Spinner: MIT app inventor

A child from 7th grade made a spinner using MIT app inventor. He took 3 weeks to complete the project.

MIT app Inventor: It is an application where you can make mobile app. It is similar to scratch where you can stick blocks.

The child shares his experience in the video and how he made it.


Routing Ethernet Cables

The 9th grader at Udavi volunteered to paint the new Ismart class room that is being built in the factory side of the Udavi school campus. Which joins along with the Aura Auro Design Lab.

The new space required LAN connectivity.

The LAN cables where already routed to junction boxes which had to be clipped and fixed to the 24 model switch box.

(The box varies from brand to brand, Legrand is easy and takes less time to clip to the individual sockets but is ~ Rs 150 per unit that is 3x larger than other brands) The one that was used required more fine work of screwing and unscrewing individual wires of the CAT 6 LAN cables.


Vignesh connecting a socket box

Velmurugan connecting a socket box



We used straight connection for crimping the rj 45 connectors to the switch box






Then finally we tested if the wires were connected properly with a testing probe.


(The device had eight LED’s that would be connected to both ends of the cables. One of the device was the master and the other was a slave. The master would send a signal for each of the eight wires present on the CAT 6 cable and the slave would light up LED’s accordingly)

Visitors to STEM Land

We usually have visitors to STEM Land and this week around 20 trainees of the Puchki program(trains teachers to take up environmental aspects) in Auroville had come to STEM Land. They were so excited to see what the children were doing in STEM Land. They were also happy to see how things were organized in STEM and how children learn. They said that, the way children worked here had really inspired them to learn more. Children solved the rubrics cube, demonstrated Lego mindstorm and showed their projects made in Scratch and Geogebra and also explained to them how what they did works. The visitors also put on their logical thinking hats and worked on a few cast puzzles. They saw some children de-soldering the old project kits at the soldering station also asked a few questions to the children about it. The room was filled with lots of energy and eagerness to learn and there I realized the purpose of STEM Land to learn, grow and teach.

Vaughn Cube

During Maths class children were having difficulty in telling tables quickly. Our children were able to tell tables in order but it was difficult when it was random. So we started using Vaughn cube. Vaughn cube is a set of videos which help children to tell tables quickly. We started using the it with 3rd and 4th graders. At first children felt interesting. It middle they felt it was boring because the videos were so long. Then we started to use cards that has been taken from the video. when they started with 3 table they couldn’t tell the  number or answer in 3 table. Later when they started noticing the pattern. They when i asked some question they use to tell the object that is present between two number. Once they know all the object they use to jump here and there to tell the answer. They really felt happy that they were tell all the tables from 1 – 10.  To tell the tables they need to know 28 objects. Next they need to know between which number certain object should come . Once they knew that they were able to tell tables. If we follow the instruction in the video it will be boring. Vaughn cube should be used in short time and if extended for long time children feels boring. Children wont  wait for the  teacher to ask the tables. They them self  pair together and ask tables in random order.

Engfmt(Engineering Format) Documentation

Link : https://pypi.python.org/pypi/engfmt/1.1.0

engfmt – It is a package used to read and write numbers in engineering format.

In engineering format a number generally includes the units if available and uses SI scale factors to indicate the magnitude of the number.

For example:



This package is designed to convert quantities between the various ways in which they are represented. Those ways are:

As a tuple:

For Eg: “1ns” – would be represented as (1e-9, ‘s’).

As a string in conventional formats:

For Eg: “1ns” – would be represented as ‘1e-9 s’ or as ‘0.000000001s’.

– This form is difficult to read for people.

– engfmt treats it more as a format meant for machines rather than people.

As a string in engineering format:

For Eg: “1ns” – would be represented as ‘1ns’.

– This form is difficult to read for machines

– engfmt treats it more as a human readable format.

The Quantity class is provided for converting between these various forms.

  • A quantity is the pairing of a real number and units, though the units may be empty.

1.It takes one or two arguments.

Eg: Quantity(1e-9) or Quantity(1e-9, ‘s’)

  • The first is taken to be the value, and the second, if given, is taken to be the units.
  • The value may be given as a float or as a string.
  • The string may be in floating point notation, in scientific notation, or in engineering format and may include the units.

Some examples of the conversions are given below:

For example, any of the following ways can be used to specify 1ns:

As a tuple:

>>> from engfmt import Quantity

>>> period = Quantity(1e-9, ‘s’)

>>> print(period)


As a string in conventional formats:

>>> period = Quantity(‘0.000000001 s’)

>>> print(period)


>>> period = Quantity(‘1e-9s’)

>>> print(period)


As a string in engineering format:

>>> period = Quantity(‘1ns’)

>>> print(period)


Note: In all cases, the giving the units is optional.

