Vihaan Agarwal wins the 2023 Kurt Hahn Prize with a remarkable invention

Posted: 05 June 2023

5th June 2023 would have been the 137th birthday of Kurt Hahn, the educator whose passion for experiential learning, and character development, inspired the foundation of the Round Square movement.

Hahn promoted holistic education as a means of developing well-rounded individuals, who possess not only academic excellence, but also strength of character, and a sense of responsibility towards society. His educational philosophy emphasised the importance of learning beyond the confines of the classroom. This philosophy is now brought to life, and up to date, by 250+ schools across the Round Square community who offer real-world experiences, challenge students to step out of their comfort zone and encourage them to engage in service to others.

In Kurt Hahn’s memory, Round Square presents an annual prize, which recognises exceptional acts of service to others by a student or small group of students. To mark this week’s anniversary of Hahn’s birth, we are pleased to announce that the 2023 Kurt Hahn Prize will be presented to Vihaan Agarwal from The Shri Ram School, Aravali, in India.

Vihaan has invented a glove, named Flexcomm, which assists partially paralysed people to communicate through small finger movements, using sensors to facilitate rudimentary sign language. His invention aids communication for those who struggle with speech by translating hand movements into speech or signals. Each finger of the glove can be programmed to generate different signals, allowing patients to call for assistance or make specific requests with a simple finger movement. Vihaan is now working with Dr. Amit Mehndiratta from the Centre for Biomedical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi to conduct research and patient testing.

On receiving the news, Vihaan said; “It is my honour and privilege to receive the prestigious Kurt Hahn Prize and I am truly humbled to be receiving this international recognition. This award is very special to me as I strongly believe that engineering should be used to solve for the most difficult problems of humans. Flexcomm is a step in this direction. I would like to thank my teachers, mentors, and parents for always encouraging and supporting me in my endeavours.”

Vihaan will be presented with the Kurt Hahn Prize, and will be invited to speak about his invention, at the 55th Round Square International Conference, which will be held in Kenya in October 2023.

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