STEMland inauguration

-Arun, Saranya

STEMland was offered a new space in Udavi. All of us especially Saranya who took the lead for setting up the place were busy a couple of weeks setting up STEMland. Now we have a bigger space and  have a separate room for electronics.

A lot of thought was put into how the space should be organized and some construction and repairing was needed. This was handled by professionals and organizing the space was up to us. Saranya made a 3D model of space and were materials should come. We had no after thought, everything was planned before the move.

2D view of STEMland
3D view of STEMland

It was exciting for all of us including children who is going to use the space. Children were busy making projects to show for the inauguration. They were making projects in scratch, electronics, geogebra, mindstorms, etc.

Participation of Isaiamabalam children:

Children of Isaiamabalam were asked to participate in the event. They were given separate stalls to demonstrate their projects. Most of their projects were based on science and physics.

Preparation for the event:
Children and STEMland teachers decorated the place. Balloons were tied up and colourful Kolams were drawn by the elder children.  A symbol of The Mother decorated by flowers added more beauty.

Mother symbol decorated with flowers
Making kolam

During the event:

Teachers of STEMland gave speeches to start followed by lighting up of candles (Kuthu vilaku).

Pratap giving opening speech
Sundar giving his speech
Anitha lighting up the candle. Aruljothi (Tamil teacher of Udavi), Shankar (Principal of Aikiyam) and Davaselvy (Principal of Udavi) in the background
Anupama adding more light
Shalini sharing her experience in STEMland
Pavithra sharing her experience in STEMland

Two children from 10th grade Udavi also shared their experiences in STEMland.

Projects demo:

Children had different stalls set up with projects. Teachers from Auroville and outreach schools, youths, children of Aikiyam school and many more guests were invited to interact with children.

Children were excited to show their projects. A child demonstrated how different frequency can be heard by us. Games and puzzles were also displayed by the younger children. Naveen had a projects on spray painting and children explained the physics behind it.

Aikiyam children trying out cast puzzle
Exploring..
An Aikiyam teacher playing Abacon with 7th grade children
Printing using 3D printer
Spray painting demo
Making art using spray paint
Art of two hands
Asia map presented by 7th grade children Isaiamabalam

 

Model of a plant cell
Magic jug: pressure model
Mindstorm
Dinosor mindstorm
Voting questions
Electronic voting machine
Children of Udavi and Aikiyam playing games
Shankar (White shirt) principal of Aikiyam viewing projects
Tamil game set up by Isaiambalam children
Hearing different frequencies
Children enjoying snack (Samosa)

 

Paper sorting

We had lot of papers that were unused left from stewardship workshop.

We sorted those papers and looked at how they can be reused again. This activity helped us to identify a system that can be put in place to not waste any papers in future.

Finch: using distance sensor

-Arun, Abilash

Abilash and I were testing the distance sensors in Finch Robot, which lead us to do a simple project where the Finch has to go through a track we made.

Visit to Vedandhangal

-Arun

Children of Isaiambalam school have been studying about birds for some days. The 4th grade children were learning about local birds and their habitats. They were also interested in learning about beaks and legs of different birds and why they are different. We gave them access to computers, books and bird cards to learn and research. We also showed them documentary on Humming birds. They were fascinated to see humming birds being so swift in flight. Since they have learnt about flowers in the past children also picked up the fact that humming birds and flowers are interdependent on each other. Children cut out shapes of birds and hung them in strings to make them fly. Some of them were very happy to draw birds and colour them.

We also decided to take the children to Vedanthangal to visit some of the migrating birds.

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.

 

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.

Research at STEMLand

As STEMland is a research organization, we want to research our teaching methods and technique (Please look at the purpose of our organization). We are doing research on the following topics at STEMLand.

  1. Deep learning of Mathematics through engaging with life and interdisciplinary work (Arun and Logeshwari)
  2. Effective learning environments by utilization of LIAP (Leadership In Action Programs) in
    STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) Education (Sundar)
  3. Factors and interventions influencing student’s attitude towards mathematics (Poovizhi and Pratap)

We were supported by SAIIER to do these projects.