Development through drama course

~Saranya

Three of us went for this workshop. It was happening past two weeks. Through this workshop I know to take class with only the instruction. There were few new activities I learnt from this workshop. It was really good. It help children to concentrate.

We can use the body to stimulate imagination and the imagination to stimulate movement.

It’s my treasure/ Stolen Treasure – change the name to suit group

Set up a semi circle of ‘treasure’ around the person who is ‘on’. This person closes their eyes or wears a blind fold if they are younger. The class are invited one at a time to have a go to ‘steal’ the treasure (with some groups ask them to put hands up if they want a go and teacher makes sure everyone gets a go – in silence). They creep forward, take one piece of treasure and return to their place without making a sound. The person who owns the treasure must try to hear where they are and if they point in that exact direction then the person must finish their go/ return their treasure.

Traffic Light – using the colours to move/slow down and freeze. Variations include swapping the meaning of colours eg Red= Go- this demands more concentration; or adding in further instructions as people are moving in one mode, eg Amber means walking on tiptoes, Green means walking like a gorilla etc.

Snake Lines

Starting with one long line, give each child a number from 1. Explain you would like them to move around the room like a snake, staying together in one long line. Practice this.

Then explain that when you call a number you want that number person to be at the front of the snake. Anyone whose number is lower, must walk quietly to the back of the line. Practice this.

Once the group have mastered these first stages, then make 2 lines, standing shoulder to shoulder. Give each pair a number and repeat the exercise as above. When the pairs are going to the back of the line they should separate in different directions – person on left goes left, person on right goes right.

Once all of this has been mastered add one further challenge, when you say ‘Split’ the 2 lines separate out and follow their own path. When you call ‘unite’ then they must try to come back together again without stopping if possible.

Paired film-making

In pairs label yourselves A & B. A’s must think of an activity they can act out- something from everyday living, eg washing, eating, cleaning, gardening. Staying where they are (not moving around the room), A’s begin their action.

B’s are the film-makers and they are filming the action. They can choose long shots, medium shots or close-ups. Let this run for a couple of minutes while everyone is absorbed. Then swap roles.

Afterwards give pairs a couple fo minutes to chat about what shots they would keep in their films.

Mirrors

Standing opposite your partner one person begins to move their hands slowly and the other follows. The aim is to move slowly enough so that the action is perfectly mirrored. Swap roles so that the other person leads for a while.

Developments:

  • Have no leader- try to co-lead it

  • Lose the strained staring at each other- aim for a soft gaze

  • Add music for a longer, more sustained actionAsk the pairs to Freeze at certain moments and decide if they were in a story right now who might they be and what might the story be?

    1. You can keep changing partners for this exercise so pupils get used to working with each other

       

      1. Moving in different ways

      In this exercise the class is moving around the room responding to instructions and narration given by the teacher. Begin form normal walking and then introduce:

      • Medium: in sea, on land, in air

      • Purpose: searching for food/treasure, escaping, moving from one place to another eg out of the sea, out of a hole

      • Surfaces: dry earth, into mud, onto hot rock, thick undergrowth, marbles, wet tar, sharp stones, on ice

      • Conditions: light, darkness, hot, cold, windy, stormy

      • Physical condition: strong becoming weak, determined then giving up, disappointed then hopeful.

      • Adverbs: happily, sadly, excitedly, lazily, determinedly, nervously

      It is best to alter the energy of the types of walking to maintain interest. If a group are engaging in one well then perhaps you can add more detail to allow a story to build around it.

    2. Group movement journeys

    In small groups, ask the class to choose scenarios (or give them scenarios if they are younger) for a journey that requires them to be in silence. Remind them to use other imagined senses including imagined touch, smell, vision, listening etc. This can all be done at the same time using some music, or individually.

    1. Body as Objects

    Walk around the room. When a number is called get into groups of that number. Call out an object and then tell the groups to make this object suing all of their bodies together. Countdown 10-1 and then FREEZE. Repeat as long as the class are absorbed in the task. Explore everyday objects, but also include difficult or even ‘impossible’ objects eg helicopter, Eiffel tower, wind turbine.

    This can be developed from objects that do not move to electrical objects, or objects with switches etc to add some movement.

    1. Estate Agent

    Using the Body as Objects exercise the teacher becomes the estate agent. Ask one other child to be the house buyer. Show them around the house explaining what objects are there and asking the other children in the class to make the objects spontaneously.

    With older children this can be done in groups, and the teacher becomes the buyer. Give the groups time to practise and then share each one with the class.

