STEM land 3rd birthday!!

On 16th October 2018 we celebrated STEM land’s 3rd birthday in Udavi school. A week ago children were back from their first term holiday and worked on creating projects to present during the celebration. Some children attended the scratch course conducted during the vacation and created projects on Scratch.

    

It was quite a busy morning, both children and STEM land youths were so energetic and were decorating and organizing the place. 9th graders from Udavi decorated the entrance of STEM land with colorful Rangolies. Tables were placed outside STEM land and children checked out the games and puzzles which they were interested and played them with the visitors.

    

Children and Teachers from Aikiyam and Isai Ambalam schools came. We commenced the event with a samosa and a banana for each.

    

It was a bit drizzling but we continued the celebration and STEM land youth gave an introduction about STEM land by saying the universal values and principles of STEM land, ground rules, learning rules and about the courses that we offer for youth in and around Auroville. One of our volunteers in STEM land who come to learn have also shared her experience and what she has learnt.

    

Then Sanjeev from Udavi followed by teachers from Udavi, Isai ambalam, Aikiyam  and Bridget from Thamarai lit up the lamp and begun the celebration. In front of the staircase the flames of the candles were beautifully dancing and saying “STEM LAND” and warmly welcomed everyone. Children’s projects were recorded and were projected.

    

     

Children from Isai Ambalam have also brought their projects and their EBD models. They were explaining their projects, demonstrated light sensing robot which they’ve made within two days and were also playing strategic games. Few Isai Ambalam  children also played games which were programmed by Udavi school children on Scratch.  The volunteers have also presented their project which lights up the LED serial lights only when someone stands in front of it and gets turned off automatically when no one is there.

   

It was unexpected and touching that the children from Isai Ambalam school have baked cakes and wrote STEM on them and brought them to Udavi. Visitors from Auroville and few people who have attended the courses offered by STEM land have also visited and played games with children. They went around STEM land and got to know what all we do and how children learn in STEM land and also solved some cast puzzles.

Everything went smoothly and the celebration ended with the same energy along with children’s drumming. It was fantastic to see both Isai ambalm and Udavi children drumming together. Children and visitors danced and enjoyed the celebration.

Sets game

A few girls from 10th grade had build a physical game with a chart representing 3 venn diagrams (governed by 3 randomly selected rules by one team) and a set of 27 games pieces (3 shapes, 3 sizes and 3 colors). The other team players needs to place a piece on one of the areas and ask if it fits there. The goal is to figure out the original rules selected for each circle of the Venn Diagram and demonstrate the understanding of set theory. A few 9th grade children choose set language as their goal as they played with this game. The game helped them in understanding the intersection of two and three sets. Then to make the game more interesting they modified the rules to guess the right answer within few attempts.

A 9th grader took this to the next level and did not just wanted to play the game on the chart but wanted to create a Scratch game to do the same. Children who did not know, and had the set language as in their syllabus learnt the concept by playing his game.

STEM Land April-June 2018

STEM Land Newsletter

Volume-1, Oct-Dec 2017

About STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) land
STEM land resource centres are located in Udavi School and Isai Ambalam School, two outreach schools of Auroville. Children come to STEM Land for Math, EVS and science classes.They learn Mathematics, Electronics, 3D Printing, Programming, Mindstorms (Robotics) and play strategic games that enhance logical thinking. The elder children take responsibility for their learning and plan their goals and only ask for support when they need it. This self-directed learning is based on Sri Aurobindo’s first principle of education, “Nothing can be taught”. With younger children we work on real life projects that impact their surroundings. We believe a nurturing environment can support a child’s learning and taking responsibility of his or her learning.

Building an Infinity cube with the 6th graders.

The 6th graders from Udavi school wanted to build something to show their parents. A few weeks before the class had built cubes from chart paper to understand volume. In our training with Ravi Aluganti at Isai Ambalam School on Kirigami we had encountered the infinity cube he had built. The structure that could move within itself was amazing and we decided that we will work with the children to convert the regular cubes to an infinity cube.

