The Inspiration story of Straw Spray – Part 1

~ Naveen and Abilash

It was Abilash’s first class in Auroville Schools. He had asked me what would be a good place to start making science projects with small children. I said that something fun and interesting will make the children curious to work on. Then we decided to make a Straw Spray (Aravind Gupta toys – Toys from Trash).

So, at Isaiambalam school Abilash and I were in the process of making the straw spray. After completing the process, I was demonstrating how the straw spray works, to Abilash. Athiyaman and Aasish from 6th Grade came over and asked us what we had made, and how to make it. I just showed them the model that we had built using straws and thermocol.

I asked them how the water was pulled upwards?

They answered,“You are sucking the water upwards”

I again demonstrated it to them and said, “Look carefully I am not sucking the water upwards, I am blowing only the air.”

Athiyaman said that as I blow, the water is being pulled upwards but he did not know why.

The next morning, I was having breakfast when Athiyaman came to me and said that the straw spray that he had made was not working. I asked him how he made it because I did not show him how to make it. I had only shown him the completed model. He said he saw the model and made one like that at his house by himself and showed it to me. Then as it was time for his morning assembly he left the model he made with me and went to the morning prayer. I also left to my class.

Again, in the afternoon he had come to me and asked whether I made the straw spray work. In the morning, I had forgotten the straw spray model he gave me and left it in the dining hall itself. I went with him and found it in the corner of the table where I had my breakfast.

Then I looked at the model and made some modifications to make it work. Then it worked. I explained to him the Bernoulli’s principle and told him that “as we blow the air, the air moves faster making the pressure of the air low and the water moves in the upward direction as atoms move from high pressure to low pressure.”

I was happy that day because I found a child inspired to work on his own. Then only I realized that when I do my best and with myself fully involved in a thing it will reach out.

Origami Session on Saturday Class

On Saturday class with the 4th graders I had taken a session on Origami. We made an origami bird.

To make the bird we needed 15cm x 15cm A4 paper. For that we asked the children to draw a 15cm x 15cm square on their A4 sheet. With the paper cutter we were able to cut the paper as per the requirement.

Then I started demonstrating on how to make the paper bird by giving them instruction for each and every steps.

What I was able to do well:

First, I showed the square and asked what shape it is? They were able to reply that is was a square. Then, I folded the paper into half diagonally and asked what shape it is? They were able to reply that is was a triangle. By this way, I was able to connect shapes while making the origami.

My observation of the class:

The children were able to focus on what they were doing. A few of the folds were a bit confusing for them. But, still they did not give up and they tried to  complete the fold. Some of the children were able to complete the folds faster than the others. They did not disturb the others, instead they asked me whether they can help others who were having difficulties in completing the folding.  They were able to work as a team.

After completing the origami bird, the children children colored the bird. Each and every person colored the bird differently and were naming the birds.

The children happy and were playing with the birds.

Documentation on debugging issue for creating database

While running the crawler code to extract data about the categories(Beauty -> Tools and Accessories  products) in,  I had come across the following error. I will be showing what I had done to rectify the error.

runfile(‘C:/Users/Dell/Documents/Quilt/quilt-beauty/quilt-beauty/’, wdir=’C:/Users/Dell/Documents/Quilt/quilt-beauty/quilt-beauty’)

Error tokenizing data. C error: Expected 7 fields in line 68, saw 8

If you look at the database, the database will be empty.

To look at the database, open the ‘db.sqlite3’ file using DB Browser (SQLite) application.

To rectify the error, we need to open the .csv in a normal word editor e.g. notepad++

You will be able to see the ‘ ” ’ double quotes at the beginning and at the end.

Remove the double quotes and save the text file.

NOTE: If there are already data in the database, to remove the data from the database do the following.

Open the db.sqlite3 file using DB Browser (SQLite) application.

Go to ‘Execute SQL’ tab

Type the following command

delete from file_name

delete from beauty_skin_categories

The above command will delete the data that was present in the database.

To execute the command run the command, click the run button.

After running the command click ‘Write Changes’

Then open Spyder and run the code. This time it should work.

The database for the beauty_skin_categories table will be created.


How to use Git in Eclipse(Cloning a respiratory)

–  Prabaharan

1.Open your Gitlab

To copy the URL that you want to clone in your local respiratory.

