Nudging courtship with life

~Punithan & Poovendiran

“ A choice architect has the responsibility for organising the context in which people make decisions” – Richard H. Thaler, Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness.

In general, Nudging is a choice architecture which is a positive reinforcement and indirect suggestions to make a choice or course of action. The idea of Nudging is all about applying the concepts of decision making and behavioural economics to yield a better and spontaneous decision, without limiting the choice. Putting it more straightforwardly, Nudging is helping people in making better choices for oneself without restricting their freedom of choice.

You can nudge for GOOD, or you can nudge for EVIL. Nudging not only contributes to the business world but also for the wellness of the society. Nudging helps to influence and direct people in the right way as we discuss two topics and examples here. 

Social Nudging is the concept of positioning our direction of a nudge for a social cause. When you nudge a person, and if his choice contributes something to society, then it falls under this category. Recently, a 90 years old man was in the limelight on social media. The chat waala opens his ‘Bhaba ka Dhaba’ stall early in the morning and closes it by 5:30 in the evening, finishing all his stock. But during this pandemic, he couldn’t make ends meet. A famous food blogger got concerned about the older man’s dire situation. The food blogger recorded a video of the older man (she fondly calls her Uncle Ji) and posted it on her social handle. Fortunately, many people stepped up to show their support for Uncle Ji. Many celebrities also posted on their social handles. We can see both the food blogger and the stars have nudged the society to contribute something for someone’s good. 

Nudging can be a handy tool in teaching — a hard lesson in the right way. A famous incident became viral on social media. As the incident goes, a teacher intentionally wrote a wrong equation on the blackboard. Students started to laugh at the teacher’s mistake. Then, the teacher explained the reason behind it, “You students did not appreciate me when I wrote the correct ones, but you all started to laugh when I made one mistake.” She added “The world is more similar to you; when you do many good things, no one will appreciate you. But when you do one bad thing, people will start to criticise you, and they will forget all the good things you did”. This is behavioural science is related to negativity bias where one tends to have a negativity dominance and tend to emphasise on that. Mistakes are a never-ending part of our life. We should  improve ourselves from those mistakes. The teacher nudged an important message into those students’ minds – to be mindful, determined and confident in their life. 

INCORPORATING ARTS WITH STEM; THE AI(ART INTEGRATED) STREAM LEARNING

~Sunil & Abilash

Integrating Science, Technology, Research, Engineering, Art, and Math to create holistic learning is called STREAM education. The Art Integrated (AI) education includes both visual arts (paintings, clay modelling, gaming) and performing arts (music, dance, drama).  It’s very important to incorporate kids in all of these five disciplines. If we seed these skills in our kids, it improves their practical thinking. Integrating art and science in education could increase their creative thinking and cognitive ability. It also encourages students to express science in unimaginable ways. AI-based education paves the path for experiential learning. Some of the activities to incorporate art with science are 

1. PENDULUM PAINTING

Pendulum painting is a fun activity to do with students using simple materials like water bottles, paper, paint, rope and chairs. This activity enhances creative and critical thinking among students. It will make them understand parameters like gravity, motion, momentum, and velocity. Students would be able to create a beautiful art along with conducting a pendulum experiment to know the physics behind the pendulum by practical approach.

2. PERIODIC TABLE SONG 

Teaching Periodic Table songs to kids is one of the best ways to make chemistry enjoyable. Songs have always been the best ways to remember even the most convoluted set of words at ease. The periodic table song with a supporting video that has a picture of the applications of some aspects along with music, would enable students to remember the elements of the periodic table along with applications. These kinds of activity aid both the right and left brain to store accurate information and retain it.

3. ART FROM WASTE IN SCIENCE

Plastic Pollution has become a significant concern in today’s world. This activity of making simple electronic devices like a LED torch using plastic wastes would make students learn simple electronics along with hands-on training. Making art out of garbage would enhance creativity and positive thinking in students and also would create awareness about plastic pollution.

There are no limits in education and imagination; we can use our creativity to incorporate any form of art with any science concept to bring out the best in education. Other activities like dancing or acting in a theatrical play relating science or math concepts, could cultivate expression, self-confidence, presentation skill along with understanding STEM.

Sapiens: The Pivotal Role of Language in Human Evolution

~Shimalini & Radhika

In Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari talks about how evolution took place, the hurdles and unprecedented changes humankind faced along the way. But, what provoked them to revolutionise things? What made them question their very own existence? How could the agricultural revolution be the biggest mistake made by human beings? What made them think that they have committed an error? The exchange of ideas incepted from the latter part of the cognitive revolution, through language as a medium. 