 

The infinity cube was showcased by the children in the Open House for the parents before the summer break. For the event they also put together other projects they had done in the term that they had found interesting. This consisted of electronic circuits that they had built. One project was a table top lamp operated of a 9V battery and decorated with foam and color . Another was LEDs that show the capitals of states in the India map. Another was a Buzzer that was connected to a battery using a switch.

Video on Infinity cube

Children building a tree house in their school

The children at Isai Ambalam have been wanting to build a tree house for some time. Josh who volunteered at STEM land at Udavi school last year was back this year. This time he spent time both at Isai Ambalam and in Udavi school and had some experience with building tree houses. He decided to work with the children to build a tree house.With the help of the children and some very nice tools Josh brought with him the children were able to help him use the bamboo on campus for the main sections of the tree house. Josh was very impressed at how comfortable and efficient the children at the school are at using tools.

Josh had also taught the children a song about trees in English and the children sang this song as well. The tree house community also supported us in the initial stages. The entire structure came up very quickly in a little over a week including sleep overs. The children measured and cut bamboo and the tree and created a complete platform and a short keep out wall that makes it feel like you are in a boat in the air. Read more

Teachers training and teachers visits to Isai Ambalam and Udavi school

A group of 44 teachers from Babaji Vidyalaya came to visit Isai Ambalam. We shared about what we deeply care about and explained  some of the EBDs (Education by Design) that children made. We showed them the pondclay room and later children took initiative to explain their own EBD projects. Children first spoke about the tree house. They explained in English and shared their work confidently to all the teachers.  They also showed the clay oven. The 6th grade children explained the India map that they built using red sand. Then they took the teachers to the garden and showed them the Kitchen waste water treatment plant

The teachers then visited the class room and interacted with the Isai Ambalam school teachers and students. UKG children told them the months in a year and the 6th and 7th graders showed them how they had organized their classroom as a 5S system. They also showed the Mindstorm robot that they built in STEM land and the projects they had submitted for Raman Award. Ayush from 7th standard presented his project in Scratch.Then Saranya took the teachers to STEM land and showed the materials, games, puzzles and projects that children have done. She also explained how we work including the ground rules and the check in check out system. 

In Udavi we gave a presentation on STEM land in the i-SMART class room. We also shared the stewardship (leadership) tools with them.Through the session every teacher was able to process what they really care about and found what they stand for, and notice their common fears. The teachers were happy and also took the stand and fear chart to put it on their notice board in their school to remind themselves about their values. Read more…

Smart board in i-SMART class room

We set up a new smart board at our i-SMART class room. Children from the 10th grade were very excited to see the smart board. They were discussing how they solved the questions in their Maths annual examination of the previous year. When Sanjeev was writing on the smart board with his finger instead of using the given pen, children were fascinated by it and all tried using the smart board. They discussed all questions from last term question paper and gave turn for each child to write the answers  they knew on the board. The 10th graders now use the smart board during their classes. The children often explore the advanced features and let us know.

Preparation workshop with Isai Ambalam school teachers

A stewardship workshop was arranged in the morning with all the teachers and volunteers at Isai Ambalam School during the summer vacation. The focus was on to find what one wants to accomplish on the up coming year and determine ones roles and accountabilities. It also allowed us to have a common language to help us be more effective as a group.

It was organized for three days, the table PCs were the members of STEMland. The workshop was delivered by Arun and Sundar. We were able to plan well for the next year after knowing what we really care about and knowing the change that we want to see. Read more…

Trail Blazers Conclave at IIMB (Bangalore)

Sanjeev was invited to the  trailblazers conclave organized by IIMB and Rotary as a panelist to talk about innovations in education. The talks and panel included those who were running large scale programs across the country and those who had working programs that could be scaled. We received interest in visiting and collaborating with STEM land. Read more

Contributions can be directed towards

Auroville Unity Fund
(with a note for STEM land)
and mail to Dr.Sanjeev Ranganathan,
STEM land Udavi School, Auroville,
Edayanchavadi, Tamil Nadu – 605101
All donations are 100% tax deductible in India.

