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.
More optionsView more
Education system should go beyond examination

Our research work

 

 

 

 

REFLECTION ON STEWARDSHIP FOR NEW EMERGING

What I learned about myself:

Session 1:
  • I care about happiness for myself and others.
  • I have background conversation, what I have to say next.
  • Background conversation within me, putting me into fear
  • How my values are connected with my emotions, which help me to grow and overcome my fear.
Session 2:
  • My past is influencing my interpretation about facts.
  • I noticed that I don’t feel Overwhelm, when I took problem as a challenge.
  • I noticed that I am mostly in 0-3 stages in Stage of leadership.
  • I noticed, my root cause of my unhappiness, is condoning the action.

What I will do differently because of what I learned:

Session 1:
  • Don’t care what project I’m choosing, but it should make me and others feel happy.
  • Start conversation from wisdom (value) profile to make commit request.
  • Eventually I will overcome my weakness (gender bias)
  • Practice deeply listen my thoughts (when thinking) and deeply listen others( when having conversation)
Session 2:
  • Use Phrase” I don’t want your gift”.
  • Step into action instead of feeling overwhelm.
  • Use integrity tool to complete my action.
  • Practice discernment.

Photography Exhibition – reflection

Children of 5th grade from Isaiambalam school put up a photography exhibition last Saturday(16.11.2018). I went in as a visitor and was curious to know what those little hands could have captured using the big shot cameras.

The photographs were displayed in bamboo frames that the children themselves made and was hanging on the walls of the visitor center. The frames were beautifully made with bamboo sticks and printed cloths stuck to it. The photos were simple added with life and beauty. It had catchy cations under each photographs. They had the courage and creativity to do something different. Children presented their work and talked about their learning and reflections to all the people who were present. Initially I could feel their nervousness and fear talking in English in front of everybody but after a while they were flawless. I hope it inspired all their peers in the school and encouraged them to do something different in the future.

 

Raspberry Pi Documentation

~Saranya

The Raspberry Pi is a low cost, credit-card sized computer that plugs into a computer monitor or TV, and uses a standard keyboard and mouse. It is a capable little device that enables people of all ages to explore computing, and to learn how to program in languages like Scratch and Python.

What you will need

The Raspberry Pi ships as just the single-board minicomputer. There are a few additional components you will need before you can get started. So, when making your purchase, keep in mind that you’ll need the following extras.

  • Raspberry Pi zero
  • 5V micro-USB power supply
  • USB keyboard
  • USB mouse
  • microSD card(8GB or 16GB)
  • A monitor that supports HDMI
  • An HDMI cable
  • Wi-Fi dongle

Step 1: Reformat your microSD card

When the reformat is complete, you will get a notification window. Select OK to close the window.

Step 2: Download the Raspberry pi 

There is two different version that we learnt one is Terminal version another one is Desktop version. Here is the link to download Terminal version and Desktop version:  https://www.balena.io/etcher/      and  https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/

Here is the image for the page to download the Raspberry pi.

Terminal Version:

After installing it will ask your username and password. Then check your IP Address by typing this command if config ……

Step 3: Set up your Raspberry Pi

  • Insert the microSD card into the card slot on the underside of the Raspberry Pi.
  • Plug the USB keyboard into one of the USB ports.
  • Plug the USB mouse into one of the USB ports.

  • Turn on your monitor.
  • Plug the HDMI into the monitor.
  • Connect the other end of the cable into the Raspberry Pi.
  • Connect the power supply to the Raspberry Pi.

Once the installation process is finished, Raspbian will automatically begin to boot(Desktop version).

Step 5: Configure your Raspberry Pi

When Raspbian begins to load a bunch of lines of code will appear. This will continue until the boot process has completed. Then, the Raspbian Home screen will appear. You will need to configure your Raspberry Pi system in order to add your location, date, and time.

  • Click Menu in the upper left corner of the screen.
  • Select Preferences in the dropdown menu.
  • Select Raspberry Pi Configuration under Preferences.
  • When the configuration window appears, click on the Localisation tab.
  • Click on Set Locale… to set your location.
  • Click on Set timezone… to set your local time.
  • Click on Set Keyboard… to set your keyboard language.

  • Reconfiguring your Raspberry Pi will require a reboot. When the reboot window appears, click Yes to continue.

 

We did LED blink by connecting IP address. We accessed that LED in remote location it was like if we forgot to turn off the A/C. Wherevr we are by using raspberry pi we can turn it off the A/C. Here is the code for turn on and turn off the LED.

