Author Archives: Naveen Kumar

Basic Hands-On Electronics Course:

The two weeks short course on basic hands-on electronic course(From Dec. 7th till 21st ) has been started.

Ragu Prasanth and Siva who are professors by profession. Ragu Prasanth is now volunteering in STEMLand and Siva  is working in Isai Ambalam School. They both feel that practical learning is missing nowadays. So, they are offering this course.

For the class we had participants from the previous electronics course and we also had children,youth and adult from and around Auroville.

On the first day of the course we saw the difference between Electrical and Electronics. How to find the faulty breadboard. I also learned how to use the oscilloscope and add two signals. The class was new and interesting.

Engfmt(Engineering Format) Documentation

Link :

engfmt – It is a package used to read and write numbers in engineering format.

In engineering format a number generally includes the units if available and uses SI scale factors to indicate the magnitude of the number.

For example:



This package is designed to convert quantities between the various ways in which they are represented. Those ways are:

As a tuple:

For Eg: “1ns” – would be represented as (1e-9, ‘s’).

As a string in conventional formats:

For Eg: “1ns” – would be represented as ‘1e-9 s’ or as ‘0.000000001s’.

– This form is difficult to read for people.

– engfmt treats it more as a format meant for machines rather than people.

As a string in engineering format:

For Eg: “1ns” – would be represented as ‘1ns’.

– This form is difficult to read for machines

– engfmt treats it more as a human readable format.

The Quantity class is provided for converting between these various forms.

  • A quantity is the pairing of a real number and units, though the units may be empty.

1.It takes one or two arguments.

Eg: Quantity(1e-9) or Quantity(1e-9, ‘s’)

  • The first is taken to be the value, and the second, if given, is taken to be the units.
  • The value may be given as a float or as a string.
  • The string may be in floating point notation, in scientific notation, or in engineering format and may include the units.

Some examples of the conversions are given below:

For example, any of the following ways can be used to specify 1ns:

As a tuple:

>>> from engfmt import Quantity

>>> period = Quantity(1e-9, ‘s’)

>>> print(period)


As a string in conventional formats:

>>> period = Quantity(‘0.000000001 s’)

>>> print(period)


>>> period = Quantity(‘1e-9s’)

>>> print(period)


As a string in engineering format:

>>> period = Quantity(‘1ns’)

>>> print(period)


Note: In all cases, the giving the units is optional.

Conversions – Using quantity object you are able to convert it to any representations:

>>> h_line = Quantity(‘1420.405751786 MHz’)

# to converting to tuple with units

>>> h_line.to_tuple()

       (1420405751.786, ‘Hz’)

# to converting to string with engineering format

>>> h_line.to_eng()


# to converting to string with conventional format

>>> h_line.to_str()


You can also access the value without the units:

# convertig to float

>>> h_line.to_float()


# converting to a string with conventional format – without units

>>> h_line.to_unitless_eng()


# converting to string with engineering format – without units

>>> h_line.to_unitless_str()


# Get the units only

>>> h_line.units


There are many other functions also in this package, which is available in the link given.

Some of the functions are given below:

  • Quantities As Reals – You can use a quantity in the same way that you can use a real number, meaning that you can use it in expressions and it will evaluate to its real value.

For Example:

     >>> period = Quantity(‘1us’)

     >> print(period) 


  • Quantity Class – Quantity class can be used directly, like shortcut functions.

      For Example:

      >>> from engfmt import Quantity

      >>> h_line = Quantity(‘1420.405751786 MHz’)

      >>> str(h_line)


      >>> float(h_line)


  • Physical Constants – The Quantity class also supports a some physical constants.

      For Example:

     Plank’s constant:

      >>> plank = Quantity(‘h’)

      >>> print(plank)


  • Exceptions:

The best thing in this is it also gives Exceptions:

Eg: A ValueError is raised if engfmt cannot convert a string it into a number:

For Example:
			>>> try:
			...     value, units = quant_to_tuple('xxx')
			... except ValueError as err:
			...     print(err)
			xxx: not a valid number.

Installation / Usage :

Requires Python2.7 or Python3.3 or better.

1. Use ‘pip install engfmt’ in the cmd prompt to install.

2. By importing the .py file:

  • Download the package from the link.
  • Copy the from the package and put in the working directory of the python.
  • Import the file by from engfmt import* / from engfmt import Quantity.

