Author Archives: Sundranandhan

Building an Infinity cube with the 6th graders.

Along with the 6th graders from Udavi school, the children wanted to build something to show to their parents. Initially a few weeks back we had build cubes from chart paper. Then I remembered once Ravi A who had come to Isaiambalam to show his work, had introduced some kirigami and one thing that really got me amazed was an infinity cube he had built. This idea struck me and we along with the children decided to convert their cubes to an infinity cube.

So began the taping cutting gluing job:


6th graders building name board with SSDs

The 6th grade wanted to build name boards for their class. We started by learning how a multi-meter works in order to check for the connections in the bread board and to test the SSD’s

Now the batteries were low and the children started by opening the meters and replacing the batteries.

Once the multi-meter were functional, we started to hack and learn the connections in the bread board by testing for connectivity..Then children were given each and CA(common anode) SSD and asked to bias them to find out the corresponding light settings for each segment. With the available information they gathered they had begun to build the name boards.

Building a microscope by hacking a web cam

Some of the 8th and 7th graders decided to come to school on their first day of Pongal holiday. Each person of the team came up different modules to build. I had an unused web cam and decided to turn it into an microscope. Naveen and Agalya were interested and so the Hack began


Agalya unscrewed the web cam and separated all the components.

The hack was to reverse the lens.

Once the lens was reversed the children where able to see different objects we had initially checked out the display to see the RGB components.

Evening at iSmart class and sleep over at Udavi

The day before the inauguration of the iSmart class room we had a combined class with two school children the 6th and 7th from Isaiambalam and the 9th graders from Udavi school.

The evening started with a circle and introduction of each others names.

Then the 9th graders from Udavi school had given a list of things they were willing to do that evening from mindstroms to strategy games and scratch programming.


Hema sundar and Kabilan worked with the mindstroms sets and the older lego nxt blocks with the younger children.



Naveen playing bounce off with a Arham.






The tables were arranges so that every couple of minutes the children were asked to switch tables, so as to see all the materials that were being worked on.

Routing Ethernet Cables

The 9th grader at Udavi volunteered to paint the new Ismart class room that is being built in the factory side of the Udavi school campus. Which joins along with the Aura Auro Design Lab.

The new space required LAN connectivity.

The LAN cables where already routed to junction boxes which had to be clipped and fixed to the 24 model switch box.

(The box varies from brand to brand, Legrand is easy and takes less time to clip to the individual sockets but is ~ Rs 150 per unit that is 3x larger than other brands) The one that was used required more fine work of screwing and unscrewing individual wires of the CAT 6 LAN cables.


Vignesh connecting a socket box

Velmurugan connecting a socket box



We used straight connection for crimping the rj 45 connectors to the switch box






Then finally we tested if the wires were connected properly with a testing probe.


(The device had eight LED’s that would be connected to both ends of the cables. One of the device was the master and the other was a slave. The master would send a signal for each of the eight wires present on the CAT 6 cable and the slave would light up LED’s accordingly)

Auro Orcharid – Gardening and Honey Bee’s

Naveen had planned a trip to Auro orchard with the isaiambalam school children. There were two groups. One were interested in the getting to know about the honey bees and the other on methods of bed techniques.

Uma Ramanan a member of the farm introduced us to Auro Orchard, the first farm designed to sustain Aurovilles people back in time.

The day started by looking at raised bed technique and types of vegetables that they have grown.

Children were able to seen how much the production had increased due to the raised beds. (On an avg a turmeric plan can only produce 300gm of product but here they were able to collect up to few Kg)

The Papayas they have are not hybrid varieties the seeds can be used to grow new saplings.

This flower has medicinal values (kills germs and is antibiotic in nature) and are loved by honey bees as they grow through out the year.

Then came the honey bees, Uma explained that the bees are farmers most important friend as they are the major pollinators, and they don’t use them to collect honey in the farm. but recently a bee hive had vacated the trunk as it had over grown its population and moved out. Hence they had to empty the wax.


Then the children had a group discussion on the the life cycle of bees.

And at last they were able to see the bee hives that were in the farm 🙂 .


The children had a wonderful time, and are eager for another visit to the farm.