    1. Pop-Up Stories

    Tell a story with the class in a circle. Explain that when you mention an object, you would like some children to come into the centre of the circle to make that object. When that part of the story is finished they can sit down again. With younger children who might want to be in the picture all the time, you could use a story with full settings- eg gardens with many trees, flowers, creatures or a bedroom with a bed, wardrobes, lights and beautiful silk curtains. This way they can all be in each picture.

  • Images: Will be coming soon

 

Discussion with Krishnan Maharaj from Ramakrishna mission

~Ranjith, Poovizhi

We met Krishnan maharaj from Ramakrishna mission in Chengalpattu. He is in the management of the polytechnic and works in building personality and leadership. We had a discussion about the situation of engineering graduates now a days and what are the causes for it. We also discussed about how to solve them.

Few of us brought up the following causes:

1. Students just mug up to score well in their exam without understanding anything out of it. Since the graduates are not trained in doing more practical and hands on stuffs during the course they are not skilled enough for industrial requirement.

2. Some students are forced to study engineering by their parents, neighbours and relatives to get a status in the surrounding though the student is not interested in it.

3. After completing the course students are forced to go to any kind of job to repay their education loan and debt. This itself becomes a barrier for their higher education and the exploration to other opportunities to learn.

After sharing our point of views and they all were more about technical solution (skill development), he shared his point of view “White hot desire” which motivates constantly to achieve higher goal.

White hot desire has a following three step:

 

Anupama Jagadeesh – Volunteering at STEMland – AAD

Anupama deeply cares about self-exploration. She has 18 years of experience in web based applications for various corporates in the US and and has just moved from Seattle. She was a senior development lead delivering products primarily on Java platforms. She is very interested in alternative education and she trained herself in Montessori and has home schooled her two children.

She is supporting us in making the school database software automated version in the afternoons after 2pm. It is really helpful for us to have a senior and experienced person to work with.

MTA (Mathematics Teachers’ Association (INDIA )) Conference at Mumbai

The conference was happening for three days. There were about 100 people from different states. We wrote a paper on how children can  learn mathematics by building project using physical technology eg. building /  construction. Virtual technology such as programming. Children can also learn conceptual ideas by programming a computer.  It helps them to break down their ideas into smaller bites for a computer to follow.  At the conference we met many people who are working on the Maths education. People who were attending the conference were school teachers, college professors and some research people.

They were many  paper presentations happening and debate were happening about mathematics. Most of them talked about the Mathematics at college level. There was a technology session happened using with GeoGebra. Where they introduced how to use this software. They showed how to find the angles and how to draw a parallelogram. They introduced all the tools to us on how to use GeoGebra. To learn more about Technology  session  Click here

Other Posters at the conference:

As I went for Epistemy7 conference. From my conference experience going with Sanjeev to the Epistemy7 I had just followed everything what he had told in Epistemy7. I followed those things in MTA conference. I had a check list and also created a directory structure with everything that I am going to present. There were about 30 poster and we need to present in an hour. Most of the people visited our poster and I was happy that we were able present our poster to everyone.  We also asked people to sign up their Email ID  to send further information. Since I took initiative to present the paper I was well prepared for the presentation. I also met many people who had already came for the  Epistemy7 last year.

 

Technology in Mathematics-MTA-2019

~Saranya

I went for Mathematics Teachers’ Association (MTA) conference @Mumbai. There I was curious to attend the workshop about technology in mathematics. Initially they asked us to install geogebra classic 5. They taught us to use all the options which was available inthe geogebra.  We started with polygon then we kept on working on that.  One thing I learnt new that is trace on and annimation on. We have to plot two points in the geogebra then we have to turn on trace on(to draw in mannual). After that we turned on annimation on(It will automatically take the radius of that two point and then it will draw). This was interestion for to indicate something with the colour.

In our STEM land already children were familer about the geogebra software. They did lot of projects by using geogebra. I was proud to say our children were familer with these things.

Also they taught excel formula’s for sum, random etc…

Scratch course in Thamarai learning Centre

In Thamarai Learning Centre  STEM land team offered a basic scratch course in the evening for 5 days from 5.30 PM  to 7 PM. The facilitator in that centre didn’t know about scratch so they also joined  the course. There were about 15 children and 4 facilitators.

Day 1:
First day we introduced the different blocks and its function in scratch. Children started to explore and were excited in exploring the different options in Scratch. We have asked the children to create 10 question and answers. Then we introduced how to have a conversation between two people. Initially we showed them how to make a conversation with the 10 question. Slowly children started doing it on their own. They learnt to use ‘sensing’ and ‘=’ operators to ask 10 questions. When the wrong answer is typed, the same question should be asked again until the user gives the correct answer.