Go to: Project -> Details

Select “Clone” and under “Clone with HTTPS”press on the “copy URL to clipboard”


2. Open Eclipse

Go to:  Windows -> Preference -> Open Preferences -> Other

‘Open Properties’ window will pop up

Select ‘Git folder’ in that as shown below and press ‘Open’

‘Source Git Repository’ window will pop up

Paste the copied URL in the URL text box under the ‘Location’ tab

Also provide the ‘User ‘ and ‘Password’ for under the ‘Authentication ‘ tab.

Press Next

‘Branch Selection’ window will pop up

Select the respective branch that you need

Press Next

The directory where the repository to be cloned will be shown.

After that select ‘Finish’

Select the folder which you want to import.

Right click on the folder and select ‘Import Projects’ from the dropdown.

This will lead to location of your local directory.

Click ‘Finish’ to complete.




Learning Percentages and Discounts using Graph

The 8th graders were working on percentages  and finding the discounts. Sanjeev, taught the children on how to find the discount for a percentage using a graph sheet. Let’s see how to find discounts using graph sheet.


A book costs Rs. 500. The shopkeeper sells the book with 10% discount. What is the cost of the book?

1. Darw the X-axis and Y-axis.

2. Then on the X-axis mark the percentage(upto 100 with 1cm = 10 units)

3. On the Y-axis mark the amount of the book(upto 500 with 1cm = 100 units)

4. Then mark the point where the 100 from X-axis and 500 from Y-axis intersects.

5. Draw a ray from the point 0, crossing the point where the 100 from X-axis and 500 from Y-axis intersects.

6. Then for 10% discount we know that it is less 10 less than 100. So, it would be 90. So, from 90 in the draw a line that intersects the middle line.

7. Now, from the point that intersects the middle line from 90 draw a straight line to Y-axis.

8. This will give the amount which is 450.



Reflections of STEM Land team of the year 2018-2019

Here are the collated reflections for 2018.


2018 had been a year of vast experience.


Working on Layout was a challenge. There was not much documentation. I first worked with magic (Layout suite) and then worked with a professional software called SKILL. Conducting courses on layout was challenging and a big learning curve.

I also worked on Callisto a project that eventually got dropped which was sad after we spent nights on it. But it gave a different experience to handle a hardware board and GUIs.

Being part of the Zeus team at the end of the year is giving me more vital experience in what it takes to deliver a professional software and to interact with professionals in different part of the country and world. I learnt not to miss out something. I worked in Python. I always enjoyed working in Python. I learnt to be more rigorous with managing software with Git and learnt team work. I have delivered before but I haven’t worked much in GUIs.

Learnt more about file processing through Hercules project.


I took initiatives to hold a learning workshop for the Teachers in Auroville along with Monica. Working with her gave an experience of rigor joy and sense of wholeness in what I do.

I also delivered as a PC in Learning Network, Isaimbalam school and continued practice in STEMland. Being a PC is huge learning. To understand the crowd is a rich experience.

I felt we became healthy as a team when we had team sports and movies on Saturdays.


We presented about STEM land to lot of people this year. It helped me to interact with people.

We presented our paper in Mumbai in the beginning of the year in EPISTEM7. We got a lot of contacts and learnt how other people do research in Education.

Wrote my first paper on Deep learning. I learnt to write a research paper and learnt a lot how people perceive if we send something.

Salem conference was a rich experience listening to principals of different school sharing their experiences with children. I was first nervous seeing people giving attention to what I have to say. Identifying my fear helped to continue the presentation.


When looking back the whole year now, I could see what all I learnt and what all I did well and didn’t do well. I realize I have done so many things like teaching, working, learning, planning, organizing, travelling, taking accountability and responsibility, reading(a little), reflecting, attending workshops and courses. I couldn’t imagine that I have done so many things in one year. Its good to work on many different things and learn many different domains and aspects.
I have realized that I can only learn and grow when I stretch beyond my comfort zone. STEMland – AAD is such place for me to learn and come out of my comfort zone and work with others. Peer learning doesn’t happen in most organizations, I can see it here. Taking up responsibility and courage to create are the two things I feel happy about this year.


