Category Archives: Schools

Automating the bore well motor.

We had a serious  water problem in isai Ambalam school. We built a pond as a EBD project with the children. Then we realized that water is very precious. From that day we are aware of water. Then one day children noticed that the tank was over flowing. They came and asked how to turn off the motor automatically. I told them that I don’t know how to do that. Then they asked me that I studied Electronics  and  became an engineer couldn’t solve this problem. Then finally I wanted it to be automated. Through this process I learnt about relay. I was afraid to work with 230 volts and it was the first time for me to work with direct 230 volt.

Kirigami and Origami – Bala & Sundar

We had a visitor named Ravi Alugnati a very respected resource person in Math and Science languages and also does puppetry hands on activities. He showed us some of the things he had built in Kirigami We made different shapes both in Kirigami(cutting paper) and Origami(olding paper) with his guidance. The 8th and 9th graders of Udavi and some children in Isai Ambalam also enjoyed making different shapes. I found Origami little bit tougher than Kirigami as the steps to build a shape/object is more complex. I also got a feedback from him about my teaching when I was taking class for the 3rd graders in Isai Ambalam. The feedback was useful.

Kirigami : Ravi guiding the 9th graders in making a ball..

Origami : Fan, bird and a frog.. some objects we had made

Udavi 9th graders after finishing their ball

Isai Ambalam children working on kirigami

Isai Ambalam children working on kirigami

Some shapes we had made

Some shapes we had made

Ball made using 6 strips of paper

Balls made after cutting out three rectangular papers

We started of by creating a ball that included folding of paper and interlinking different pieces. Shiva(teacher at isaiambalam school) and Pranav (Volunteer at STEMland) had jointed the workshop. During these sessions everyone was very focused, and figuring out how to link the different pieces together to form the object.

Ravi had also brought with him 3D shapes that personally dazzled me there where cubes that could be rotated and would again reform the cube.

Pebble Garden

Children from Isai Ambalam school went to visit Pebble garden. There he explained how to do mulching step by step. He explained how to do a bed and its size. First we have to collect dry leaves and branches. Then dip them in the water started to build a bed. Make a thin layer of with the dry leaves and add soil on top of the leaves. Do it for three time then add charcoal at the third layer. Again do the same process 4 time . Add charcoal in the 6  and 9 layer. After that he explained hoe to treat the charcoal. After doing mulching we have to wait for 2 month and then only we can use it for planting. Finally he explained the process of  vermiculture. It was an interesting trip to learn about mulching and about vermiculture.

   

 

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.

 

Pythagoras Theorem – Real Life Usage

I’m doing an EBD (Education By Design) with 7th and 6th graders. In order to understand the difficulty I showed them a building and asked them to draw an outline of it.

 

The building was polygonal in shape. They had a great time with that building and it had taught them a lot. For example – meter conversion, angles. At last them came up with its outline as shown in the figure.

 

Though it was small, it gave them some confidence and clarity on what they are trying to do.  We need to measure the length of a fence. But that was covered by plants,

 

On another day, we need to measure the length of a fence. But that was covered by plants, bushes and trees and it was not straight too. So it was little difficult to measure it. We had a discussion on how to go about it. I raised few questions every time they came up with some solutions to that situation. They realized every solution has its own drawback after analyzing it. So I thought that would be the perfect time to introduce the Pythagoras theorem for practical use.

I calculated the length of a tree without measuring it directly. They were amazed. They said that they want to know how I did it. I told them but it was little hard for them to understand as they didn’t know anything about square and square root.

 

I have used Dennis cubes to learn square, square root, cube and cube root. After that, I have used a simple and fast method the find out the square root. Children felt it was like a game and that went well too. using the Pythagoras theorem they measured that place height and base. With that, it was easy for them to find out the fence length.

 

 

 

 

They have used both measuring tape and distance meter.

Multiplication using Ganit Mala

I used the Ganit Mala with the 3rd graders of Isai Ambalam to demonstrate multiplication. They were able to understand that multiplication is a sum of additions. They were able to write 2-10 multiplication tables. Some children worked in pairs and some worked alone. They were fairly engaged with the material they were using.

They were also able to do 2 digit addition and subtraction using the Mala.

Fixing the tube light in Isai Ambalam

In Isai Ambalam prayer hall two tube light were not working. One student asked how to fix it. Then all the student wanted to learn how to fix a tube light. So we started how current flows in a closed loop. Using the tester we showed how to check  the plug point. We wrote  the parts that are present  in a tube light connection. We explained the function of each part . Then they drew the circuit connection in their note book. Next we removed the tube light and started checking the circuit connection. We found that the choke in the tube light didn’t work. We replaced a new choke in the same frame and it worked. Then in our school library the tube light didn’t work.

Water Level Indicator

In Isai Ambalm school 4th and 5th grader were building a simple circuit to check the water level in their school tank. Initially we started to do it in a water bottle. We used LED to check the water level. Suddenly student started to ask every time we need to watch the LED continuously. Then we started discussing what to do and how to improve. While discussing one student told we can use a buzzer which will indicate us once the tank is full. Then we started using buzzer. When the circuit was completed children took took responsibility to fix it from the tank to the motor  box. Children were excited and shared their work. Each one gave their suggestions in a group. Finally all agreed to take the wire from one tree to other till they reached the school tank. The wire that we bought had many knots. One group decided to remove knots from the wire. Some students climbed the tree to tie the wire . Then I climbed the tank and fixed the wire in the tank. Then we turned on the motor and waited for the buzzer to give sound. When the tank got filled the buzzer was giving sound. So the water level indicator works. Teachers and students in our school were excited. It was a good experience to work with children. When the teacher asked many question the student answered correctly and explained the concept properly without mistake.

Cubes Rods Plates – 3rd grade

I introduced the Dienes blocks to the 3rd graders to get a sense of ones, tenths and hundreds. Each cube is one, a rod is a ten and plate is a hundred. I asked them the following questions

  1. How many cubes can make a rod?
  2. How many rods can make a plate?
  3. How many plates make a cube?

Then we noticed that the pattern repeats itself : cubes – rods – plates – cubes – rods – plates ….. and that everytime it increases by 10 orders of magnitude.

The children had fun trying to keep the blocks in their hands. Some children were not able to hold it but they all tried.