Day 2&3:
We introduced the pen function and motion function. Using these functions we showed them how to draw with and object and also to move a objects. Once when they were able to finish we had asked them to draw a triangle. They didn’t want to give up and after 15 minutes they figured it out. Then we asked them to draw a square, pentagon,hexagon, heptagon, octagon. Then they were able to draw different types of mandalas using ‘rotate’ block.

Day 4&5:
We had introduced children hoe to build a maze game. We showed how to move a object when a key is pressed. Children worked in pairs with each other to create a maze path in the backdrop image. They were able to use sensing function and also become familiar with motion function.

Everyday we asked children to sit in a circle at end of the session for 10 minutes. We asked them to share one thing that they learnt in the session. All the children share something that they learnt.

Most of the children loved and enjoyed building their own game. This created confidence in children that they can make many things using scratch.

To learn Scratch     Click here

Raspberry pi course

In STEM land a person from Auroville came to the iSMART class to conduct a course about raspberry pi course. Initially I dont know how to use raspberry pi. I was curious to learn raspberry pi. I also learnt the differences and advantages between Arduino and Raspberry pi. I learnt the different pin functions and the number of pins on a raspberry pi board. Day 1&2 was fully theory session which was boring.

In order to make it interesting I started ask many question to the teacher and the session was engaged by the participants. What really was interesting in the course was that the Arduino can’t drive a relay but with a raspberry pie we can drive a relay. One the teacher told that a relay can be driven by rapberry, he had a relay module but he couldn’t drive it. I took as a challenge and struggled for two days and I figured it to drive a relay. We made a small circuit with 2 LED where when the relay is on one of that LED will turn on and when the relay is off the other LED will turn on.

      

After this the teacher was also very happy and he also learnt something from us. Then the next challenge was that to send and to receive inputs from a raspberry pi to a web page.The teacher had asked who knows web page development.

             

Since I learnt Django web framework in STEM land, I was able to connect What I knew with what I lean now.  So I had asked him to show an example how to pass inputs from raspberry to a web page. Then finally in the last class we were able to complete all the task that we planed to accomplish in the course. Now I have some knowledge about raspberry pi and also I can build something with it.

To learnt about raspberry pi visit this link      Click here

Children solving puzzles

~Saranya

Children from 7th grade his name is Hariharan. During his activity period he picked up a set of puzzles to solve and he practicied it. After two weeks he is able to solve the same set of puzzles in 3 minutes.

And also he is showing everyone to solve the puzzles. I felt instead of giving instruction sheet we could use his video to solve the puzzles.

STEM Land Newsletter-July-Oct 2018

STEM Land Newsletter

Volume-4, July-Oct 2018

About STEM(Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) land

STEMLand is located in two outreach schools of
Auroville (Isai Ambalam and Udavi school). Children come to STEM Land for their Mathematics, EVS and science classes. They learn Mathematics, Electronics,
3D Printing, Programming, Mindstorms (Robotics) and learn to play strategic games that enhance logical thinking. The children take responsibility of their learning and plan their goals. They work individually, in pairs or peer groups and ask for support from facilitators when they need it. This self-directed learning is based on Sri Aurobindo’s first True principle of education (Aurobindo, 1910); “Nothing can be taught”. With younger children we work on real life projects that impact their surroundings. We believe a nurturing environment can support a child’s learning.

Isai Ambalam Shop EBD
In Isai Ambalam school the 7th and 8th graders had difficulty understanding profit and loss. On looking at the prices of stationary in the shops around they found that the price varied and the local shops in the village were charging too much. They also noted that it was not always easy for the younger children to have access to shops for small items they needed like pencils, erasers, scales, notebooks and their parents were not always able to get it for them. They started a small shop of needful things at the school during recess 
Read more.

Medicinal Garden
The children were keen on starting a medicinal garden at the school, when asked, the children said they were inspired by a session they had with a Siddha doctor in August. Children felt that a medicinal garden in the school can be used to cure minor diseases and discomforts and they could create an inventory of their own medicine. They also said that the garden would be useful for them as well as the future generations. Then children planned the location and chose it next to the washbasin so that the water used for washing hands could be reused to grow the plants 
Read more.