The year 2018 was a good year for me. I have grown in many areas. I am able to notice my growth as a human being as a teacher and as an engineer. This year I had taken responsibilities which I had never thought of and I was able to do my best…
I never ever thought of being a teacher when I grew up, but now I think there is no other job as satisfying as a teacher. You are at a place of most potential (the children) where your actions can make a huge change in the society. This year was the year I learned the most in my life and I have used my learning and put it in my actions.


Last year starting we had chosen what I wanted to do in STEM land. I wanted to do EBD’s (Education by Design projects) with the children and also document them properly every term. I was able document all the EBD and also I also had a chance to read the EBD book and learn the steps that involved to do a EBD. Having read the book I make a EBD format and a presentation which helps the new teachers to start doing EBD. In terms of working with the children I concentrated on the outcomes that children acquire while doing a EBD. I also worked on building a inverter and Mindstorm Robot with the children. In term of learning and doing research I realized how difficult it is to do research and to write a paper. I also learned that the format to write a paper and how to start and end a paper. I learned to link the abstract and to the conclusion and base the paper to give details related clearly to the abstract. Being part of STEM Land I had an opportunity to do research and to present it in front of the teachers and researchers at the conference. I also got opportunity to interact with these people at the conference.  Attending the SFNE work shop  as a PC I took responsibility of my life and made choices to do what I want do in my life. I am still learning SKILL program from my team members. Doing layout is really something new for me. Being part of STEM land I don’t grow only my skill but also my Competency, Inner Capacity and to contribute to others growth.



Before I came to STEM land, I wanted to learn programming and robotics for 3 months, but was unclear of what is practical use learning this will be, because of this I always feel unhappy, at loss and unstable mind. This feeling demotivated me and I had not clear on what I am becoming.

After I came to STEM land, I started working on Mindstorm robots, though did not complete it fully. Then with the other youth I Istarted going to school, it was a new experience for me working kids on EBD (Education by design) and enjoyed it. It reminded me of my childhood, especially when I was with the young children in Isai Ambalam school (my mentor asked me to work with 1st grade children in Isai Ambalam and 10th grade children in Udavi). Then got an opportunity to handle class for maths 1st grade. I saw myself in the children, then I start feeling equality by seeing all characteristics in children that resemble me.

Then I got chance to attend Vipassana meditation course. It helped me become patient, before that I can’t wait in place even I committed to wait for someone and I don’t like if someone spoke to me disrespectfully. After it I realized I was patient even children not obeying and disturbing.

But having done a Masters in Electronics I still wondered what I was going to for my professional life and I got afraid, then I started preparing for interviews and I got selected for a job in Chennai. I was confused about what am I going to do in my life even after got selected for interview, because even getting the job still made me feel unhappy, at a loss. I decided to stay in STEM land where I can explore myself mentally and stabilize my mind.

Then I attended Amma appa program in that I learned about integrity, but I still felt I was missing something important. I applied integrity tool on project I worked (school software), which help me look problem clearly and solve it.

After quarterly exam, my mentor got little busy at work and I was asked to handle a few classes myself. I found it difficult to handle a class myself, then I realized problem was accountability I needed to be clear what need to be done by me. In that month, I attended stewardship workshop in which I distinguished accountability and responsibility. Then I realized responsibility is 100% accountability and is effective.

I started taking 100% accountability on work, which help me to handle entire class and think about problem and it solution.

Even using integrity and 100% accountability on professional and personal life, I still felt I was missing something important. Finally I found it in the third session of stewardship when I heard Sanjeev state his stand  “I stand for self-awareness for myself and others”. The word “Self-aware” was what I was missing. After that I changed my standard form “Equality and wisdom” to “Self-awareness and Equality”. I started noticing my gap and took actions to fix it.

Finally I have found my stand and I have become brave to face any situations with a stable mind.


My name is Saranya I  stand for unconditional love, Happiness and perseverance for myself and for others. When I started working @ STEM land I did not like mathematics. I saw children @ Isai and Udavi, they were using the material and they were learning mathematical concepts. During my school or college days I was unable to notice my gaps, but now I am able to notice my gaps in mathematics. For this I have used stewardship tool in my real life. Now I like mathematics because of the way I am learning. With that interest I am taking mathematics class for children (@Isai-2nd grade and @Udavi-8th-9th grade).