How to compress image size in Ubuntu

1. Open the terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T).

2. Install imagemagick by

sudo apt-get install imagemagick

2. Go to the directory of the folder in which you want to reduce the image size.

3. Then type the following command

mogrify -resize 800x * 

Example :

dell@Inspiron:~/Desktop/Image/$ mogrify -resize 800x *

Students Taking Up Responsibility is STEM Land

We had a created a system in STEM land(Udavi school). We started to put up logical puzzles which can be solved logically and as well mathematically. At first we did not have a board to pin the puzzle papers. So, we used to stick it on the wall. Then, we bought a pin board. It was before lunch when I planned to put up the board. Rathinavelu(from 9th grade) and Dievakaran (from 7th grade) can up to me and said that they want to put up the board. I left the work to them. They measured where the holes needed to be put and marked it. Then, they drilled holes on the mark. They took turns in hitting the wood piece and screws inside the holes that were drilled. After all the hard work they fixed the board on the wall.


Rathinavelu Hammering the nail


Dievakaran taking his turn to hammer the nail









Fixing the board on the wall together


  • To mention, they did all this in their lunch break. That day, they went to lunch late.
  • This showed me that children here want to take responsibility for this place.
  • They learned how to drill and how to share work their equally.

Learning Circle using Geo Gebra

Shalini, student from 7th grade learned about circle in her textbook. She was learning the topics on chord, diameter, circumference and ratio between circumference and diameter.

  • She used Geo Board(Montessori material) to learn these topics

Geo Board

  • The Geoboard is a tool for exploring a variety of mathematical topics introduced in the elementary and middle grades. Learners stretch bands around pegs to form line segments and polygons and find perimeter, area and more.


Shalini learning about circle using the Geo Board

Outcomes / What she knows now and is able to do 

  • Chord is a line segment drawn at any two points in a circle.
  • Diameter is a chord that passes through the center of the circle.
  • Circumference is the perimeter of the circle.
  • She is able to find the ratio(which is 3.14(pi)) if she either knows the circumference of the circle or the diameter.
  • She is now able to use the geo board and demonstrate the above topics to her friends.



Inauguration STEM Land @ Isai Ambalam – Overview

IMG_20170301_104402 IMG_20170301_110853








  • We had the inauguration of STEM Land at Isai-Ambalam School on the 1st of March at 10:30 a.m.
  • We had friends and our community members and the 9th Graders from Udavi School who came to visit and participate at the inauguration.
  • Then, we all delivered speech on what we want to see and our experience with STEM Land.

After the children demonstrated and interacted with the visitors by

  • Playing strategic games and puzzles.
  • Explaining and demonstrating Montessori materials by the young children.
  • Explaining and demonstrating their electronic and science projects.

List of projects / area which the children had demonstrated for the inauguration.

  • Ayush -(Aravind Gupta Toys) was able to explain and demonstrate that “Moving magnet produces electricity” and “Cast Puzzle”.IMG_20170301_104635
  • Ganapathy,Vasanth Kumar and Sabari were able to build a “Buzzer Game” by themselves and played it with the visitors.

Co ordinator of Isai Ambalam School, Kavitha playing the buzzer game

  • Abarna was able to use Geo Board and demonstrate the area of rectangle and square.


  • Suresh was able to show conducting and non-conducting materials using an electronic project and he was able to build a “Bubble Blower” by himslef.
  • Gowtham and Yuvasri were able to build a circuit which lights up an LED using a switch in the breadboard.
  • Keerthana,Swetha,Kishore and Bala played Dobble,Pylos,Abalone and Othello with the visitors and 9th.
  • The 4th Grade children did a “Welcome board decorated with LEDs”.
  • Prabha was able to demonstrate his project – he had built a “Robot” and was able to communicate with it using blue-tooth from a mobile phone and rotate its motors.IMG_20170301_115510
  • The 7th Grade demonstrated – Equations using Deines block(Montessori material).
  • The 9th Graders from Udavi School also demonstrated and explained how to play Kabaleo , Othello and Rubiks Cube.

IMG_20170301_104703 IMG_20170301_104714







My Speech:

  • Its a new experience for us to work with the young children(i.e 4th – 7th Grade).
  • We use Montessori materials to learn math and we also do hands on work(Aravind Gupta Science Toys) to learn some of the  concepts in science class.
  • The children have the courage to create their own science and electronics projects .
  • They are also creative and interested in doing hands on work.
  • The children here are responsible for their learning and as well as for the materials in STEM Land.

Savarayalu 8th Grade Class 20170220

The class started with sharing of what they had learned and the homework from the previous class :

  • Are able to use to ask questions and get answer in the sprite.
  • Are able to move an object using arrow keys and create a maze game.


  • The class started by introducing pen operator and the functions in it.

Task given in class:

  • The task was to use the pen function and draw line by the object in the maze game to find out whether the object is moving smoothly or hardly.
  • Then the children worked in pairs with each other and also with their teacher on the pen function and were able to draw line when the object moved.

At the end of the class we shared what was the new things they had learned and how they felt:

  • They said they were happy, joy and proud when they learn new things.
  • Pen functions.
  • Location of X and Y.