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Education system should go beyond examination

Our research work

 

 

Priyan the tailoring bird

 In an EVS session 4th graders at Isai Ambalam School were studying about Indian birds. In the class we discussed about the birds which they have seen. During the discussion we talked about nests, how they are made and how each bird makes its nest differently. As an activity, Naveen, asked them to go out of the class like a bird and build a nest of any material with which they can build a nest. Everyone were excited and they ran out in search of the materials for their nest. They collected some twigs, hay, leaves. Priyan was able to make a tailoring birds nest out of the leaves,hay and thread he found outside.

He was making the nest even in his break time. While he was doing the nest Nithish from 3rd grade came and helped him. After Priyan’s sharing about his nest model in the assembly, Harish, Aasish and Elanchezhiyan made a nest model of a weaver bird. It was an example of how the work of one child inspires others into action. Read more..

WordPress course

Kshitij who attended the python Django course offered a WordPress course. It was 8 session course, two classes in a week. Technically, it was a lighter course compared to Python Django course. We learnt to design and create our own website. Feedback from the course indicated that they found the course interesting and enjoyed it. Read more

LNET Conference (Learning Network)  in Bangalore

STEM land contingent of 7 people attended the LNET conference in creative school at Bangalore for three days . The conference was primarily of practitioners from across the country and was also attended by teachers from different schools. Resource people conducted sessions on different aspects of education. In addition to the main sessions we also interacted with some resource people who offered us sessions at night on Mathematics and drama.
We also conducted sessions on all three days. We offered stewardship tools and an electronics session. We did stand, fear and deep listening and in the electronics session we did the seven segment displays to display their name. On the last day, we offered a session for the children from creative school and were very engaged and interested in it and felt complete and content only after completing their names.  Read more

Bonfire and Silambam with Mohanam (bamboo center)

As part of our sleep overs when children work on projects this year we collaborated with Mohanam cultural center. After working on projects at 6:30 p.m. the children go to the center  to learn drums (around a bonfire) and at 7:00 a.m.the next day morning they go to learn Silambam. This has added an art and musical dimension to the sleepovers Our children showed interest in learning arts and opened up as they danced around the fire. Some of us have joined both these programs and have a great time with the Mohanam team. Read more

Creative school children interaction and Jayashree’s session on healing

Jayashree from creative school in Bangalore came to STEM land with her school children as well as a volunteer who is interested in setting up a STEM land at their school.

The children from creative school  had completed their 10th and 11th grade taught the children mindfulness exercises specifically focusing on the 10th graders at Udavi for 3 days. They shared how these techniques had helped them keep calm and be fresh when studying and taking examinations. These included breathing techniques and affirmations. They also colored mandalas with their non-dominant hand and shared how they felt doing it. Children also practiced fire meditation with candles that could help free them of nagging emotions. Various aspects of being free of fear, being able to solve many math problems came up from the Udavi children in the interactions.

They also did sessions for children in Isai Ambalam school. They colored the Mandala and did the meditation techniques. 

Youth trainees at STEM land

Three engineers who have completed their engineering under graduate in electronics are interested learning in  programming  and hands-on electronics. They are now going through a python interactive course along with three of our team members. During the course participants are expected to do assignments and Sanjeev reviews the code and gives feedback.

Workshop on Siddha Medicine

Our work on well being for ourselves and our children coincided with the interest of the teachers at Isai Ambalam school and we invited a Siddha practitioner to the school. Vignesh had an interactive session to understand common understanding and distinctions between symptoms and root cause and then shared his knowledge on the history of Siddha medicine and current status of Allopathic medicine and how people are using it at many times to address symptoms.

