Goodbye STEM, hello MANGO

Gaurav Bhatia introduced the MANGO model, which better accommodates humanities, to replace the STEM model. Photo by Matt Siciliano-Salazar | The Signal

Gaurav Bhatia launched a project called the “MANGO model” this year as an update to the STEM model.

With the rise of the STEM model, there has been a decline in support for the humanities. Between 2009 and 2016, the number of STEM majors has increased by 43% while humanities have decreased by -0.4%, according to Emsi, a data guide for education and employment.

Bhatia has spoken with Atlanta Public Schools, Cobb County Schools, and the Doraville City Council. According to Bhatia, they’ve all shown interest in the MANGO model.

“Right now I’ve been in the beginning phase where it’s like [schools] are interested,” Bhatia said. “I know with the Doraville City Council, the most recent response was, ‘How can I help?’”

The STEM model is a commonly used educational model that focuses on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

“The STEM model, while a great model of schooling, is very limited,” Bhatia said. “I teach English as a second language and the acronym STEM doesn’t really embrace those sets of skills, as well as many other areas of the humanities, whereas MANGO is more comprehensive.”

The “M” in MANGO stands for “multiculturalism,” which includes a variety of topics like cultural diversity, gender equality and protecting people who are bullied based on disabilities.

The “A” stands for “art,” which includes traditional arts — painting and drawing, music, theater, and media literacy.

“One important piece I want to add to the art is media literacy because the media is a part of the arts too,” Bhatia said. “Being able to not just look at sources critically but finding different types of sources other than CNN or Fox News.”

The “N” stands for “nature” focuses on environmental awareness and wildlife preservation, as well as animal rights.

The “G” stands for “grammar” to help people with writing, speaking, listening and reading. 

Finally, the “O” stands for “opportunity.” Bhatia said he wants to see today’s students more prepared to have the skills for tomorrow’s workforce. 

Bhatia included his interest in vocational schooling under this category as well as college planning, helping people decide how to pick a major and how to pick a college. But it doesn’t stop at college assistance because Bhatia wants to help students decide whether or not college is for them or whether trade school is another route as well as knowing what skills are in demand.

Bhatia’s vision is to implement programs for these topics in each school that decides to incorporate the MANGO model.

“I actually organize a group called Language Exchange Atlanta and the ‘M’ in multiculturalism as well as the ‘G’ for grammar embraces those ideas,” he said.

Bhatia has an extensive background in education. He currently works as an active learning and intensive English instructor at Beulah Heights University, as an academic coach at Infinity Learning and as an English teacher at English For a Lifetime Language Institute.

Bhatia is a Georgia State alumnus with a Master of Science in education. He also worked at Georgia State for eight years as an activity coordinator between 2007 and 2015.

“I want to have a lot of things done this year, putting together a board of directors and a list of different schools and what we’re going to try to do in each of them,” Bhatia said.