Monthly Archives: November 2016

Taj Mahal Project with Isaiambalam Students

The children at Isaimbalam school had been given a task to construct  a model of the Taj Mahal. They had split into two groups of 4 (boys and girls mixed). The students started by gathering information on how, where, when, whom,.. the monument was constructed, while doing so the children had engaged themselves in surfing the internet and were happy with what they had gathered. Once information was available the first group had started to build a clay model, and second group got into paper mache.

IMG_3823 IMG_3858This project was designed by Prathap, he had based this model upon Education By Design. Where children actively engage themselves towards the project. In building so they have added their knowledge from various resources. The following pictures shows the Monument getting to life.
TIMG_3860 IMG_3857 IMG_3831 IMG_3825 IMG_3822 IMG_3819 IMG_3854 IMG_3850 IMG_3848Project took two weeks to complete and this is how it looks now.

photo 1 photo 2

Reg: Prathap

Python Learning

This week I had a good time with python. Yes, I have learnt few things which I feel worth to share here.
It is an unordered collection where elements are stored as dictionary keys and their counts are stored as dictionary values. One can find out  the number of occurrence of the list items.
>>>from collections import Counter
# list1 is a list/array which contains numbers
>>>list1 = [1,2,4,5,7,3,5,0,8,5,4,5,4,5,6,7,3,1,2,0,8,3,4,5,2,1,2,3,1,2]
# Counter will convert list1 into dictionary
>>>count = Counter(list1)
>>># most_common function will give the series of all the elements and its corresponding occurrences.
[(5, 6), (2, 5), (1, 4), (3, 4), (4, 4), (0, 2), (7, 2), (8, 2), (6, 1)]
>>># get the most common element by sending 1 to the function
[(5, 6)]
>>>count.most_common(1)[0] # get element & no. of occurrence as dict
(5, 6)
>>>most_common = count.most_common(1)[0][0] # Get the most common element

Strip() :
In the past I have used strip to strip out some letters from a string. Example
But I strip() is also used to remove all whitespace at the start and end, including spaces, tabs, newlines and carriage returns.
I was looking for a module in python which used to rename all the specific type (eg. .docs, .txt, .py) files in a particular directory.
# Go to a directory get all the files of specific type ( lets say “.xls”)
# and rename it with ‘os.rename’
>>> import glob  # used to get all the dir / file from a specified path
>>>import os
>>>path = C:\\Users\\Vaidegi\\Desktop\\*.xls
>>>file_names_with_path = glob.glob(path+“*.xlsx) # to get all the excel files name
>>>for i in range(len(file_names_with_path )):
. . .          os.rename(file_names_with_path[i], student+i+.xls)

Stewardship Workshop for Deepanam Kids

We conducted a Stewardship workshop on 24/11/16 for the Deepanam school kids who have their Maths class in Stemland. We conduct this workshop for all the children we work with to have the same language for communication so that it would be easier for us to work with the kids. I also thought that it personally will help them to be more responsible towards their growth in their learning. So we conducted the Stewardship workshop to the kids and it was delivered by Sanjeev Ranganathan.

IMG_20161124_102530                                                                                   Deepanam_Steardship

We did the STAND(possibility/inner wisdom),fears and deep listening with them. For them to realize their STAND, the children were asked “The person whom they admire the most but, the person should not be personally known”. I saw some kids explore deeply inside them for them to realize Who they really are” and shared it to the group. Like before they also realized their socialized fears and shared it. Then we did the deep listening for the children where they did the exercises and shared how they felt. Even-though, Mahavir(Maths teacher – Deepanam School) who said he will be a spectator, joined the kids(with whom he works) and participated in the workshop. He also shared his stand and fears.



It was a different experience for me to work these kids. Some kids were really into the tools and were deeply discovering themselves. The kids were courageous to share their insights even-though they hesitated in the beginning. Some of the insights that came out were really inspiring for me. I like to see the kids using the tools and discover more about themselves and share it to the world.

Projects to demonstrate the Mathematical concepts

In the first term, I asked the children to build Mathematical projects based on their curriculum. That was the first time they were forced to think beyond their limits and not just solve them in their notebooks.

Most of the children made four projects (a project from each chapter) in Scratch. Amongst them, four students built entirely different projects. The thought process was entirely different and I will share that on my next blog. Almost all the projects were similar where interactive models were created. The reason behind that was all the children followed one of their friends who built a project on measurements but each had different styles.

From this I learned that the children actually needed some basic models to create projects. I created two projects for the children which inspired them. One of my projects was to demonstrate multiplication of Algebraic Expression and the other one was to plot graphs based on user’s input.

