Abilash who is taking up scaling of STEM Land in Auroville schools wanted to introduce Lego Mindstorms to children from TLC ( Theivan, Meet, and Daniel) who were interested in robotics. I (Sundar) took this opportunity to create a mixed group environment. I knew some children (Murali, Yuvan and Jeeva) who had already built robots using Mindstorms in Udavi and knew how things work. Murail came in early and set up the laptops with the instruction and PDF for building various robots. He initially was very reluctant in working with children with other background. Once all the children arrived in STEM Land we started with a few moments of silence and refreshed the ground rules. Initially they were a bit shy to speak and mingle, but as they started to work it became normal and the goal became important on building the robot. Both of the students were enjoying the session and were working very eagerly to complete (snake bot and humanoid) it within the day, due to lack of time they had to store the work in progress to be continued later next week.
As most of the students were new to electronics, they were asked to build a simple battery holder ( Aravind Gupta Toys) and to measure the voltage from the battery using the multimeter. They were given different batteries and were asked to measure the voltage by keeping them in series. They were able to notice the change in voltages in different batteries and enjoyed the process. The students helped each other by sharing their knowledge to their younger buddies and we were able to see the Peer Learning build up. At the end of the day they were able to learn about voltage, LED, copper, multimeters, and make the LED glow.
While preparing for the electronics class. we took “Automatic street light using LDR” as the circuit, where “LED” turns ON in dark, and turns OFF in bright place.
After giving the circuit connection, the LED didn’t turn OFF when it was bright. So we started analyzing the circuit, then we found out that, the R1 resistor was low when compared to the resistance of the LDR under the brightness.
We calculated the resistor value of R1, by assuming that
Vbe = 0.6v was needed to turn ON the “transistor 1”.
Resistance of LDR = 180 kΩ under minimum light for which LED should be OFF (if we further reduced the light, resistance will increase, then “LED” should turn ON and “transistor 1” should turns OFF).
From the calculation, we got that R1 = 13.17 kΩ, we approximate it to 10 kΩ.
This week the students of Auroville schools did a project on Vacuum lift. The task was to lift the glass jar with the use of balloon and not with the hand. When they first set the balloon on top of the jar, the air pressure outside the jar and the air pressure inside the jar were the same. As they lit a small piece of paper and dropped it inside the jar, heat was created inside it and was pushing its way out of the jar. This hot air pushing out past the balloon caused the balloon to wiggle. However, while hot air was going out, no new air was able to coming in (the balloon works like a one-way valve, letting air out but not in). So now there was less air, less stuff, in the jar. With less stuff taking up space in the jar, the pressure inside the jar was less than it used to be, that is, less than the air pressure outside the jar. Since the pressure outside the jar was greater than the pressure inside the jar, a part of the balloon was sucked into the jar due to vacuum. And now the students were able to lift the jar up by holding the balloon from its top.
Whille preparing for the class in Auroville schools about Siphon, the Isaiambalam students were curious how it works and were asking us how we had done it. So, Naveen and I were explaining the students how the siphon works and the different positions, it should be kept for transferring maximum liquid from one cup to another. The students of Auroville schools also enjoyed doing it, they tried out different ways of transferring the water(with single pipe and later with two pipes). They also tried to transfer 1 liter of water equally into three cups and were successful.
The STEM LAND Classes was started in Auroville Schools (TLC and Deepanam) from this week. In the first half of the class I asked the students to make a Spray with the use of straw and a cup of water. Though the students struggled a bit in the beginning they were coming up with different ways of spilling the water. When I gave some clues, they got the idea and started to build their own spray. The students had a confusion on how it works, and so the explanation was given to them about the higher pressure which pushes the water from the cup to the lower pressure of the straw. In the second half of the class, few cast puzzles and games were introduced to the students where they got excited and started playing.
The STEM Land team usually does 10 minutes of concentration everyday in the morning as a routine. This Wednesday(10/07/19) as a change we all booked and went to the Matrimandir inner chamber. We did the concentration for about 40 minutes. It was a different opportunity for all of us to visit Matrimandir as team, which made us feel really good.
“Though I have gone to Matrimandir many times, going as a team was a different experience, while leaving the chamber I felt good and light.”-Abilash
“I was able to still myself, as I have a connection with the place, it was peaceful for me.” – Naveen
“After the concentration I was able feel the peace and felt more concentrated.” – Prabha karan
“During the concentration, I was able pause my background conversations and move forward.” – Sandhiya
“Initially I felt tired before entering the inner chamber, but after the concentration I felted refreshed and focused.” – Murali
Abilash and Saranya made a relay circuit during the Electronic session with Vimal, so the goal was to turn ON and OFF the AC bulb with the delay of 1 second which was connected to the Arduino and Relay. The Arduino was connected to the laptop and bulb to the 230v Alternating Current through the relay. Pratap captured the video as a sudden surprise and made the learning rigorous.
The Morning session of Day 4 started with insights that the participants learned in the previous day, which was followed by a video “Story of Stuff”.The Story of Stuffis a short animated documentary about the life cycle of material goods. The documentary is critical of excessive consumerism and promotes sustainability.
Later a session was taken by Naveen where he taught the methods to draw graph and Coordinate Geometry using GeoGebra and some tasks were given to the participants. The participants were excited when different projects of the 9th graders were displayed by Arun.
After returning from Lunch , a short video on Semour Papert was shown.The Video was about how Papert recognized that computers could be used not just to deliver information and instruction, but also to empower children to experiment, explore, and express themselves.
The next session on GeoGebra was handled by Murali which included concepts like drawing shapes, midpoint and interactive inputs. The day was closed with a Quotation.