Children in Deepanum have been learning simple electronics once in a week . They have been learning it for almost 1 and half month. There are about 15 to 20 children. In this one child doesn’t show interest and he would do some thing else but he wont disturb the class. All the other children work together and does something interesting. Last class we were building a circuit with switch, battery, LED and resistor. I drew the circuit diagram in the black board and asked the children to connect . All the children were able to complete the circuit on their own phase. This boy got inspired and he also started to engage in the class . He built his own circuit and without bread board. As a teacher when I asked him to use bread board he didn’t listen to me. At that time i still my self and noticed that if in ask him to use bread board he would not do it and the learning will stop at that moment itself so I let him on his way and he was able to complete his circuit . The session was so good that I realized that children are able to build the circuit on their own. I also realized that my contribution to this children growth is valuable.
We had a session with Mrinalini on movement based activity.
1.Activity (Instruction based ):
First she asked us to walk around in the room without touching others. Next she asked us to smile when you see a person without stopping your walk. Then she asked us to turn a face when you see people in front of you (basically avoid them). Then she said welcome everyone by one word and that word can’t be repeated. Everyone should say new word it can be anything(language was optional) (for example: object name, welcome words,hai, hello etc….)
From that I was able to notice that how much I contribute I will received more than what I contribute.
2. Supporting activity:
She made us into few groups ans asked one person to sit in the center of their circle that person will be covered by scarf. We(person sitting in the center) need to think the scarf covered person as a snail/butterfly egg and it is suffering we(remaining people) need to help that snail/butterfly egg to get out of from suffering. Remaining people need to think of animal and they need to act like that animal without talking (need to use only sounds). Then she said everyone to start…..then she stopped us asked one question which was do you asked that snail/butterfly egg that what kind of help that need from us?….everyone said No.
In that room everyone were willing to help but without asking that question to themselves what kind of help that others need?.
3. Paper sharing:
We get into pairs and kept sheet on the floor then we(partners) kept one leg on that paper then she asked us to bring that sheet one side of the room to other side and check whether the paper is tared or not.
During this activity we were able to listen her instruction carefully and follow it also we were able to build coordination between us etc…
These activities helps me to reflect on what I was doing. In STEMland that what’s we actually do. If children were struggling we let them struggle on their own if they can’t at that time only we step in. Then we track children progress and we knew at what levels they (each children) were there.
Ravi from asha came to teach us to make material for learning. Each and individual choose one topic to make material. We selected topic call percentage.
In that we have made a rectangle from the circumference of a circle with the radius 5cm ,total height of the rectangle is 31.4cm as same as the circumference of the circle, from that we have assumed it as the 100% so that we have combined the circle at the top rectangle and it is been measured with the thread from the top of rectangle so that students can imagine the percentage and we have used to calculate the various percentage.
Udayan (7th-grade child) was sent to me when I was taking a class for 4th grade in Isaiambalam. That is when I first met him. He was sent to learn basic maths and teachers said that he is weak and not able to follow the regular classes. He then learnt the multiplication table and basic operations in math.
I see him sometimes playing in the playground but he never came back to me asking help in learning mathematics.
I was busy working on an afternoon when he came with a few handmade pieces of work and was happy to show his work to me. Some of the children from Isaiambalam school was sent to a workshop called “Craft mela” to learn crafts in Auroville. I was amazed at his potential and how much he could do with his hands at such a small age. I then remembered the days in my school when I used to do soap carving with my craft teacher.
Each child is special in their unique way. They need the right kind of motivation and environment to blossom. This child has truly found his way.
Children from 8th in Udavi were learning about the powers and exponents. In order to demonstrate powers of three. I was thinking about how to make the cubes and I had a question of with what materials do I need to make.
Finally, I thought of making the cube using Dienes blocks. I took all the 10 cm rods and started. making making the cubes. I wanted to show 31 to 35.
I took a 10 cm rod and cut them into 3 pieces of 3 cm. I stuck them together to get 3^2. when I add three of the 3^2 I get 3^3.
Here are some simple rules to use with exponents.
a1 = a
Any number raised to the power of one equals the number itself.
For any number a, except 0, a0 = 1
Any number raised to the power of zero, except zero, equals one.
For any numbers a, b, and c,
ab x ac = ab+c
This multiplication rule tells us that we can simply add the exponents when multiplying two powers with the same base.
The above is a visualizing 3 power n in three dimensions. We did the same for two-dimension also.
We had a session with Ravi Alungati with all the teachers who work on Mathematics. Everyone chose their own topic that they are working on. Pratap and I chose powers since the eighth graders are working on it. We built these two dimensions of representation using the cardboard. We marked the cardboard cut them and painted them in alternate colors.
Government school teachers from Cuddalore visited STEMland a couple of weeks back. Lakshmi who works for Tata consultancy was inspired by the model of STEmland and she has been engaging with us since then.
We are working on a project right now called “mobile STEMland”. The idea is to carry teaching materials from schools to schools and teach math and science (This is ongoing).
Lakshmi is also interested to implement the idea in a government school in Cuddalore. As part of this, the math teachers and the school Headmaster from the school visited us. Children and STEMland facilitators showed some of the projects they did and also briefly brainstormed what STEMland is about. As part of their visit, we also conducted a session for them on “Stand and Fears “(A tool from Stewardship programme).
For more info on Stewardship programme, please see