecraft Club and facilitates across Maker Space, Clapboard, Design Studio and Games Zone. He holds a Masters in Computer Science Engineering and strives to help children be empathetic and socially responsible individuals.
Let’s talk about: interesting skills that you wish to share, designing unique workshops for different age groups, curating knowledge sharing experiences that are packed with fun and learning, intriguing books, my love for tennis, a Nadal match, caring for pets, anything that spells chocolate, cleaning and organising hacks, designing on Canva from scratch, creating personalised, hand-made gifts and silly jokes — no joke is too silly for me!
Together we can: cook up a storm, bring the wackiest recipes alive, play tennis, and ultimate frisbee, do art together, create 3-dimensional paper crafts and make learning the English language joyful — be it reading, writing or expressing.
Madhavi started off as a volunteer with Quest, moved on to facilitating cooking workshops and chose to make this her dream job. She mentors children ages 4-8, spear-heads all the workshops we host and facilitates across Ratatouille, Design Studio, Games Zone and Stories Zone. She holds a Masters degree in Sociology and is a tennis player who plays for the love of the sport.
Raghavan Chellam a.k.a Rags
Let’s talk about: music — anything from beautiful classics to equipment and live band performances, the evolution of photography and my own journey from film to DSLR, wildlife and nature, every single detail about birds in the Indian subcontinent, target shooting, books – particularly travel books and Choco, my labrador.
Together we can: go bird watching, understand every concept of physics by testing it, sing, play the guitar and jam together, go from being an ameteur photographer to mastering the camera and techniques of shooting.
Rags has seen Quest through its evolution — from serving the community to being a space that empowers children as self-directed individuals. He mentors children ages 15+, co-hosts Talk-u-mentaries, handles accounts & admin and facilitates across Maker Space, Performance Studio, Clapboard and Games Zone. He is an award winning photographer, a bronze medalist in State target-shooting championships, an avid bird-watcher and musician.
Let’s talk about: designing learning experiences that help children have complete autonomy, my deep desire to change the language from ‘what teachers should do’ to ‘what children can do’ in the volumes of curriculums we all refer to, anything tech, decluttering, strength training, travel itineraries, birthday goals, my fascination towards nature and my endearing love for the Northern lights!
Together we can: create music together, design ridiculously fun games, play, explore different mediums and forms of expression in digital art, debate about anything under Psychology, grow a garden, discuss recipes and look up at stars in wonder.
Sharanya co-founded Quest and is on a mission to create physical and virtual communities that make self-directed learning an accessible possibility for every kind of learner. She directs all our programmes and facilitates across Design Lab, Performance Studio, Ratatouille and Clapboard. She is an Asia-Pacific Leadership Fellow from East-West Center, holds a Masters degree in Applied Psychology and is a trained classical singer.
Let’s talk about: learning systems and the changes we can bring about to increase access to content, your perception towards travel, learning to wield the camera to suit a plethora of wildlife conditions and sceneries, cars, the stock market and how you can handle money in a manner that gives you happiness.
Together we can: travel the nooks and crannies of the world, make videos that showcase your trip with a gripping narrative, deconstruct every single documentary that features Sir David Attenborough, karaoke, do origami and photograph anything — from a panorama to macro shots.
Srikanth co-founded Quest and is on a mission to seek and enable ideas that make the world a better place. He is the primary investor, shapes the direction we take, supporting us through the big decision and facilitates across Clapboard, Games Zone and Performance Studio. He is a professional stock market trader, investor in multiple start-ups and a wildlife photographer.
Let’s talk about: you and what you like to do, designing learning progressions, amazing online resources that can support any learning continuum, discovering common interests, overcoming challenges, classical music, historical sights in India and taking charge of your learning.
Together we can: appreciate the little things in life, simplify science, wonder at the beauty of numbers and the rules that influence their interplay, celebrate your every win, listen and sing, take virtual trips.
Vidhya always wished for a school that provided to every type of learner and with Quest she does exactly that. She mentors children ages 9+, designs learning continuums and facilitates across Design Studio, Clapboard, Performance Studio, Stories Zone and Games Zone. As an experienced teacher with the Cambridge board she helps blend academic rigour and life skills.
Talk-u-mentaries — a unique documentary watching experience for children! This article in DTNext elaborates the workings of our fun, virtual experience that began during the lockdown last year.
Are you apprehensive about taking up homeschooling as a path for you child? This article in The Hindu explains why our Unschooling Project helps young learners seeking an alternative.
What does holistic education look like? This article in Dinakaran explains how our Unschooling Project is mindfully designed to be holistic.
Ever wondered about alternate education? This article in Edex Live gives an insight into self directed education and our Unschooling Project. Find answers to questions you’ve always had about Unschooling!
Do you think the conventional schooling system is outdated? A customised learning journey for every child, rather than one standard curriculum feels like a futuristic idea, but is it? This News Minute article describes the importance of alternate education and how an evolution of the current schooling system is crucial.
Learning from home need not be an excruciating experience for children and adults! No matter where, learning should be fun, and our Unschooling Project is just that. Whether on Zoom, or in our space (when we reopen), it seeks to empower learners to learn happily.
Homeschooling need not be a daunting experience. With the right resources, it can truly help children learn with joy. This article in DT Next details the ways in which our Unschooling Project can immensely help every child be a self directed learner.
What does it mean to take a global education ideology and make it work in India? As we take our baby steps into the world of self directed education, Dr. Peter Gray from the Alliance of Self Directed Education visits us, to talk about this empowering way of learning and its relevance today.
These wonderful people and organisations help us provide an even wider range of skills to learners! Our partners include experts who are amazing in their field of work, physical spaces that design unique learning journeys, and advisors and well-wishers who enjoy making learning fabulous.
WeCAN is a resource centre providing services to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. It’s founded on the belief that a child with autism can learn many things, if it is taught to him in the way he/she learns. To achieve the ultimate objective of inclusion in the society, apart from working directly with the children, they also work towards creating awareness in the community about Autism. We CAN is Quest’s backbone, providing us with a whole lot of support, advice, guidance and encouragement.
Founded by Textile Art Lovers, Shuttles and Needles’ mission is to spread the joy & fascination of it by making more people take up Textile Arts. They believe Art tools should be fun, a pleasure to work with and easy so anyone can get started. With a wide range of world class Weaving looms, Spinning Wheels, Fiber Felting Art supplies and lovely yarns & fibres, their studio is any creative person’s dream place to be! They’ve spread the excitement of weaving in Quest, through the table top looms, wonderful basic-level workshops and taking creatives pursuits of first time weavers a notch up.
Crea-Shakthi is a Theatre Institution that operates a repertory theatre production company, has International Standard theatre training centres, provides theatre based learning solutions to schools, colleges and corproates. Manages a stand up comedy wing, the Pundits and curates the largest youth theatre festival in the country. As an enthusiastic team, they bring a variety of their productions and workshops to Quest and not only transform the space but take the audience with them to another world!