I have attended Ignite video challenge course before attending this course I was not interested in recording a video of mine. But I was curious to learn what it is. Somehow I started the course then it gave me a big picture of that course also she gave tips and prompt for everyday. I have used her tips then I recorded lot of video of mine. Now the fear gone. This is an example for when I came out from my fear of recording a video of mine.

Also I noticed another thing (i.e) before going to Vippasana I had a different life. After attended a course I noticed I had been carrying so much baggage. I used to get angry for unnecessary things then I told myself everything is impermanent this will also change.

This year I learnt a lot about myself from Stewardship session. There were many tools I have used only a few tools. I have summarized what I have learnt through these sessions.

Reflections from the session:

While using these tool in my real life these tool helped me a lot. For e.g: It helped me to come out from my assumptions and interpretations. At work place committed request tool helped me to come out from feeling of guilty also it gave me a clear picture of what I am going to do in future.

I acknowledge Sanjeev for supporting me to attend the Stage 1 stewardship workshop. I also  acknowledge Sanjeev for to put me in a place where I can grow and explore myself.


The year 2018-2019, has given me the space to self-access a lot with the tools I have learnt and how to guide myself towards building up my strengths. Be able to support others on what I have learnt, keep work flow available to all with cloud support. Learned Skill and Layout basics. Visualize shifts on day to day activities. Became a lot grounded on life and gave importance towards doing things that makes myself and the atmosphere around joyful.

-Naveen Kumar


How to find a value of Capacitor

A capacitor is a two terminal passive element which stores energy.

There are two types of capacitor.

1. Ceramic Capacitor:

           Ceramic Capacitor

– These are small,non-polarised in yellow or orangish  in color.

How to identify these capacitor values:

The value is printed in three-digit code. The first two digits are the two most significant digits of the value, and the third digit is the exponent on the 10. The value is expressed in terms of pico-Farads.

For example,

104 becomes “10” followed by “0000”(four zeros) or 100000 pF, which can be written as 100 nF.

2. Electrolytic Capacitor

           Electrolytic Capacitor

– larger cylindrical bodies that look like small soda cans

– higher capacitance than ceramic capacitor

– they are polarized


How to identify these capacitor values and its polarization:

The value is followed by the voltage rating(maximum DC voltage the capacitor can withstand without damage).


There are two polarity indicators on an electrolytic cap:

1. The stripe painted on the body usually denotes the negative lead.
2. The positive lead is longer than the negative lead.

For example,

1000uf 25V – Thousand micr farads and 25 volt.

                          Capacitor Code Sheet




Peer learning in 8th Grade

Anisha,Janani,Sivasakthi,Sindhu and Larasem were working on geometry in finding the angels for triangle with the other angles given directly or indirectly. They had some confusions and started to discuss among themselves by working out in each others notebook. Later, each took turn and used the board to frame their own questions and  asked the others to solve. Then they discussed among themselves in how to solve the question.

What they learned in the discussions are as follows:

  • There are three angles in a triangle.
  • They know that the sum of angle in an triangle is 180 degree.
  • Intersecting angles in a straight line is 180 degree.

Fixing the 3D printer in STEMLand

The 3D printer in Stemland was not printing the model at the centre of the plate. It started to print the models at the corner of the plate. When I looked, I found that the trigger switch that was to locate the x-location was broken. So, I had bought a new trigger switch to replace the broken switch.

Pranavraj from 8th grade was working on the proof of the area of parallelogram is equal to the area of rectangle with same base and height. He wanted to create a 3D printed model for that. I supported him in creating the model using blender. Then as the 3D printer was broken he was not able to print the model. He helped me in replacing the trigger switch. Then we replaced the trigger switch. The new trigger switch is not able to get triggered when it hits the screw for the x location. This needs to be debugged.

Project Presentation by 8th Graders

This week Larasem and Sindhu from 8th Grade in Udavi school presented their project on Geometry to the 8th and 9th graders. It was a simple Scratch program where they showed a triangle and calculated the third angle of  the triangle by giving two angles.

This was their first time to present a project and they did it well and also answered the questions too.

The program had only fixed angles and they were not changing automatically. Then Sanjeev showed to the children on how to create a variable and make the angles to change randomly and also add the tick to the angles using ‘join’.