He also talked about the collection of toxins and how day to day living practices and natural mechanisms if allowed to run their course detox the boxy.
He stated the benefits of many herbs and trees around campus depending on the conversation. He also gave natural alternatives for the daily use of products such as shampoo  and tooth paste. Later a similar workshop was also conducted for children after which there is much buzz about making our own natural products. We have so far made toothpaste and one group of children are considering maintaining a mill. Read more

Support a child

In partnership with Asha for Education we have set up a Support a Child  program for Isai Ambalam School the school we all volunteer in. The support will cover the needs of running high quality programs at the school including teachers salaries; nutrition; activities in sports, music, swimming and STEM land activities. The support for a child is Rs.11,000/year ($168/year). Please sign up to support a child here.

Our Team

We are a team of 9 engineers at STEM land. Our projects range from python programming and more recently to analog VLSI layout.

(Left to right ) Poovizhi, Ranjith, Arun, Logeshwari, Sanjeev, Pratap, Sundar, Saranya, Naveen

Meet the team

 

 

 

Finding the Pattern using shapes and colours

3rd grade children from Isai ambalam school are studying about patterns. They were given an activity to make some design out of different shapes and colors. They split into teams and started to create their own designs. Later they all went through each one’s design and found the pattern in the design. Children were able to find the pattern that was used in the design and discussed about it. They were so interested to use the material and it was easy for them to understand about patterns. Later they were able to find patterns from their class room. They came up with things like window grill, wall, Leaves and so on.

Creative images using leaves by 3rd graders

3rd grade children are studying about leaves and its uses. They collected different types of leaves and made different types of images like rat, butterfly, penguin, Ganesha and elephant.

It was interesting to see children come up with their own ideas. Children shared the leaves that they have collected among themselves. After completing it they wanted to fill the remaining space so they collected some flowers and decorated it and some of them drew grass around the paper.

At the end of the class they shared their work to their friends and displayed it in their classroom. 4th grade children also came and saw their work and the 3rd graders were proud of their work.

ESL session at Learning network

Using ESL and bilingual activities to simplify English language teaching

I attended a session on ESL creative school, Bangalore.

We wrote our names and split it as per the phonetics and wrote our names in our mother tongue and split it using hyphen.

We did the same for our friends name also.

We framed sentences and translated them to our mother tongue.

We went through small booklets with short stories as a team and filled out reading record with title, interesting word and stars and chose the best book of the day.

We shared our best story with other teams.

Then we made our own booklets and came up with our own short stories. We also drew pictures and colored our booklet.

It was fun and interesting when we translated the sentences from our mother tongue to English.

WordPress course

Day 1

# What is WordPress

WordPress is an open source, free to use Content Management System. It was initially designed and build to support emerging bloggers to
effectively communicate the message to larger audience by focusing more on the content and reduce the time investment required to code a new page for every single post.

# What is a domain & a server

A web domain is an ip address with human readable name mask that points to your website when a user types it in the web browser.
A domain is just a name available on the web to point to the directory where you keep your website, to build that directory you need a web server.

# Download and install Local server –

– Xampp – https://www.apachefriends.org/download.html
– Wamp – http://www.wampserver.com/en/

# Setting up database and db_user

Once we download and install Xampp/Wampp server, we need to create a new database. To do it easily, we run the xampp/wampp server, then in the web browser we type – localhost/phpmyadmin or localhost:8080/phpmyadmin

In phymyadmin look for the option create database. Give it a unique name and for language, select collection and hit the create database button.

# Installing WordPress

– Go to – https://wordpress.org and download the latest available version of the WordPress.
– Unzip the files into your htdocs folder

# WordPress folder hierarchy

———————–
| htdocs/www | ————- This is your web server’s root directory.
———————–
|
|
|
———————
|WordPress/public_html| ————- This is your web site’s home directory.
———————
| \
| \
| \
| \
| \
| —-=> This is where all your need to Extract all data
| from the .zip file we downloaded from wordpress.org

Day 2

Go to your home page

Appearance → Themes

Download themes from online.

Plugins →support theme to avoid spam activate it.