Every Species has its language, but they use them only to share information and alert their fellow species. Each tribal group invented their unique language from different parts of the world. Humans used language not only to increase their trust or dependency; they used it to cultivate thoughts and ideas. It was unbelievable and humorous when Harari mentioned that language arose from the act of gossiping in a group. Gossips enabled humans to analyse themselves and others based on their personality traits. Gossips gave birth to individualism. Languages allow humans to speak, share and describe things like which grain to cultivate? How to construct and design a wheel? How to hunt and capture an animal? Archaic humans carved on stones to transfer information to their offsprings and It gave birth to art. We strongly believe that this is the start of the data revolution. 

One aspect is quite eminent with the evolution of human beings. Without language, humans couldn’t have expressed their opinions and would have broken down the chain of verbal conveyance. We believe that language made humans a dominant species. 

Crawling Spider

~Sunil, Sharat & Praveen

Spiders are arachnids belongs to a class of arthropods. Unlike other insects they have 8 legs. There are more than 46,000 known species of spiders, found all over the world. Their size varies from 0.11 inch to 12 inches. Most of the spiders don’t see very well even though they have 8 eyes. Jumping spider is an exception, which can see more colours than humans. All spiders are predators which feed mainly on insects. They typically have a well-developed sense of touch. Few spiders are active hunters that chase and kill their prey. Other spiders weave webs or silk snare to capture their prey. Webs are instinctively constructed and effectively trap flying insects. Many spiders inject their venom(poison) into their prey to kill it quickly, whereas others first use silk wrappings or web to immobilize their victims. Spiders have venom but only a handful like the Black widow and the Brown recluse are dangerous to humans. Majority of spiders are harmless and help in controlling insect population that could otherwise devastate crops. Without spiders to eat pests harmful to agriculture, it’s thought that our food supply would be put at risk.

 

The Alchemist: Communion

~Sharat & Vasanth

Santiago is a young adventurous Andalusian Shepherd. He dreams of treasure frequently. With the advice of a gypsy woman, he decides to search for the treasure in Egypt. Initially, Santiago gets robbed and loses hope on his quest to find the treasure. But he makes up his mind and works hard to earn so that he can use that money to find his priceless treasure. When Santiago arrives in the desert, he realises that there is a common language spoken by all humans, animals, and objects. He talks to the sun and wind by listening to the things around and within himself – Universal Language. This language symbolises “The Soul of The World.” The novel’s portrayal of a universal language and The Soul of The World demonstrates its theme of communion.

Throughout the journey, Santiago feels every single thing on the way – people, places, and objects. The alchemist challenges Santiago to find a living thing in the desert, which puzzles Santiago in the beginning. Santiago realises that there is no need for advanced skills to do this. He feels grounded and connects with all things. His horse leads to a place where a snake lives. In this way, he realises that his quest has become a mutual task since the horse leads to the rocks on its own accord.

The alchemist does not fit into the mainframe of the story. He does not even actually teach Santiago how metals are processed and transformed into gold. Instead, he teaches Santiago to observe everything and bring essence to it. Santiago realises that every single thing around is not something to be ignored. Initially, Santiago didn’t feel connected to the world but later on when he visited the desert; he realised that every single thing on the planet is gold and he also thinks that one can see its purity only by feeling it. Santiago learns that studying the world will teach him everything one needs to know. He emphasises the fact that the world is a great teacher, and we can learn things by observing and feeling things. The novel portrays how your willpower unites the universal forces around you to help reach your destiny.

INTEGRATED LEARNING -EVS FOR LOWER GRADE STUDENTS

~Sunil & Praveen

In the EVS session, we learned how to integrate science with Mathematics, Arts, and Literature for lower grade students. This type of teaching would enable students to engage both their left and right brain which indeed will make them engage with the subject more practically and store information in their long-term memory. We discussed and learned about mammals. In which we discussed dog family.

The science

Dog

Kingdom Animalia
Class Mammalia
Order Carnivora
Family Canidae

 

Characteristic of Canidae family:

  •       Canids are basically vertebrates, warm-blooded, mammals, and carnivores
  •       They have 2 forelegs, 2 hind legs, and bushy tail
  •       5 toes on forefoot 5 toes on hind-foot
  •       They have elongated skull
  •       They have a great sense of smelling and hearing

Animals under Canidae family:

  •       Dogs
  •       Wolf
  •       Coyote
  •       African Wild Dog
  •       Fox
  •       Jackals

Mathematics and Literature

We sang a numerical poem about dogs that had increase and decrease in numbers as we proceed to the next stanza. With this, we could integrate language and mathematics by teaching students English poems along with ascending order and descending order.  

