Finch: using distance sensor

-Arun, Abilash

Abilash and I were testing the distance sensors in Finch Robot, which lead us to do a simple project where the Finch has to go through a track we made.

Learning Scratch programming (Gujarat Team )

~Saranya and Murali

(They refer to Gujarat team) Rahul  and his team from Gujarat came to visit Udavi STEMland and Isai Ambalam school STEM land. They were 4 of them and they run residential school at gujarat. They take mathematics and science for their children. They want to observe the classes (@STEm land) how we teach at STEM land. They were very surprised that we don’t teach in STEM land. They came to know about us through internet. Suddenly they planned to visit. They came only to visit STEM land ( March 28th ) . They also stayed with Isai Ambalam children for their sleep over. They wanted to observe the classes and activities. During sleep overs children go for their drumming circle they were curious to go with children and they want to learn drumming.

In Udavi children presented their projects and children shared their experience with them. They wanted to learn about scratch. I and Murli took scratch course for them with help of my team. We started with basic and Rahu tried his best and he helped his team to familiar with scratch. The did their best and they are continuing relationship with us. We are organizing robotics course and programming4matheducatorrs workshop for in and around Auroville youngster and mathematics teacher.  Rahul is signed up to attend P4ME workshop.

Reducing fraction to its lowest form

The following scratch program asks and reduces a random fraction generated to its lowest form. The code uses mod function to check and evaluate if the numerator and denominator can be divided without any remainders by a certain given number by the user. At the same time a pictorial representation of the fraction is drawn so as to see all the reduced parts are equivalent and look the same.

Reducing Proper Fractions with picture

Triangle inequality rule

We were working with area and construction of triangles with the 6th graders in Isaiambalam school initially children started to construct a triangle with compass on their note books. Then to make things a little interesting children were asked how they would do it in scratch.

They initially started to draw three sides and found out that is was only possible to do, when the user gave three sides and two angles. Then one of then came up with using the arc function. He first drew the base, then two circles with the radius as the other two sides. Now he got the intersection point,  by this time I was confused as of how to get the third point in scratch. The solution was tracing the distance from one circles center to the other circles circumference and when they meet to set a variable to the x and y location and that did it.

More work done by children at Isaiambalam School :

Shapes and angles with 5th grade

Scratch course in Thamarai learning Centre

In Thamarai Learning Centre  STEM land team offered a basic scratch course in the evening for 5 days from 5.30 PM  to 7 PM. The facilitator in that centre didn’t know about scratch so they also joined  the course. There were about 15 children and 4 facilitators.

Day 1:
First day we introduced the different blocks and its function in scratch. Children started to explore and were excited in exploring the different options in Scratch. We have asked the children to create 10 question and answers. Then we introduced how to have a conversation between two people. Initially we showed them how to make a conversation with the 10 question. Slowly children started doing it on their own. They learnt to use ‘sensing’ and ‘=’ operators to ask 10 questions. When the wrong answer is typed, the same question should be asked again until the user gives the correct answer.

Day 2&3:
We introduced the pen function and motion function. Using these functions we showed them how to draw with and object and also to move a objects. Once when they were able to finish we had asked them to draw a triangle. They didn’t want to give up and after 15 minutes they figured it out. Then we asked them to draw a square, pentagon,hexagon, heptagon, octagon. Then they were able to draw different types of mandalas using ‘rotate’ block.

Day 4&5:
We had introduced children hoe to build a maze game. We showed how to move a object when a key is pressed. Children worked in pairs with each other to create a maze path in the backdrop image. They were able to use sensing function and also become familiar with motion function.

Everyday we asked children to sit in a circle at end of the session for 10 minutes. We asked them to share one thing that they learnt in the session. All the children share something that they learnt.

Most of the children loved and enjoyed building their own game. This created confidence in children that they can make many things using scratch.

Learning scratch

The 7th graders (2018-2019 batch) had stepped in for their Mathematics class for the first time in STEMland this year.  They took their own time and became familiar with filling their weekly plan and updates on the laptops. They saw their seniors work on projects and were eager to learn, some of them took the courage to approach and did learn a few blocks in scratch and got the feel of it, but had a little hard time on expanding their code. They often started to play around with the back ground painting and changing colors of sprites, but the coding part was still a little confusing.

The previous batches had a guidance course into scratch and that had kicked started their projects.  I had thought to do something of this type and get the current batch flexible with programming too. Then as a team we decided to create diversity in the class and put up an announcement for all those who were interested in attending the course to sign up. 5th graders from Isaimambalam had shown interest and 8th graders from Udavi along with the interns in STEMLand the course began.