Search for install plugin

setup mail → install and activate sends email

For page builder

search for elementor pro. Download and extract it under

Xampp/ htdocs/wordpress/ wp-content/ plugins

Day 3

Download Oceanwp

Themes-→Addnew → upload themes

Check if you have style.css in your extracted oceanwp

If you have it compress oceanwp to zip file and upload it

If you get an error php.ini

Go to xampp/htdocs/wordpress/wp_config

Add a line Define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’,’256M’);

Above /* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging.*/

Stop Apache and start it again

If you get the same error again

Go to xampp/php/php.ini

Find

1) memory_limit set it to 512M

2) max_input_time set it to -1

3) max_execution_time set it to 30

4) upload_max_filesize set it to 512M

Stop Apache and start again

choose file → oceanwp1.15.zip → install now

Activate the theme and bigin installing plugins

Click install on ocean extra

Download and extract wptest.io . It is a demo data for wordpress

Dashboard → tools → import→ wordpress → install now → Run importer → choose file → wptest_master → wptest.XML doc → open upload file and import → select all as admin

select download and import file attachments and submit

Dahboard → appearance → menus

Theme panel select themes and save changes.

To set Logo

Browse online for freepick or freelogo and download

To change font and style

Typography → choose options

STEM land Newsletter Jan-Mar 2018

 

STEM Land Newsletter

Volume-2, Jan-MAR 2018

About STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) land

STEM land resource centres are located in Udavi School and Isai Ambalam School, two outreach schools of Auroville. Children come to STEM Land for Math, EVS and science classes.They learn Mathematics, Electronics, 3D Printing, Programming, Mindstorms (Robotics) and play strategic games that enhance logical thinking. The elder children take responsibility for their learning and plan their goals. They only ask for support when needed. This self-directed learning is based on Sri Aurobindo’s first principle of education, “Nothing can be taught”. With younger children we work on real life projects that impact their surroundings. We believe a nurturing environment can support a child’s learning and taking responsibility of his or her learning.

epiSTEME-7 conference

We went to Mumbai from Jan 5th-8th and presented a poster at epiSTEME7 conference in HBCSE (Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education). Many educators and academics from different countries had come and presented their research and review papers at the conference.

The conference was about research on Science, Technology and Mathematics Education. We wrote a paper on “Fostering Responsibility in Learning in Rural Schools”. We were told that we were the busiest booth throughout the 2 hour poster session. Five of us from STEM land – Aura Auro Design attended the conference. While in Mumbai we also presented this work at IIT Mumbai and TISS.

Skype call with children in Italy

Children from Bianco-Pascoli of Fasano in Italy had a special day for the use of digital at their school. 7th and 8th grade children from Udavi school had a skype conference with them. Children shared their projects on scratch, Geogebra, the models they printed from the 3D printer, an inverter, Vaughn cube and Mindstorm robots. Children from Italy enjoyed watching the projects and were excited when they saw the Mindstorm robots. Children from Udavi also enjoyed sharing their work to the other school children.

Learning Festival

Learning Festival was a large event organized by Azim Premji Foundation for over 6000 government school children with many facilitating groups at Indira nagar Higher Secondary School , Pondicherry. It was a four-day workshop and we hosted workshops on two days. We had 45 minutes with around 30 children each on basic electronics. We asked children to write their names using seven-segment displays. Two children from Isai Ambalam school supported us and handled a couple of session along with us. We had three sessions on the first day and six on the second.

We showed them an example circuit that showed a name. We then introduced them to a multimeter and using it asked them to decode which pin lights up which of the segments of the display. Once they figured out the pin connection we introduced the bread board to them and asked them to connect the seven segment displays on the bread board and light up the initial of the names of all the team members or their name.

A student named John who came for the first session couldn’t complete his name and got special permission and came the next day. He was able to light up his name and started to support other children. The teachers who came along with the children also sat with them and learnt to display the letters using the seven segment displays. In the evening the chief education officer came to meet us and saw John’s work. It was an inspiring moment.

Stewardship workshop for 7th and 8th grade children in Udavi

We conducted Stewardship for new emergence workshop with 7th and 8th grade children in Udavi School. Children were able to find what they stand for and learnt to work from possibilities rather than fear.