Conversions – Using quantity object you are able to convert it to any representations:

>>> h_line = Quantity(‘1420.405751786 MHz’)

# to converting to tuple with units

>>> h_line.to_tuple()

       (1420405751.786, ‘Hz’)

# to converting to string with engineering format

>>> h_line.to_eng()


# to converting to string with conventional format

>>> h_line.to_str()


You can also access the value without the units:

# convertig to float

>>> h_line.to_float()


# converting to a string with conventional format – without units

>>> h_line.to_unitless_eng()


# converting to string with engineering format – without units

>>> h_line.to_unitless_str()


# Get the units only

>>> h_line.units


There are many other functions also in this package, which is available in the link given.

Some of the functions are given below:

  • Quantities As Reals – You can use a quantity in the same way that you can use a real number, meaning that you can use it in expressions and it will evaluate to its real value.

For Example:

     >>> period = Quantity(‘1us’)

     >> print(period) 


  • Quantity Class – Quantity class can be used directly, like shortcut functions.

      For Example:

      >>> from engfmt import Quantity

      >>> h_line = Quantity(‘1420.405751786 MHz’)

      >>> str(h_line)


      >>> float(h_line)


  • Physical Constants – The Quantity class also supports a some physical constants.

      For Example:

     Plank’s constant:

      >>> plank = Quantity(‘h’)

      >>> print(plank)


  • Exceptions:

The best thing in this is it also gives Exceptions:

Eg: A ValueError is raised if engfmt cannot convert a string it into a number:

For Example:
			>>> try:
			...     value, units = quant_to_tuple('xxx')
			... except ValueError as err:
			...     print(err)
			xxx: not a valid number.

Installation / Usage :

Requires Python2.7 or Python3.3 or better.

1. Use ‘pip install engfmt’ in the cmd prompt to install.

2. By importing the .py file:

  • Download the package from the link.
  • Copy the engfmt.py from the package and put in the working directory of the python.
  • Import the file by from engfmt import* / from engfmt import Quantity.

Story of minus into minus is plus

Children from 8th were learning algebra and had difficulties with the sign operations. They were able to come up with stories of multiplying minus into plus, plus into minus and plus into plus but they couldn’t come up with a story of minus into minus. They asked the volunteers and facilitators to tell a story for it but they couldn’t get the right story for it. Sanjeev gave a story and explained how negative value multiplied with negative value becomes positive. Children even tried the story on the staircase. They closed their eyes and walked backward (negative) and facing down the staircase (negative) and when they opened their eyes they saw themselves climbed few steps up(Positive). They were excited and were able to implement it on their algebraic equations. They had fun while learning it.

How to compress image size in Ubuntu

1. Open the terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T).

2. Install imagemagick by

sudo apt-get install imagemagick

2. Go to the directory of the folder in which you want to reduce the image size.

3. Then type the following command

mogrify -resize 800x * 

Example :

dell@Inspiron:~/Desktop/Image/$ mogrify -resize 800x *

Inauguration of clay room


The Roof was built with slabs that were attached together with bindings, and sealed off with some material that had become torn and corroded. Thus making rain water seep in. The solution was covering the cracks with tar sheets. Naveen had got the excess sheets from the repair works at Aura Auro Design’s Lab. He also got a Flame thrower that was antique 😉 (We along with the children had a time figuring out how to light it up) It was a manual tool we had to compress air and it would send out a mixture of kerosene and air that would burn. eventually 🙂 . The children started to measure and cut out the tar sheets from a roll. Naveen  and the children placed the sheets and heated them to stick on the roof with the flame thrower.

We hope this will prevent rain water from seeping in. The roof was then painted with a bright yellow oil paint. We bought 6 liters of oil paint. Children started painting during their sleepover. It took two evenings to paint 2 coat of painting on the roof.

Painting Inside:



The room was now ready to be inaugurated on Sri Aurobindo’s birthday. We had as our chief guest, Swami Sarvasahananda from Ramakrishna Mission, Chengalpattu. He graced our space with his blessings, talk and music. That morning the school was abuzz with activity. Children had stayed over the previous night to participate in the dawnfire meditation. When we came from there, we were working on decorating the clay room. Garlands were made, photos of Sri Aurobindo, Mother, Sri Ramakrishna, Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda were decorated. Lamps were kept ready for the opening. Children with help from their teachers got the PA system ready. The harmonium and tabla were arranged. Gopal from Mantra pottery joined us that morning to do clay work. It was a session that children and adults enjoyed. The Swamiji lit the lamp and invited the teachers to do the same. Once the lamps were lit, we all connected with the Divine Mother through songs that the Swamiji and children sang. For those who could remember how forlorn the room had been, it was touching to see how the same little room was shining with all of us invoking the Divine.

As one of the facilitators in creating our clay room, I witnessed the transformation of a space we had neglected over the years into a bright space that we look at every day. That we can transform our environment with one-pointed concentration, team-work, openness to learn, consecration of our work to the Divine are learnings that will stay with us and reveal themselves to us as and when we are ready to understand them.

When I was working with the children in the clay room I learnt to be patient. Involved all the children and gave equal opportunities to all the children. Learnt team work from the children. I saw sharing and caring from the children while working as a team for my self and for others.