Category Archives: Sat School

Cutting Bamboo

In Saturday school students had different tasks to do in school. One of them was cutting bamboo tree and making them into pieces for putting banner in many places in Auroville. The banner was for Isai ambalam School. The day before (Friday) students had already cut some of the bamboo tree. We knew the specifications of how many bamboo sticks are needed and what are all the measurements. We need to 12 sticks of 17 feet (5 meters and 10 cm) and 12 sticks of 11 feet (3 meters and 35 cm). Students measured the length using tape and cut them using axe ,saw and knifes. While doing this task the students measurements and conversion of feet to meters.

India map

Students from 6th and 7th graders made India map using red soil, clay, bricks, pebbles, sand, alluvial soil, black soil. They first wanted to make it on the loft. First they drew a three meters height and three meters width box. 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. Since there was heavy sun on the loft, the clay got cracks. So students decided to make in on the ground. They did the same thing in the ground. Now they gave shelter to it. But still after a few 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 the work of oven Education By Design (EBD), 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 the cement with water and built many rivers in India. For desert, they put normal sand. In the eastern parts of the country, they put the alluvial soil. Because the rivers take the alluvial soil and leave it in 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 was looking good with mountains, rivers and other geographical features. By doing this EBD they learnt Geography of India. Their teacher Ragu supported them.



Oven wall EBD with children

– Ranjith

I’m back after two week gap, I notice lot of things happened here in two weeks.

I worked on an EBD (Education by Design) project with children in Isai Ambalam School. They had built a red mud and brick oven, but are concerned that in the rainy season the red sand get eroded by water. They want build a short wall to protect the oven from flow of the water during the rains.

Now they are in the process of cleaning and breaking and making the floor plain to raise a wall from there. It was amazing experience with children and they are eager to finish it soon.

In this week, I learned many more things including

  • A tool called magic used for VLSI layout. I did the layout of an Invertor, NAND gate. Then I learned how to create a hierarchy and import a NAND gate layout and use it to create XOR gate by wiring using different layers of metals to avoid a short circuit.

Geogebra, EBD & Goanimate

– Saranya

I learned to use Geogebra and have used it to solve a linear equation. This worked for me and it was new to me. It is increasing my interest in mathematics.Now I am eager to solve many equations. Whatever we enter an equation the tool puts the waveform for it. For example, I have taken 3x+2y=0 is a linear equation. From that diagram we can easily identify that is linear equation. This was surprising for me.

I worked on EDB (Education by Design) with students at Isai Ambalam school.The pond which they have built before was cracked by roots of old trees .So because of that students want to reinforce the pond.Now they are in process of adding iron rod and concrete item so that the pond won’t get break again.It was wonderful experience with them.Is very good to see like that students they were full of energy.

I also made a small animated video with it was great idea. It gave an idea of how I can convey something that feels more interactive. It was fun and awesome because whatever we want convey to the students we can convey by making an animation video. It was my first experience with goanimate.I made a video about multiplication story.
Saranya Multiplication Story by SanjeevRanganathan on GoAnimate

Here are some snapshots in case you cannot see the flash content above.

(I.e) there are 3 children, if I gave 4 bananas to each of them how many bananas did I give in all? The answer also I have shown.The answer is 12(add there number of bananas each have and we will get the answer easily).

Saturday at Isai Ambalam School

How to make a concrete structure using cement, jelly and sand. Children wanted to make a beam around the pond. To make a beam they wanted to they need a iron rods. We bought the iron rods and the tools to bend the rod into a rectangular structure. First time when I made a TMT Ring it didn’t come in proper way. 5th time I got it correctly. Children were excited and they were watching me seriously. They found the patterns and how to bent the iron rod. One child from 4th standard took effort to draw the actual ring size using a on the surface where I was making the rings. Then Children started to do and they found the pattern how to bend the rings. They told the that they need to bend it 90 degree. All the children used the ring structure that the boy drew which was very useful to bend the ring at the right size.

Area with Isai Ambalam children

In Isai Ambalam School I was introducing multiplication as area to the 4th graders. Children were having difficulty to do two digit multiplications. So we started using graph sheet to solve multiplication. We started with single digit and then we build on it. I found that using graph sheet children could only see the area and couldn’t build on it. Then children started to use Denies block. Children who were having difficulty started with the Dines block. Children who felt confident started to use scale and measuring tape to measure the object. In STEM land children started to measure the entire object which were in rectangle and square shape. They kept the Dines block on each object that they wanted to measure. They started with a note book and ended measuring the white board. Children also understood that they need to know the length and width to find the area. Children were able to calculate and checked how many 1cm² (centimetre) cube can fit in that area. I also introduced the unit convention to the children I told cm square. One child wrote cm and drew a square on top of cm. Then I explained him that what he wrote was correct and for writing convention we write it as cm².




Sri.M visit to Isai Ambalam School

A person called Sri.M has been invited to Auroville. He is considered to be a living yogi who has apprenticed with Babaji in the Himalayas. He is a spiritual guide and runs Satsang foundation that runs schools, health care facilities and a Walk of Hope that spans 7500 km over 11 months. Before he came to school teacher made small kolam at the entrance and decoration with flowers. When he came to Aurovill he came to Isai Ambalam School. Many visitors came along with him to the school. He came and sat and spent about 20 minutes interacting with the children. He asked the children to sing a song. Children sang a song about Mother. Then children presented a bamboo torch and a STEM land brochure. Then Sanjeev Ranganathan gave a brief introduction about the school. The visitors started interacting with the children in small groups. Along with him children started to walk for some kilometre and came back to school.




Sat school with Isaiambalam

We had Saturday school with Isaiambalam children in Udavi school. Children were back from republic day holiday. Children had a lot of enthu playing games. Some of the children went to STEMland. Initially they were all playing games. Some of them were  interested in doing something with the computer.

Some of the younger children from 3rd grade were doing programming in scratch. One of the children from 5th grade made an Alice program. He was very excited when he made his first animation in Alice.

One of the children from 3rd grade made a scratch program which made a cat to move when he puts the mouse over the cat. These were tiny programs they made but they were very excited when they could do such things on their own with the computer.

Note: I will share the Alice program and scratch program editing this blog soon.

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.

Inverter with Arduino

Barani from 8th standard wanted to learnt something in electronics. He came and asked that he wanted to build an inverter using a Arduino. It was new for me so I told him lets learn together. Then we took all the components that are need to build a inverter. We started by writing a code to blink a LED at 50Hz. Then we dumped the program in the Arduino. Then we connected it with a CRO to see the square waveform. The square waveform was generated and we were able to see it. Then we connected the remaining circuit on bread board. We used a voltage source from which we got 9 volt DC input and fed it to a transformer. The transformer was giving 230 volt AC output. Then we connected a 5 Watts bulb to the output. The bulb turned on. We leant That using a 9 volt DC supply can give a 230 volt AC output. We really enjoyed doing that. During the week we had a Skype call with a school in Italy. Barani was able to explain the whole process to them. He felt very happy to show and share his project and learnings to them.