 Art

Making Paper dog

This creative method of integrated learning makes teaching and learning fun and effective. We could also integrate Social science and History with this  by telling students about the evolution of dogs.

 

Puppet Frog

~Sharat Kumar

In EVS session, we learned about amphibians and their characteristic features. We discussed what the unique features of amphibians are. We learned to model a Puppet frog to engage children with the lessons by storytelling and to explain the characteristic features of amphibians.

Amphibians are small organisms which come under vertebrates (animal with a spinal cord surrounded by cartilage or bone) that need water, or a moist environment, to survive. The species in this group include frogs, toads, salamanders, and newts. All can breathe and absorb water through their fragile and moist skin. Amphibians also have specialized skin glands that produce useful proteins.

We shall now see the equipment’s and steps required to make Puppet Frog.

Materials Required:

  1. Color Paper
  2. Compass
  3. Pencil
  4. Glue

Step 1:

Take two color papers and draw a circle using compass. Cut the remaining part

Step 2:

Make a hole in one circular sheet and cut it into half.

Step 3:

Make 4 legs, eyes and tongue with the remaining paper.

Step 4:

Apply glue to the edge of the circle and stick the semi-circle as shown below.

Step 5:

Stick the 4 legs and eyes as shown below using glue.

Step 6:

Now stick the tongue of the frog using glue as shown

Step 7:

Allow the glue to dry and the puppet is ready.

The House on Mango Street

~Hari & Praveen

This week we discussed the book “The House on Mango Street,” written by Sandra Cisneros, a Mexican-American author and a person of color. She grew up in a Hispanic community. Her memoir consisting of several short stories, brings out several issues around race, sexuality, culture, economic inequality, and gender inequality. This book helped us draw parallels between the critical issues as depicted in the stories and the cause centric initiatives that Quilt supports with various foundations.

Esperanza’s memoir shows her life in a neighborhood where female continuously becomes a victim of molestation, regardless of any age. The chapters “Rafaela Who Drinks Coconut & Papaya Juice on Tuesdays” and “Linoleum Roses” highlights Gender inequality and Domestic Abuse – by locking girls at home and forcing them to do house chores.

In the chapter “First job,” Esperanza confronted her first harassment – When her co-worker, an old adult, misbehaved with her, she could not do defend herself. She never brought up the abusive incident and continued to do her duty as she was in dire straits. She hid her age to join the company. Poverty suppresses her power of ‘Right to Freedom of Expression’ in one way or another.

We took the Quilt case study on ‘How might we empower low-income college girls to change their future?’ which focuses on gender equality and women empowerment. In Quilt AI, we analyze 107000 digital content pieces and 68000 search impressions. If this memoir got posted in any social media, Esperanza and other (possible) victims could have been made aware and ‘nudged’ towards a more reliable and safer path of support.

Horned Lark

~Abilash

During the EVS session on Animal kindom, our guide Ravi Alunganthi suggested us to do a poster on any specific bird we were interested in. Each one of us chose a bird to be presented. Taking the  Horned Lurk, I googled its different characteristics such as name, habitat, diet, nesting, lifespan etc. Each individual presented their bird to the team, where we shared additional knowledge. The aim of the poster was for the students to get a better innate understanding of birds. As an activity given to the students during the lock down, a  student had shown interest and made her poster on Peacock.

  

Name: Horned Lark

Scientific Name: Eremophia alpestris

Family: Lark

Habitat: Prairies, fields, airports, shores, tundra. Inhabitants generally in open grounds, avoiding areas with trees or even bushes.

Diet: Feeds on small seeds from a great variety of grasses, weeds. Many insects are also eaten, especially in summer, when they may make up half of the total diet.

Eggs: Lays 2 to 5 eggs. Pale grey to greenish-white, blotched and spotted with brown. Incubation is by female, about 10-12 days.

Nesting: Often nests quite early in spring. Male defends nesting territory by singing, either on the ground or in flight. In-flight song display, male flies up steeply in silence, often to several hundred feet above the ground, then hovers and circles for several minutes while singing; finally dives steeply toward the ground. Nest site is on open ground, often next to grass clump, piece of dried cow manure, or other objects. Nest (built by female) is a slight depression in the ground, lined with grass, weeds, rootlets, with the inner lining of fine grass or plant down. One side of the nest often has a flat “doorstep” of pebbles.