Author Archives: Bala Anand

Presentation at Auro Sangamam

Presentation at Auro Sangamam was an opportunity for me talk about STEM land – Isai Ambalam school and the work we do here. I spoke about EBDs, sleep overs and various activities we do here. I also spoke about my life experiences and the way I studied in school/college. I learned that particular things cater to particular people and I cannot say everything that I said at Sinthanai Sangamam. I realized that this a different set of audience and the speech had to be modified. Like at Sinthanai Sangamam, I conveyed everything what I wanted to say and I thought the audience were able to get something out of it.

We also had stall set up for STEM land that was open through out the day. We had seven segment displays, games and puzzles at the stall. It was one of the busiest stalls and people who came enjoyed it. We also met new people and gave away some brochures.

Pictures coming soon!

Presenting at Sinthanai Sangamam

Presenting at Azim Premji’s Sinthanai Sangamam, Puducherry in front 500 odd people about STEM land – EBD in Isai Ambalam was a first time experience for me. The speech was in Tamil which made me even more nervous as I am not supposed to make a mistake in it because it comes a lot of baggage. Whereas if it was in English, I wouldn’t have of thought about it that much. I noticed my fear of judgment and I was able to transcend it. Whatever Arun, Naveen, Saranya and I wanted to convey, we conveyed. I thought that our presentation went well and was well received by the audience. We had teachers from Azim Premji Foundation, Puducherry visit us the following week. I learned to be calm and present during the presentation and was not worried about my fear 🙂

Ankit’s visit

We had a person named Ankit who made a visit to STEM land. He has been cycling across the country for the past seven months and has passed through 16 states. He is keen on visiting places where there are different educational systems. He spoke about his journey to children of Udavi and Isai Ambalam school. Children were interested to know about them. I personally was inspired and fascinated by his journey. I learned about different places and how people are helping him in his journey.

At Isai Ambalam school he used the physical clay map created by the children in the 6th and 7th grade and walked them through his journey starting at Jaipur going up to Turtuk in J & K down to Gujarat, Maharashtra, Kerala and then to Tamil Nadu. This made what children have created more realistic and children wanted to know a lot more especially about the places with snow.

He also records his journey and is hoping for a Guinness World Record – not his primary focus though. We wish him good luck!

Pongal @ Isai Ambalam

Children from Isai Ambalam School celebrated Pongal on 11/01/18. They made Kolams along with the teachers. Sweet Pongal was also made. After doing a pooja, the children and teachers made a circle and sang songs about farming. Then everyone had sweet pongal in the end! The elder children helped in distributing pongal to the other children.

Christmas Day Celebration at Isai Ambalam School

Isai Ambalam school celebrated Christmas on 22/12/17. The prayer hall was decorated with lights, candles and Christmas tree. Gifts were wrapped for the children. There were also delicious cakes which Anita made along with the children. Christmas stories were told to the children.

Naveen was characterised as Santa. Most of the older children(7th, 6th and 5th graders) were able to guess that it was him. But the younger children had no clue.

All the children were given gifts in the end by Santa and had Christmas cakes. It was a good day!

Ashram Trustees visit to STEM land and iSmart Class

The Ashram Trustees visited STEM land and iSmart Classroom on 20/12/17.

They interacted with the children and were exploring different things the children were doing. The children showed them the projects that they had made, 3D printed modules, Rubiks cube in STEM land. Then at the iSmart classroom they showed them the Mindstorm robots.

They seemed happy to see the children learning and doing many different things.

Ganit Rack with 3rd graders

I decided to use the Ganit Rack for addition and subtraction with the 3rd grade children as they had some difficulty in seeing patterns in numbers.

Two of the not so engaging children were very much engaged when they were doing additions with the Ganit Rack. They were also very thrilled to get the correct answer and did their problems too.

Both Ranjitha and Shivani were able to see patterns of 5.

For example, for 5 + 2 they were able to take five red beads without counting them one by one and then adding the remaining 5 white beads on the same row and 2 red ones from the next row to make 12.

I was happy to see them engaged with what they were doing!

Silicon Structure

Arun and I, we wanted to make a 3D Silicon structure using Judo Straws to see how it is structured. We found the below video on You Tube and replicated the same

One silicon atom has four shared oxygen atoms. The centre part(the four green straws joining together) inside the cube are Silicon atoms and the corners of the cube are each 4 shared oxygen atoms.

Before – After Images of iSmart Classroom

                                                                                                                                             – Bala Anand

During construction:

The lab in iSmart classroom

Work space getting its false ceiling done:

After completion of work:

-Sundar

STEM land Walkthrough

It was a combined class with the 7th and 9th graders. I observed that everyone were engaged and were working with their peers and facilitators.

I decided to take a short video of whats happening.