They went through the tools including stand, fear, four profiles, Deep listening and background conversations, system thinking, creativity. Every week we conduct triads with children which provides them an opportunity to reflect on where they have used these tools in their daily life.

 

10 principals

About 22 principals of various schools from Mind Mingle had come to visit schools in and around Auroville. They were split into groups and one of the groups with 10 principals came to STEM land.

We gave a broader picture of what we do and how children learn in STEM land. Then they went around STEM land and interacted with children. They saw the weekly puzzle, weekly plan. Children showed them how they fill their plan using the software, Hariharan solved Rubiks cube, on the other side Viknesh and Kabilan were demonstrating their Makey Makey project in which they made a mouse using a rubber chappal. They looked at the Montessori materials.

In the next room children were printing a fidget spinner in 3D printer, some of them were working on Alice and Scratch.The principals were happy to see children printing 3D models and sat along with the children to learn how it works. Children showed their projects and gave them some cast puzzles to solve. Some of them played games along with the children. It was interesting to see children sharing their learningwith the principals from various states without any hierarchies. Each principal said they learnt something from the children and said STEM land is a nice learning environment with freedom. One of the principals said that she was touched with what we do and wanted to implement it at her school.

Courses conducted

We conducted a basic VLSI course. Around 16 participants in and around Auroville came to learn.

We focused on Digital layout. We did an inverter and simulated it using LT spice. Built the logic gates using DM74S00N and bread board and tested whether the logics were appropriate. We layed out an inverter using Magic and layed out XOR gate using NAND gates. The next course will be on Analog layout.

Sinthanai Sangamam

Sinthanai Sangamam is an annual symposium on education that happened on 21/02/2018 in Puducherry. Around 600 teachers from different places have participated. We presented our paper about STEM land in Isai Ambalam School and the EBDs we do with children. People shared their experience of interacting with the children, the methods they follow in their school, projects their students have done and how we can connect to science and maths in our real life.

Visitors

This quarter, we had around 82 visitors and 34 children to STEM land.

Government school teachers visit

Around 37 government school teachers and people from Azim Premji Unversity came for training at STEM land. Some of the teachers had heard our presentation at
Sinthanai Sangamam symposium on “STEM land in Isai Ambalam School”. Some of them were inspired from our talk and they came to visit STEM land. People saw what the children had created at Isai Ambalam school and interacted with the children working on their EBDs.

After that they visited STEM land in Udavi school. Children showed them few projects. The teachers also tried to solve cast iron puzzles. We also conducted a Stewardship session for them following lunch.

Project work

Children did projects on math concepts like Pythagoras theorem, finding squares, Probability, Geometrical concepts and theorems in Scratch, Geogebra and Go animate. They also did projects related to science. Even on a Pongal holiday children wanted to come and do something in electronics. They split into teams and built a microscope by hacking a web cam and the other team made an inverter using Arduino.

Children from both the schools from 5thto 9th grade participated in the Raman Young Science Innovator Award and created science projects. They chose their topics which were given under different grades and innovated their projects on it. Children were active and enthusiastic to complete their projects and submit them. The whole atmosphere for that one week was energetic and busy.

Swati in STEM land

Swati Sircar is a teacher trainer at the Azim Premji University in Bangalore and visited STEM land for a couple of days. She had completed MS in Math, M.Stat., B.Stat. (Hons.), and works with many NGOs and government school teachers. She is keen on hands on activities, explorations, open-ended questions as well as computer aided learning. She is also an origami enthusiast and uses her Montessori exposure in her current work. She came to STEM land and took sessions for the teachers and children on mathematics and showed us to use montessori materials like Ganit mala, Pythagoras theorem, place values and counters for addition and subtraction

 

 

Workshop on energy with Transition children

3rd grade children in Transition school are studying about energy and its types. About 19 children came to STEM land to learnt about energy. They learnt about converting electrical energy to light energy. We asked children to light up LEDs and measure how bright they can light up using resistors and batteries. They learnt about +ve and -ve charges and to connect an electrical circuit. Children also enjoyed working with multimeter, 9V battery, resistors and LEDs.

