In Isai Ambalam school 2nd graders had a difficulty in finding the pattern. When I use Dienes blocks and jodo cubes to identify the patterns. I asked the children to arrange the cubes in different orders that they have seen it in real life. I split them into two groups and asked them to arrange th cubes in patterns. They started doing that and then shared how they arranged the numbers from 1 – 10. When I used the Dienes block it was difficult for them to tell how many blocks are used visually. Then I used Jodo blocks it was big and they were in different colors. Children were able to tell the different patterns. They were able to see it visually and they were able to draw it on a paper. They helped each other to identify the pattern. They were able to tell the different patterns that they saw in their house.
Janani and Vishal made a homopolar motor. Janani got excited when she saw this experiment online and she wanted to build one on her own.
Materials needed:1*AA battery, 3*neodymium magnet, Coper wire of length30cm.
Step 1: Place the three magnets at the negative terminal of the battery.
Step 2: Bend the coper wire as shown in the figure. Make sure it is not insulated, if so please scratch the wire till you get rid of the enamel.
Step3: Put all of them together. Place the coper bend wire on top of the positive terminal of the battery and other end touching the negative terminal of the battery.
Take a look at the video:
The current in this homopolar motor flows in the presence of a magnetic field. When a current flows in a magnetic field, it will experience something known as the Lorentz force. The Lorentz force is what causes the wire to spin around the battery.
The wire connects to the battery at three points. One point of the wire is on the positive terminal, and the two ends of the wire are near the magnet, on the negative terminal. The current flows out of the positive terminal and down both sides of the wire. The magnetic field pushes the current outwards, causing the wires to rotate.
In Isai Ambalam school for one week there was no water. The bore water didn’t work. We started having a conversation how to over come this problem. During that week it rained a lot. Since it is a slope the water didn’t stay there. The ground was wet. Children wanted build a pond. They started digging the behind Sanjeev’s house. They measured the length of the pond. Then they started digging the pond. After digging they wanted to cement it. Children started buying bricks and cement bags. During sleep over we started cementing the pond and it was really a good experience with children.
We started with the first layer of cement and let it to dry. Then fixed chicken mesh on top of the first layer. We added mesh to prevent cracks. Then again we started add cement as a third layer. Then the pond didn’t look nice without a boundary. So we bought bricks with the children and started making a cylinder shape. Finally we smoothen it with cement. After that we wanted to leave make a sitting bench. We built a sitting bench.
Then we inaugurated the pond by leaving the fish in the pond. We also estimated how much cement bags were used. We learnt to find the volume of the cement bag and the pond. We also learnt to use the mason tools. Children were able to do in a group and everyone had equal opportunities to share their work.
We usually have visitors to STEM Land and this week around 20 trainees of the Puchki program(trains teachers to take up environmental aspects) in Auroville had come to STEM Land. They were so excited to see what the children were doing in STEM Land. They were also happy to see how things were organized in STEM and how children learn. They said that, the way children worked here had really inspired them to learn more. Children solved the rubrics cube, demonstrated Lego mindstorm and showed their projects made in Scratch and Geogebra and also explained to them how what they did works. The visitors also put on their logical thinking hats and worked on a few cast puzzles. They saw some children de-soldering the old project kits at the soldering station also asked a few questions to the children about it. The room was filled with lots of energy and eagerness to learn and there I realized the purpose of STEM Land to learn, grow and teach.
During Maths class children were having difficulty in telling tables quickly. Our children were able to tell tables in order but it was difficult when it was random. So we started using Vaughn cube. Vaughn cube is a set of videos which help children to tell tables quickly. We started using the it with 3rd and 4th graders. At first children felt interesting. It middle they felt it was boring because the videos were so long. Then we started to use cards that has been taken from the video. when they started with 3 table they couldn’t tell the number or answer in 3 table. Later when they started noticing the pattern. They when i asked some question they use to tell the object that is present between two number. Once they know all the object they use to jump here and there to tell the answer. They really felt happy that they were tell all the tables from 1 – 10. To tell the tables they need to know 28 objects. Next they need to know between which number certain object should come . Once they knew that they were able to tell tables. If we follow the instruction in the video it will be boring. Vaughn cube should be used in short time and if extended for long time children feels boring. Children wont wait for the teacher to ask the tables. They them self pair together and ask tables in random order.
The Roof was built with slabs that were attached together with bindings, and sealed off with some material that had become torn and corroded. Thus making rain water seep in. The solution was covering the cracks with tar sheets. Naveen had got the excess sheets from the repair works at Aura Auro Design’s Lab. He also got a Flame thrower that was antique 😉 (We along with the children had a time figuring out how to light it up) It was a manual tool we had to compress air and it would send out a mixture of kerosene and air that would burn. eventually 🙂 . The children started to measure and cut out the tar sheets from a roll. Naveen and the children placed the sheets and heated them to stick on the roof with the flame thrower.
We hope this will prevent rain water from seeping in. The roof was then painted with a bright yellow oil paint. We bought 6 liters of oil paint. Children started painting during their sleepover. It took two evenings to paint 2 coat of painting on the roof.
The room was now ready to be inaugurated on Sri Aurobindo’s birthday. We had as our chief guest, Swami Sarvasahananda from Ramakrishna Mission, Chengalpattu. He graced our space with his blessings, talk and music. That morning the school was abuzz with activity. Children had stayed over the previous night to participate in the dawnfire meditation. When we came from there, we were working on decorating the clay room. Garlands were made, photos of Sri Aurobindo, Mother, Sri Ramakrishna, Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda were decorated. Lamps were kept ready for the opening. Children with help from their teachers got the PA system ready. The harmonium and tabla were arranged. Gopal from Mantra pottery joined us that morning to do clay work. It was a session that children and adults enjoyed. The Swamiji lit the lamp and invited the teachers to do the same. Once the lamps were lit, we all connected with the Divine Mother through songs that the Swamiji and children sang. For those who could remember how forlorn the room had been, it was touching to see how the same little room was shining with all of us invoking the Divine.
As one of the facilitators in creating our clay room, I witnessed the transformation of a space we had neglected over the years into a bright space that we look at every day. That we can transform our environment with one-pointed concentration, team-work, openness to learn, consecration of our work to the Divine are learnings that will stay with us and reveal themselves to us as and when we are ready to understand them.
When I was working with the children in the clay room I learnt to be patient. Involved all the children and gave equal opportunities to all the children. Learnt team work from the children. I saw sharing and caring from the children while working as a team for my self and for others.