I am really happy to notice that the children started working and they are building projects using my code as a base.



Scratch Project 9th grade

This project is on ‘Set Theory’ where Ajay shows the different formations in sets. i.e, AUB, A∩B

Following is a project where Preethika draws a van using the co ordinate system.

Below is a project on Set Theory where Yuvraj shows us different sets visually.

Following is a project on Co-ordinate systems where Kabilan showcases the different quadrants.

Two Transistor Oscillator

We built a two transistor oscillator which turns transistors ON and OFF all the time. The speed in which it happens depends upon the value of the capacitor. The higher it is the slower is the process of turning ON and OFF.

Transistor Q2 turns on first as there is now a pathway to ground for C1, C1 begins to charge with its right plate being positive and its left plate being negative through R1.

C1’s right plate reaches a threshold where Q1 is turned on. Turning on Q1 gives a pathway to ground to C2, causing C2 to charge through R2 with a positive voltage on its left plate and a negative voltage on its left.

Simulation of the two transistor oscillator in LT spice.



The green wave represents output of Q2 TRANSISTOR at node1 with reference to ground. The red wave represents output of Q1 TRANSISTOR at node2 with reference to ground.

Simple Burglar Alarm

Prabhakaran 7th grade student from Isai-Ambalam school.He comes to Stem land on every Saturday and works on his own doing soldering and tinkering some electronics kit. He made this burglar alarm by himself with a buzzer,clip and a battery. Then he demonstarted how it works. In the mouth of the clip he placed two metal screws . Then he connected one of the screw to the battery and the other screw to the buzzer so that when both the screws are in contact it makes sound . Then he attached an icecream stick to a thread and stuck it on the side wall of the door. He then placed the icecream stick in between the metal screws of the clip and closed the door. When the door opened the icecream stick would come out from the clip and the metal screws would be in contact with each other, so the buzzer would be connected to the battery and makes the beep sound. This is a simple and a wonderful burglar alarm.

A video on STEM land

This is a video on STEM land which includes all children’s activity. In fact this short video is not enough to tell about the children’s work and their passion towards STEM land. The video speaks more than I do. Take a look at it.

A video on STEM land

Triad @ School

I had triad with 3 groups today.

I was really inspired and happy to hear them share their practices. They had noticed when they were in fear and how they overcame it. They were also able to notice when people talked about culture/caste in their society. A girl was able to speak out to her father about caste indifferences and she said she doesn’t like one bit of it.

Children were also able to notice when they practiced deep listening.

Most of their sharings were spot on and specific.

I learnt how to be open to everything from them.

Happiness 🙂

Installing Scratch on a 64x machine & creating desktop icon. (Ubuntu)

The following instruction can be used to install scratch in a 64x machine.



  • Download the Adobe Air and Scratch files from:

  • The following libraries are needed:

    sudo apt-get install libxt6:i386 libnspr4-0d:i386 libgtk2.0-0:i386 libstdc++6:i386 libnss3-1d:i386 lib32nss-mdns libxml2:i386 libxslt1.1:i386 libcanberra-gtk-module:i386 gtk2-engines-murrine:i386

  • Now you have to create a symbolic link to your gnome keyring:

    sudo ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/ /usr/lib/

    sudo ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/ /usr/lib/

  • cd into the directory with the AdobeAIRInstaller.bin
  • sudo ./AdobeAIRInstaller.bin
  • Now install Scratch 2:

    sudo “Adobe AIR Application Installer” /path/to/scratch2/installer/Scratch-437.air

Now making scratch an executable and run when double clicked ( usually needs manual configuration in Ubuntu)

1. define .sb2 file’s type
sudo vi /usr/share/mime/package/***.xml
*** is new file’s name. Set is as you like. ex)scratch2
write text below in the file

<?xml version=“1.0” encoding=“UTF-8”?>
<mime-info xmlns=”“>
<mime-type type=”application/x-scratch2“>
<glob pattern=”*.sb2“/>

2. associate .sb2 file with scratch 2 application
Find ”” file under directory of /usr/share/applications/ ,
and add only one line in the last line of that desktop file.

3. update
sudo update-desktop-databese
sudo update-mime-database

4. reboot PC

Common mistakes or typos:
– “/usr/share/mime/package/” should be “/usr/share/mime/packages/”;
– “sudo update-desktop-databese” should be “sudo update-desktop-database”;
– “sudo update-mime-database” should be “sudo update-mime-database /usr/share/mime”