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.
This year what was interesting for me was that I realized that learning has different curves. I have learned to be systematic and think of automation when I repeat something often. I worked on many projects last year and it gave me opportunity to be consistent and competent. The courses that was conducted in the I-smart class room was helpful to enhance my skills.
I worked on many EBD projects with Isai Ambalam school children. I have also noticed that the children who were academically weak were doing well at activities. Children were also more engaged in the class rooms and girls and boys were working together.
In Udavi I was supporting all the multi-grade classes. I needed to be always ready to answer any questions children ask. Since the children work on different topics and it is also multi-grade the questions are diverse, this makes me think more than what is needed for a black board teacher. Teaching them science, software and math at the same time makes it more interesting. I was always helped by the tools I learned from Stewardship for new emergence workshop. I have also got an opportunity to do research and access the teaching technique.
We used Iscape to install all the packages needed for Cadence.
Unzip and untar the file in a directory
tar -zxvf IScape04.23-s012lnx86.t.Z
This will open up a GUI:
Iscape is a user interface where we can install packages by giving a control file. This control file will have all the packages and will automatically download , install and configure the packages you want.
This is little tricky. When you load in the control file
Search and give control file
In our case the control file was called
In installing we got many errors and we were not able to install the complete package.
Install the latest of everything i.e. HotFix if available
The directory of downloads and installs is
We missed the name of the user so we created another userWe added something to be able to use the UI to add a user.
Around 37 government school teachers and a team from Azim Premji unversity visited STEM land. We presented a paper on “STEM land in Isaiambalam school” at Sindhanai Sangamam symposium. Some of them were inspired from our talk and they came to visit STEM land. The teachers saw what the children were working on in Isai Ambalam school. We had a Saturday school and all the children were working on the EBDs. The teachers interacted with us as well as with the children. One of the teachers reflected that we were thinking of each child and addressing his or her need differently and that was something she wanted to do in her classroom.
After that they visited STEM land in Udavi school. Children showed them few projects. The teachers also tried to solve caste puzzles. We also conducted a Stewardship session for the them lead by Sanjeev.
We are conducting a basic VLSI course. Around 16 participants from in and around Auroville are coming in to learn. We are only focusing on Digital layout and understanding basic concepts.
Give an introduction to CMOS technology and fabrication process. Give an intro to CMOS Transistors and it’s working. Introduce people to stick diagrams.
Introduction to VLSI technology.
Introduction on CMOS transistors and working.
Demo on LT spice simulation tool.
Introduced CMOS Inverter and ask participants to simulate an inverter in LT spice.
Showed a video on fabrication process and manufacturing a chip.
Introduced stick diagram and how it helps to get started with layout. Participants drew a stick diagram for an Inverter.
Introduced magic layout tool.
Helped them to login to our central server through VNC. This helped them to avoid installing magic in their laptops. We haven’t figured out a way to install in windows so far, but Magic sort of works fine in Ubuntu platform.
Showed top view and cross section of a CMOS transistor. This helped them to understand the fact that layout is all about top view of the devices.
Participants laid out an invereter using magic.
Once that was completed we showed them to extract and create a netlist. Netlist helps us to understand the connection and cross check whether the layout we laid out is correct or not.
Introduced NAND gate
Laying out NAND gate. (Note: We gave a circuit diagram for a NAND gate)
Extracting NET list and with the same netlsit draw the schematic usind the netlist.
Whoever completes should layout a NOR gate and repeat STEP 2 and 3.
Introduced to gates. (OR, AND, INVERETER, NAND, NOR and EXOR)
Understand the truth table for all gates.
Introduced few rules like Involution law, Idempotency law and De Morgan’s law
Task 1: Using NAND gate create OR, AND, INVERETER and EXOR. Draw schematic and derive the logic for the same.
Task 2: Build those gates using DM74S00N and bread board and test whether their logic were appropriate.
Intorduced Hierarchy. Showed how to import models that can be used to create complex layouts.
Task: Layout an XOR gate importing the NAND gate built in the previous classes
Task 1: Test different layouts with IRSIM
Task 2: Whoever didn’t complete XOR should complete XOR and test it out using IRSIM
We wanted people to see a real layout and at the end of the course, layout a micro processor.
Showed them a layout of a real chip.
There are three main blocks necessary for a micro processor. ALU unit, Memory and Counter. We used full adder for ALU and Flip flops for every bit for a memory and counter.
We had Saturday school with Isaiambalam children in Udavi school. Children were back from republic day holiday. Children had a lot of enthu playing games. Some of the children went to STEMland. Initially they were all playing games. Some of them were interested in doing something with the computer.
Some of the younger children from 3rd grade were doing programming in scratch. One of the children from 5th grade made an Alice program. He was very excited when he made his first animation in Alice.
One of the children from 3rd grade made a scratch program which made a cat to move when he puts the mouse over the cat. These were tiny programs they made but they were very excited when they could do such things on their own with the computer.
Note: I will share the Alice program and scratch program editing this blog soon.
Sankith from Asha (One of our funder) visited STEM land. He visited both centres Isaiambalam and Udavi. Children were very excited to show what they have learnt in STEM land. They also showed their projects.