Once the terminal version installation process is finished, Raspbian will automatically ask username and password(Terminal version). Remining process please follow this video.

 

 

 

 

Reflections from SFNE workshop(Stewardship For New Emerging)

~Saranya

Session -1

1. When I deeply listen to others I was able to ground myself it made me relaxed and It made others also to be relaxed.

2. From the movie(12 angry men) I noticed they were talked about fact and interpretation.

3. Whenever I get complaints from someone I realized It was an good opportunity to learn and also I noticed when I am complaining to somebody I felt like I really care about the things that’s why I was complaining to somebody.

4. I realized that within 2 minutes I can make others to put in their fear at the same time I can make others to put in their stand.

Session-2

1. While doing the fact and interpretation tool I noticed myself is that if I give importance to the stories I was unable to find a solution (what to do next) at the same time when I give Importance to the fact I was able to know what to do next.

2. I have realized that moment to moment I was unable to be in integrity.

3. While doing the breakdown to breakthrough I noticed through my wild idea I was able to see what will be my output and outcome for my project. For breakdown to breakthrough I was able to connect with my synergistic operational.

4. I noticed there is relationship between fact interpretation and judgment and discernment.

5. I learnt what is the purpose for forgive without condoning.

6. While doing the overload and overwhelm I have realized that when I felt overload I was able to separate things according to the priority and also I can get help from others. When I am in overwhelm I did know what to do and also I did know whom to ask help. The overwhelm is just a feeling that I noticed it it was stayed in only few minutes then it’s gone when I went to do for another work.

7. When I was doing the conversation for completion I realized what was I missed for past conversation.

7. Whatever the thing I did in the past this session-2 helped me to notice and name it.

Learning scratch

The 7th graders (2018-2019 batch) had stepped in for their Mathematics class for the first time in STEMland this year.  They took their own time and became familiar with filling their weekly plan and updates on the laptops. They saw their seniors work on projects and were eager to learn, some of them took the courage to approach and did learn a few blocks in scratch and got the feel of it, but had a little hard time on expanding their code. They often started to play around with the back ground painting and changing colors of sprites, but the coding part was still a little confusing.

The previous batches had a guidance course into scratch and that had kicked started their projects.  I had thought to do something of this type and get the current batch flexible with programming too. Then as a team we decided to create diversity in the class and put up an announcement for all those who were interested in attending the course to sign up. 5th graders from Isaimambalam had shown interest and 8th graders from Udavi along with the interns in STEMLand the course began.

All the participants were eager to code and make the computer do what they want rather the vice versa. Pairs were made on a mix up of boys and girls, young ones and elders, interns and students. Each day started with a focused goal and how to broaden it when attained and make the program more flexible. Girls were eager in writing their scripts and explaining their program at the end of day or beginning of the next session on the main screen. Some children did not want to move on to the next task unless they had completed the current one to their satisfaction, and took extra time and involved in making their program more stable.

Through the course the children had learnt to use the pen function and through this draw regular shapes. Once they knew the basics they made the same program dynamic and used ‘for loops’ to show all the shapes starting from an equilateral triangle to square, pentagon, hexagon, heptagon, octagon, nonagon, and decagon.

The children had learnt importing and exporting of sprites (arc function to draw arcs in practical geometry, writing sprites to print on the screen)

Then they were divided into teams and created a game based on sensing objects or colors (similar to a maze game but when sprite touches a wall or unwanted object the game resets)

The children were given feedback forms, and the reflections were showing that they all are more confident now than before in doing projects with scratch. They also mentioned as teams they were able to learn and help each other more.

Towards the end all children had made a number of projects to show what they had learned through the course. This was a stepping stone for them to continue and make projects based on their curriculum to project their mastery over a concept.

At present the children have come up with new projects, e.g. Abinash, Shakthikannan have created projects in measurements. While Murali took it to the next level and is doing a project from out of his syllabus (a+b+c)^2. This has inspired others and Guna sundari, Yuvan, Jeeva, Jannani, Anisha have started to expand from (a+b)^2

STEM land 3rd birthday!!

On 16th October 2018 we celebrated STEM land’s 3rd birthday in Udavi school. A week ago children were back from their first term holiday and worked on creating projects to present during the celebration. Some children attended the scratch course conducted during the vacation and created projects on Scratch.

