Abalone championship

~ Arun, Murali

In STEMland we take up one topic in math for a week (sometimes a couple of weeks) and children are asked to explore more about the topic. We started with integers for the first two weeks and children presented many projects to demonstrate what they know about integers. (more info on our previous blog)

Followed by that we had Abalone week in STEMland. Abalone is a strategy game (more info..) and is one of the popular games in STEMland. Children of all schools were encouraged to play abalone and compete with each other. Children practiced playing for a week  with their pals.

On September 25th we had the final event. 42 children from Isaiambalam (which included ex-students) and Udavi school participated. We had a knock out round to start with and children were asked to compete with each other. Many of the children were knocked off and only four children were left to play the final round. The following four children competed  with each other in a league fashion. The one who won maximum number of games was considered winner.

  1. Ayush (ex-student of Isaiambalam)
  2. Shushma (Udavi)
  3. Vishal (Udavi)
  4. Udhay (Isaiambalam)

Ayush won against all the contestants and was declared winner.

Children starting with a circle
Knock out table
From left : Mani, Murali, Deepak
Children playing
Children playing
Children playing

 

STEMland inauguration

-Arun, Saranya

STEMland was offered a new space in Udavi. All of us  were busyin setting up Stemland for a couple of weeks.Especially, Saranya who took the lead for setting up the place . 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 repair was needed. This was handled by professionals and organizing the space was up to us. Saranya made a 3D model of the space and were materials should come. Everything was planned before the move, we needed no after thoughts.

2D view of STEMland
3D view of STEMland

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

Participation of the children of Isaiambalam :

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 that was decorated with flowers added beauty to the event.

Mother symbol decorated with flowers
Making kolam

During the event:

Teachers of Stemland each shared an aspect of stemland which was 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 theirbprojects. 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 frequencies can be heard by us. Games and puzzles were also displayed by the younger children. Naveen had a project 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.