Elixir Course
Shanker (a web developer) who had attended the
python Django course offered at the iSMART
classroom, wanted to offer a course of his own on
Elixir. It was designed for 6 sessions in the month of September, across three weeks. Technically, it was a lighter course when compared to the Python Django. We learnt to design and create a simple phoenix project with the terminal, IEX commands, arithmetic operations and string functions. Feedback from the course indicated that the participants found it interesting and joyful.
8th Inspirational Festival (Mind Mingle)
Sanjeev and Arun were invited as guest speakers to the 8 th Inspirational Festival organized by Mind Mingle Helix and Rotary in Salem.The duo gave a brief introduction on STEMland. Then held a small workshop on Stewardship for all the speakers and participants. They received a good response from everybody Read more.
Learning about Indigenous cotton
 In Isai Ambalam school Deoyani Sarkhot and Pratap were working with the 7th and 8th graders on the importance of cultivating Indian cotton.They firsttalked about where cotton has been grown in India. They told the children that in West Bengal the best cotton is grown. Historically, muslin (a lightweight cotton cloth) was made from the best cotton in India Read more.
Scratch Course
A t Udavi school the 7 th graders had stepped in for
their Mathematics class for the first time in STEM
land this year. They saw their seniors work on
projects and some of them took the effort to work
with them, but we felt the need for a more rigorous
course for them. We used the first term holidays to
host a week long course on Scratch along with the
children at Udavi school 
Read more.
Independence Day Celebration 

This year we celebrated Sri Aurobindo’s Birthday and Independence day differently. Early in morning, 5 th to 8 th grade students went to see the birthday bonfire at
Matrimandir and spent some time in silence and meditation.The children then symbolically took the flame and ran from Town Hall, passed Solar Kitchen,Edyanchavadi, Kottakari, Alankuppam and reached Isai Ambalam School, and lit the firewood which was kept ready
 Read more.

 

Sets Game

A few girls from 10 th grade had built a physical game with a chart representing 3 venn diagrams (governed by 3 randomly selected rules by one team) and a set of 27 games pieces (3 shapes, 3 sizes and 3 colors). The other team players needs to place a piece on one of the areas and ask if it fits there. The goal is to figure out the original rules selected for each circle of the Venn Diagram and demonstrate the understanding of set theory Read more.

Bamboo Charkha

The children in 6th grade were not very sure of how the thread was made from cotton. In their textbook, they found a image of a Charkha. This got them enthusiastic and all the students wanted to make Charkhas.The class was split into two groups. Then they searched for resource materials in their school. Since our campus has many bamboo trees they came up with the idea to make charkhas using bamboos Read more.

Holiday EBD’s

During the 1 st term holiday children (5 th to 8 th grades) had come to school for half day sessions, to learn something new. There were different groups doing different projects. The EBD’s are Kitchen EBD(Read more), Automatic hacksaw(Read more) , Bi-directional People Counter (Read more) and Speed, Distance and Time (Read more)..

Papers accepted at MES 10

Two of our papers have been accepted at the international Mathematics Education and Society conference 10 to be held in Hyderabad end of Jan. Ganesan P., Patchaiyappan P.,et.al. (Jan 2019)
STEM Land (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics Land): Factors and Interventions Influencing Children’s Attitude Towards Mathematics, MES10 [Read..]Iyyanarappan A., Anand B., et.al. (Jan 2019) STEM Land (Science
Technology Engineering Mathematics Land): Deep Learning of Mathematical Concepts Through EBD and by Using Materials, MES10
[Read..]

Support a child

In partnership with Asha for Education we have set up a Support a Child  program for Isai Ambalam School the school we all volunteer in. The support will cover the needs of running high quality programs at the school including teachers salaries; nutrition; activities in sports, music, swimming and STEM land activities. The support for a child is Rs.11,000/year ($168/year). Please sign up to support a child here.

Our Team

We are a team of 12 engineers at STEM land. Our projects range from python programming and more recently to analog VLSI layout.

 

(Left to right) Sanjeev Ranganathan, Murali, Ranjith,
Poovizhi, Sundar, Saranya, Pratap, Arun, Sandhiya,
Naveen, Logeshwari, Abilash)

Meet the team

Support A Child Program II Phase

In partnership with Asha for Education we have set up a Support a Child program forIsai Ambalam School the school we all volunteer in. The support will cover the needs of running high quality programs at the school including teachers salaries; nutrition; activities in sports, music, swimming and STEM land activities.
The support for a child is Rs.11,000/year ($168/year). We have successfully completed Support A child program Phase I covering children from 3rd grade(68
children) onward. We are still looking to support 32 younger children in the second phase. Please sign up to support a child here.

Contributions can be directed towardsAuroville Unity Fund
(with a note for STEM land)
and mail to Dr.Sanjeev Ranganathan,
STEM land Udavi School, Auroville,
Edayanchavadi, Tamil Nadu – 605101
All donations are 100% tax deductible in India.
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Education system should go beyond examination

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