EBD (Education by Design)

EBD(Education by design) is a process in which a real life challenge is given to the children. Once the challenge is given children learn through designing and researching solutions for the challenge. At the end they build a product/model with certain criteria. At Isai Ambalam School we have been looking at education by design including creating an India map and studying and creating models about Geography of India. We also took on real life challenges to reuse kitchen waste water to the garden.India Map EBD (Education by Design)Students from 6th and 7th graders made India map using red soil, clay, bricks, pebbles, sand, alluvial soil, black soil. They created the India map in a 3metre x 3metre area. Each student were given separate parts of the country to draw. By using graph sheets they drew the map of India.

They made the structure of India using clay. But after a couple of days it had cracks. Then students came up with a solution that since the layer of the clay is so thin, it had cracks. We had some remaining soil left after another Education By Design (EBD) projecy where we had constructed a clay kiln, so students used that red soil and created another layer above the clay. By using bricks and red soil students built the mountains. In order to differentiate between desert, mountains and rivers they used different materials. For the rivers they mixed cement with water and built many rivers in the map.

For desert, they used sand. In the eastern parts of the country, they used alluvial soil to demonstrate the rivers taking alluvial soil to the delta before joining the sea. Tasks were properly divided among students and it took about two weeks for them to complete the map. The final output of the map looked good with mountains, rivers and other geographical features. By doing this EBD they learnt the Geography of India.

Auro Sangamam

Auroville celebrated Sangamam where all the workers and their families from the bioregion came together and enjoyed the events. We were allocated a stall for STEM land. Three children from Isai ambalam and 4 children from Udavi came and they set-up the stall. We asked people to display their name or their first letter using the seven segment displays and played games like Abalone, Pylos, Dobble and gave some challenging activities like solving Rubik’s cube and cast iron puzzles. People enjoyed solving puzzles and displaying their names in seven segment displays. We gave a talk about STEM land under unending education in Auroville. After visiting our stall in Sangamam an engineering graduate was interested to learn more about technology and he started to come to STEM land.

Volunteers
Josh had visited STEM land one day and found it interesting. He kept coming back for three months while he was in India. We are happy that his travels have found him back in Auroville and at STEM land.

Josh has taught at Western Washington University and at Seabury Hall, Maui. He has a passion for Maths and in this stint is keen on developing his skills in programming.

Sravan Reddy has studied engineering physics at IIT Delhi. He works at Dimagi, a social development enterprise, as a software engineer. He has been regularly coming to Auroville for inner development and volunteers in STEM land. He visited STEM land and the i-SMART class room and came to know about the courses we conduct for youth in and around Auroville. He is interested in conducting a course on creating good software using Python and designing websites along with Django at STEM land.

Kitchen waste water treatment plant

Kitchen waste water treatment plant is an EBD (Education By Design) and its main objective is to reuse the kitchen waste water for watering the garden. We decided to create the waste water recycling system, in order to reuse kitchen water to water plants.

Through the EBD, children learnt the following
Measurement of Height and Circumference : To measure the height of the tank we used a bamboo stick. Children marked the height of the tank on the bamboo stick. We used a thread to measure the circumference. Children took the thread around the circular shaped ring and marked on the thread. The challenging part was we were not able to find the measuring tape and used the metre scale instead. We found that the height of the tank was 3m and Circumference to be around 3.14m. Through this we found out that the radius was half a meter. Finally we found out that the tank volume was approximately 2355L.

fixed a motor to pump water from the pit. Eventually, the pumped water is used to water the garden. A circuit is connected to the water tank which indicates the rise in the level of the water in the pit.

Concreting the Pond EBD

Children made a pond in their school as an EBD. After 6 month it developed a crack because of the roots from the trees around it. After that we sat with children and had a conversation about the pond. One child asked how about concreting the whole pond.

Then we used 6mm and 8mm iron rods and bent them along the contour of the pond. While bending the rods, children learnt about the the rod size, name of the tools we used, measurement, volume, and ratio.