All the participants were eager to code and make the computer do what they want rather the vice versa. Pairs were made on a mix up of boys and girls, young ones and elders, interns and students. Each day started with a focused goal and how to broaden it when attained and make the program more flexible. Girls were eager in writing their scripts and explaining their program at the end of day or beginning of the next session on the main screen. Some children did not want to move on to the next task unless they had completed the current one to their satisfaction, and took extra time and involved in making their program more stable.

Through the course the children had learnt to use the pen function and through this draw regular shapes. Once they knew the basics they made the same program dynamic and used ‘for loops’ to show all the shapes starting from an equilateral triangle to square, pentagon, hexagon, heptagon, octagon, nonagon, and decagon.

The children had learnt importing and exporting of sprites (arc function to draw arcs in practical geometry, writing sprites to print on the screen)

Then they were divided into teams and created a game based on sensing objects or colors (similar to a maze game but when sprite touches a wall or unwanted object the game resets)

The children were given feedback forms, and the reflections were showing that they all are more confident now than before in doing projects with scratch. They also mentioned as teams they were able to learn and help each other more.

Towards the end all children had made a number of projects to show what they had learned through the course. This was a stepping stone for them to continue and make projects based on their curriculum to project their mastery over a concept.

At present the children have come up with new projects, e.g. Abinash, Shakthikannan have created projects in measurements. While Murali took it to the next level and is doing a project from out of his syllabus (a+b+c)^2. This has inspired others and Guna sundari, Yuvan, Jeeva, Jannani, Anisha have started to expand from (a+b)^2

Holiday Scratch Course

~saranya

During the exam holiday we conducted basic scratch course for children. 7th graders are new to STEM land they donot know to make a project in scratch so we combined Isai Ambalam children with Udavi children. Day by day we are able to see changes from children. When we collaburate with other children it was really fun and learn. Some children from 8th grade also joined with us for helping. They helped their buddies and also they showed the task demo with children. From that demo children got an idea to complete their tasks.

We asked children prepare few question that can related to anything. They did it then we asked children to use funtions from scratch now use spirite and ask questions and also play it with others. 8th grade children showed demo of the task. Every children did well.

Day2: Shapes to Mandala

We asked children how many shapes do you know draw it by using scratch from that make a mandala and we have given one clue for them that is repeat function for mandala. When they did it they were so happy and theyn shared with other also.

Day3: Maze Game

We asked children to know how to play maze game.  From this we have given clue for children to make maze game. 8th grade children showed demo of this then many children made different kind of maze games. That was really awesome and everyone were enjoyed a lot. We gave chance to evryone to share their projects.

Day4: Adding life and score to everyone

Maze game they did for play at one time then we asked children to add life and score. We asked children to use data for that the did well and they taught others also.

Day5: Arc function and Write function

These two function is used to reduce our coding part. This will make our work easy.  The task is children should use these function. Children did it and also they made many projects.

We start and end with circle. I noticed that when we collaburate with other children peer learning was happened and we made new relationship with Udavi and Isai Ambalam. I felt this exam holidays helped for others and also we made the holiday meaningful.

Fraction; Proper and Improper

Proper Fraction:

The fraction is always less than 1 whole

e.g.For the fraction (1/6); I have one cake and I want to give it equally to six people, How much will each get?

I.e) The Numerator will always be less than the denominator

This program can be altered to show equivalent fractions as well.

Improper Fractions

The fraction is always greater than 1 whole

I have 11 cake I want to give to 8 people equally, what should I do?

I.e) The Numerator will always be greater than the denominator

This program takes two inputs numerator and denominator and draws that as a fraction.

Fraction with discrete form and scratch program

Fractions:

1. Grouping
2. Sharing
3. Discrete

In grouping method the number of objects are grouped into different containers in equal portions

Example: I have 15 cakes and want to give it to 5 people equally.

In sharing method I know the number of people I want to give I need to find out how many to give to each person.

Example: I have 15 cakes if a person gets 3 cakes, to how many people can I give?

In Discrete method, the user has a specified quantity of chips only.

As seen here, the arrangement of chips are in a 8 cross 5 with a total of 40 chips.

Let us consider 4/5 + 5/8

Then he would flip the appropriate chips like the following:

Here the child sees that there are out of 5 chips in one row four are blue and there are eight rows which sums up to 32. On the other hand there are five blue chips for one row and there are five rows which gives 25 now if we add all the blue we get 57.