We inaugurated the STEM land at IsaiAmbalam school on 1st March 2016. This is our second center on STEM. We started the event with a short powerful speech by all of us (Arun, Bala, Naveen, Prathap, Sanjeev, Sundar and Vaidegi) and then Subash – Isai Ambalam Head Master, Kavitha – IsaiAmbalam Coordinator and Sanjeev lit up the Kuthu Velakku as the sign of STEM Land openning.
Stem Land has Montessori materials, Rubiks cubes, Strategic games, Soldering station and Aravindh Kupta toys materials. Children (including Udavi students) put up 15 stalls to show up their projects. Each was in different areas.
Some children put stalls on Strategic games, some on puzzles, some used Electronic circuits to lit up led and buzzer, Some made Soap Bubbles using Aravindh Kupta materials, Some children used Fraction kits to demonstrate the mathematical concepts (like fraction, angles, percentage), two of them used Denies cubes to play with simple algebraic equations, One used Rubiks cube.
It seemed children were excited to show their projects and explain the concept or the principle behind it.
Here is what everyone’s shared on STEM Land Inauguration.
STEM stands for Science Technology Engineering Mathematics some areas that are interrelated and can be learnt together, there are many more related areas that we will add as we work on them more. But, I would like to talk about why we use ‘Land’ and not ‘Lab’. We as educators are looking for natural learning environments and if children can learn English naturally in England we hope that children will learn STEM naturally at STEM Land.
Stemland at Udavi School has made the children to be independent and responsible for their studies. The children have a plan and know what they want to accomplish for that week. They work either on a project or a chapter from a book. I have noticed that there has been peer and multi grade learning among the children and they learn a lot talking to each other. Stemland has given me the opportunity to have one to one conversation with a child which I was missing when I was taking a regular class. It makes me feel that we are equals. This culture has been built over the past year and I hope something similar emerges in Isai Ambalam too.
As a team we explore Learn, Grow, Work and Teach. STEM Land came from a wild idea where children are given responsibility for their own growth and learning. I see the children more responsible after exploring STEM Land. I also learned to be more responsible working with the children.
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.
Stem Land is a place which connects the theoretical knowledge with practical experience. I used Montessori materials to demonstrate Algebraic simple equation, Angles, Fraction, Percentage.
From my experience when I entered Udavi Stem land I felt it was the place to learn new things and also I felt I am responsible for my growth. I learnt programming in Python and in Scratch. I also learnt to design circuits and to analyze and simulated the circuits. In Isai Ambalam school I see my children are responsible for their growth. I see joy in learning with my children in Stem land. I see project based learning in Stem land. I also see self learning for them self and peer learning as a group.
In STEMLAND there are a variety of strategy games, Cast Puzzles the children enjoy playing.
In STEMLAND the three ground rules are:
1) Respect yourselves,
2) Respect others,
3) Respect the materials,
that play an essential role in creating the atmosphere.
At the end, we distributed samosa which is always a favorite snack of our children.