    

It was quite a busy morning, both children and STEM land youths were so energetic and were decorating and organizing the place. 9th graders from Udavi decorated the entrance of STEM land with colorful Rangolies. Tables were placed outside STEM land and children checked out the games and puzzles which they were interested and played them with the visitors.

    

Children and Teachers from Aikiyam and Isai Ambalam schools came. We commenced the event with a samosa and a banana for each.

    

It was a bit drizzling but we continued the celebration and STEM land youth gave an introduction about STEM land by saying the universal values and principles of STEM land, ground rules, learning rules and about the courses that we offer for youth in and around Auroville. One of our volunteers in STEM land who come to learn have also shared her experience and what she has learnt.

    

Then Sanjeev from Udavi followed by teachers from Udavi, Isai ambalam, Aikiyam  and Bridget from Thamarai lit up the lamp and begun the celebration. In front of the staircase the flames of the candles were beautifully dancing and saying “STEM LAND” and warmly welcomed everyone. Children’s projects were recorded and were projected.

    

     

Children from Isai Ambalam have also brought their projects and their EBD models. They were explaining their projects, demonstrated light sensing robot which they’ve made within two days and were also playing strategic games. Few Isai Ambalam  children also played games which were programmed by Udavi school children on Scratch.  The volunteers have also presented their project which lights up the LED serial lights only when someone stands in front of it and gets turned off automatically when no one is there.

   

It was unexpected and touching that the children from Isai Ambalam school have baked cakes and wrote STEM on them and brought them to Udavi. Visitors from Auroville and few people who have attended the courses offered by STEM land have also visited and played games with children. They went around STEM land and got to know what all we do and how children learn in STEM land and also solved some cast puzzles.

Everything went smoothly and the celebration ended with the same energy along with children’s drumming. It was fantastic to see both Isai ambalm and Udavi children drumming together. Children and visitors danced and enjoyed the celebration.

Holiday Scratch Course

~saranya

During the exam holiday we conducted basic scratch course for children. 7th graders are new to STEM land they donot know to make a project in scratch so we combined Isai Ambalam children with Udavi children. Day by day we are able to see changes from children. When we collaburate with other children it was really fun and learn. Some children from 8th grade also joined with us for helping. They helped their buddies and also they showed the task demo with children. From that demo children got an idea to complete their tasks.

Day 1: Ask question

We asked children prepare few question that can related to anything. They did it then we asked children to use funtions from scratch now use spirite and ask questions and also play it with others. 8th grade children showed demo of the task. Every children did well.

 

 

 

 

 

Day2: Shapes to Mandala

We asked children how many shapes do you know draw it by using scratch from that make a mandala and we have given one clue for them that is repeat function for mandala. When they did it they were so happy and theyn shared with other also.

 

 

 

 

 

Day3: Maze Game

We asked children to know how to play maze game.  From this we have given clue for children to make maze game. 8th grade children showed demo of this then many children made different kind of maze games. That was really awesome and everyone were enjoyed a lot. We gave chance to evryone to share their projects.

Day4: Adding life and score to everyone

Maze game they did for play at one time then we asked children to add life and score. We asked children to use data for that the did well and they taught others also.

Day5: Arc function and Write function

These two function is used to reduce our coding part. This will make our work easy.  The task is children should use these function. Children did it and also they made many projects.

We start and end with circle. I noticed that when we collaburate with other children peer learning was happened and we made new relationship with Udavi and Isai Ambalam. I felt this exam holidays helped for others and also we made the holiday meaningful.

Salem conference (Mind mingle)

Sanjeev and I were part of an educational conference held in Salem called the “Mind mingle – inspiring schools to be innovative”. People from different background gave speech on their views on education.  Garry Jacobs talk was very inspiring where he wanted to bring in values in education.

We gave a brief introduction on STEMland. Then we held a small workshop on Stewardship for all the speakers and participants. We received a good response from everybody.

Personal reflection: Being part of such a rich (knowledge) crowd was very different. I was nervous in the beginning but I talked from my possibilities. Listening to other speakers was very inspiring and motivating.

Heidi Interview

Heidi interviewed Sanjeev. Heidi came up with few interesting question for sanjeev. Sanjeev answered her question it was  interesting for us.

She asked about Stewardship for new emerging workshop with Monica Sharma and He talked about Leadership In Action Program(LIAP).

He shared his experiance of the stewardship tools and how it helped him to progress of who am I? What do I care for? What is my stand and social fear? etc…… He shared his experience of vipaasana meditation. He shared that what he learnt from these workshops.