In Udavi, Students have activity class once in a week and some of the children choose STEM land as an activity class. Last Friday we had activity class with 7th and 8th graders. Children wanted to do very interesting project so they thought of a problem that they face in the school. They have gardens in the school and they water the garden daily. But during the holidays one of them had to come the school and water their garden. So they came up with an idea of watering the garden automatically came up with an idea of making a rain maker for their gardens. We learned how a relay works and also about the water solenoid valve. We tested the valves that we had in STEM Land by connecting it to a 12V battery and connected the valve to a water pipe and tested it. Luckily all three valves worked. Then we connected it to the Arduino and programmed a simple blinking program and tested by changing its delay. This Friday we learned to charge the 12V battery using the solar panel and we measured the current that we get from the solar panel. when there was bright sun we got around 0.41 A. Next week children will solder the circuit on the PCB and will implement it on the garden.
7th graders of Udavi school were soldering the battery connectors with the header pins to use them on the bread board during their activity class. While soldering the connectors they learnt how to solder things and also learnt the names and the use of the components which they used for soldering. When they made some mistake they were able to de-solder it by themselves and corrected their mistake. They worked as team and helped each other to complete their task.
We do basic electronics course In STEM Land for people who are interested in electronics. This course is offered by Nagendra krishnapura an associate professor in the VLSI group of the department of Electrical Engineering of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. We started the course on 22nd of July. It is a 12 weeks course. Around 22 youths in and around Auroville have registered for this course. Monday and Wednesday is the video session from 5.15 P.M to 7.00 P.M. On Thursday it is the session for discussion on the doubts from the video and helping with the assignments.On Saturday it is the practical session by Sanjeev Rangathan where things are learnt by doing hands on activities. Last Saturday we were glowing up the LEDs with Capacitors and measured the brightness of the LED by connecting it with resistors. This Saturday we learnt about transistors and switches and to control the LEDs by connecting the switches in Series, parallel and toggling. We all enjoyed the session as well as we learnt.
9th graders finished their assessment and made a scratch program by setting different sounds to various keys. They played musics by conducting different materials like paper, compass, leaves and some aluminium pieces. They worked as a team and enjoyed a lot. They played drums sound and came up with their own music which made everyone to come and see what they were doing.
Children were supporting each other while building a design in Kapla and were very concentrated in building it. They were creative and encouraged each other while building it. They had lot of perseverance and patience while doing it and at the same time they enjoyed a lot and were so proud after completing their design.
Pratap and myself were working on a project to create a software which tracks the students learning plan. We did it in Django. Before students were filling their daily plan and weekly plan in an excel sheet. Typing in it was difficult for them and took much more time to fill it. So we thought this software would be much easier for them. This software contains weekly plan, daily update and weekly update. They can select their standard and name. Once they select their name their picture with things that they liked most in STEM Land will appear. In weekly update they select their goals for the week, in Daily update they select their plan for that day and in weekly update they say how much they were able to complete their goal and what will they do different in next week. Through this software they come to know where they are and how they utilized the time and where to improve. We showed the project to the student and the were really happy to see it and did their plans within few minutes.
Children felt very difficult to understand what division is and why we do it. They were been explained with the fraction kit using the test tubes and the colourful beads. Using the fraction kit they learnt to divide things to number of people and was easy for them to understand the concept of division and where we apply it. They learnt division so easily by playing with the kit and were enjoying while learning it.
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Today I did an activity with 3rd standard kids in making a chick with colour papers and at the same time they learnt different shapes such as cylinder, triangle, square and rectangle. They all were so energetic and enthusiastic to see their chick at the end after doing all the cutting and sticking activities. They all learnt it so eagerly and were so happy to see what they made and ran out of the class to show it to their friends and shared their experience in doing it. In the second session the kids closed their eyes for few minutes and identified their goal and drew themselves showing how they would be when they achieve their goals. Some of their goal was to become a teacher and some wanted to become a police. It was so cute and proud to see our future leaders drawing themselves and their dreams to achieve things.