The bending and cutting of rods were done by the children. We bought 40Kg of 6mm 50Kg of 8mm rods for the pond.

Children made 100 TMT rings to make a beam structure around the pond. After the rod work was done, we bought 1unit of sand, jelly and 10 bags of cement. We hired a mason in the end for mixing the jelly and for smoothing the pond. While doing EBD we used to have question section, during that time we will discuss children’s questions and clarify them. While doing EBD children connected with their theory in their books and understand the concept well.

Vegetable Garden EBD
Children in Isai Ambalam school wanted to make a garden in their school. We had visited Botanical garden and Pebble garden. We saw different ways of making a garden. We wanted to set up a drip irrigation system in the garden using sprinklers. We started planting in the beds we had prepared.

Children from 6th and 7th graders took responsibility to connect sprinklers all over the garden. It was a new experience connecting sprinklers and routing the pipe to our garden. We are starting to see plants coming up in the garden.

Children take turns to water the plants. Now they give all the vegetables that they harvest from the garden to the school kitchen.

Our Team
This quarter Logeshwari, Ranjith and Saranya, all Engineering graduates, joined us as part of an internship program which takes the current team size to 10. They are learning programming and electronics and are supporting children in Isaiambalam to complete the EBDs. They are also working on hands on projects and have attended the VLSI layout course.

Left to right ) Logeshwari, Bala, Arun,Saranya, Pratap, Sanjeev, Naveen, Sundar, Poovizhi, (missing in pic) Ranjith

Contributions can be directed towards

Auroville Unity Fund
(with a note for STEM land)
and mail to Dr.Sanjeev Ranganathan,
STEM land Udavi School, Auroville,
Edayanchavadi, Tamil Nadu – 605101
All donations are 100% tax deductible in India.

 

 

Continue reading “STEM land Newsletter Jan-Mar 2018”

Workshop on energy with Transition children

3rd grade children in Transition school are studying about energy and its types. About 19 children came to STEM land to learnt about energy.

They learnt about converting electrical energy to light energy. We started the session by introducing voltage and showed them different types of batteries and discussed about them. We gave them the multi meters and showed to check the connectivity and to measure the voltage. Children measured the voltage of different types of batteries. Then we asked them to light up LEDs and measure how bright they can light up using resistors and batteries. They learnt about +ve and -ve charges and to connect an electrical circuit. Children were able to light up the LEDs and connected multiple LEDs to light to make it more brighter. Then they had some time and they went around STEM land and played some games and were figuring out to solve the rubik’s cube. Children said that they enjoyed working with multimeter, 9V battery, resistors and LEDs. They were able to connect with what they are studying and enjoyed the practical session.

Scratch and Geogebra course in Savarirayalu school

-Poovizhi and Ranjith

Savarirayalu nayakar govt girls high school is applying for a national award in ICT and asked our support on Scratch and Geogebra. Children from 8th and 9th grade were interested to learn. On the first day we did a scratch course. We gave them a task to ask multiple questions and if the answer is correct it’ll move on to the next question else it’ll ask the same question until it is correct. Children were able to use controls and were able to find the logic. The next two days we did a course on Geogebra. Children first explored all the tools available in Geogebra and then drew an equilateral triangle. Some of the children drew it using regular polygon. Then we asked them to draw equilateral triangle by finding the intersection point. They used two circles and found the intersection point and were able to draw the triangle. Then we asked them to draw different triangles and find the sum of the angles of all the triangle. They found that the sum of all three angles of a triangle is 180 degree for all triangle.

On second day, we asked them to draw circle and to find out ratio of circumference and diameter of different circle.They found that the ratio of circumference and diameter is 3.14 (Pi value) for all circle. Then, we asked them to draw chord line on circles and make a triangle by choosing a point on circles with chord as a base of triangle and measure the angles of triangles. Then we asked them to find out the pattern in triangles in different circle. They found that the angle for all triangle at third vertex point on one section of circle is same and different from angle on other section of circle which are separated by chord line on circle and also the sum of angles of both section of circle is always 180 degree for all circle with different chord length.