  • The children were given homework to draw a circle, square and triangle using pen function.

Naveen: I would like to be more rigorous in being prepared for the class and to check their homework.

Stewardship Workshop for Deepanam Kids

We conducted a Stewardship workshop on 24/11/16 for the Deepanam school kids who have their Maths class in Stemland. We conduct this workshop for all the children we work with to have the same language for communication so that it would be easier for us to work with the kids. I also thought that it personally will help them to be more responsible towards their growth in their learning. So we conducted the Stewardship workshop to the kids and it was delivered by Sanjeev Ranganathan.

IMG_20161124_102530                                                                                   Deepanam_Steardship

We did the STAND(possibility/inner wisdom),fears and deep listening with them. For them to realize their STAND, the children were asked “The person whom they admire the most but, the person should not be personally known”. I saw some kids explore deeply inside them for them to realize Who they really are” and shared it to the group. Like before they also realized their socialized fears and shared it. Then we did the deep listening for the children where they did the exercises and shared how they felt. Even-though, Mahavir(Maths teacher – Deepanam School) who said he will be a spectator, joined the kids(with whom he works) and participated in the workshop. He also shared his stand and fears.



It was a different experience for me to work these kids. Some kids were really into the tools and were deeply discovering themselves. The kids were courageous to share their insights even-though they hesitated in the beginning. Some of the insights that came out were really inspiring for me. I like to see the kids using the tools and discover more about themselves and share it to the world.

Simple Burglar Alarm

Prabhakaran 7th grade student from Isai-Ambalam school.He comes to Stem land on every Saturday and works on his own doing soldering and tinkering some electronics kit. He made this burglar alarm by himself with a buzzer,clip and a battery. Then he demonstarted how it works. In the mouth of the clip he placed two metal screws . Then he connected one of the screw to the battery and the other screw to the buzzer so that when both the screws are in contact it makes sound . Then he attached an icecream stick to a thread and stuck it on the side wall of the door. He then placed the icecream stick in between the metal screws of the clip and closed the door. When the door opened the icecream stick would come out from the clip and the metal screws would be in contact with each other, so the buzzer would be connected to the battery and makes the beep sound. This is a simple and a wonderful burglar alarm.

Bangalore Days – My Internship on “Toys from Trash”

I went to Bangalore to do an internship on “Toys from Trash”(Aravind Gupta Toys). I did the Internship at SchoolGuru(located at Malleshwaram in Bangalore). Procheta was my practioner. The timing was from 10am-5pm.I did some 21 toys by watching the videos on youtube. After I finished each toy, Procheta and I we would discuss about the toy like how it will work and what principle it is based on,were it would be used and all. After a week Procheta,Vishal(another practioner)and I conducted a small workshop for the kids in Pura Fountain (Appartment in Marathalli,near Marathalli Bridge) . There were about 12-15 kids(age- 8 to 12 years old) , we conducted the workshop for three days. Each day we did some 5 toys. The kids really enjoyed making the toys and also enjoyed playing with it.

Then I went to Azhim Premji University(Electronic city,Inside PES College Campus) on 11th and 12th with my team (Vishal,Procheta and Me) were we attended a workshop conducted by Vikas Maniar on “Learning Maths from Trash Toys”. We made Counters, 2D blocks, Arrow Cards , Money Cards , Place Value Cards and Abacus and some more materials using waste cardboard sheets, small wood piece, nuts,cycle spoke and color paper to teach children(primary section) about numbers and addition, subtraction, division and multplication. How the children can find their own way in recognising the pattern and their own way of solving the problem was the main goal of our work.

On 13th Friday we conducted a workshop at Thermo Fisher Scientific(A company which helps Researcher in their research field) for 18 students(from 7th-10th Grade) from rural school and even some of the employees attended the workshop with their children. Then in the afternoon we went to NIAS(National Institute of Advanced Science which is situated inside IISC-Indian Institute of Science Campus) where Procheta and Vishal gave a small demonstration to the kids there and after we conducted a workshop for the kids to make the toys. The kids were so excited and they were asking lot of questions.

My Reflections:

I learned many things from making the toys,how to be organized when conducting workshops and how efficiently I am able to work. First, we would discuss what toys that we will do with the children in the workshops. Once, it is finalised we would take the materials and arrange the materials and take it to the place where we would have the workshop. Then we will first distribute the materials needed for the first toy and we w it will do the toy one step at a time. First, we will do it and the children would see it and then they will do it. Once, the toy is finished we all would discuss about the toy how it works and why it works. This is where the children starts thinking and asks question. After that they go and play with the toy. I would like to see going forward by taking session on how I conducted the Workshops with my team(Aura Auro Design) and teach the childrens in school. It was a nice experience that I had in Bangalore. I would like to use the experience that I got in my work space.