Match Stick Shapes

~jennifer, bakyalashmi

As part of learning, the session we had with Ramanujam was very much interesting. The matchsticks activity which helps the students to identify the basic shapes, talk mathematically and improves their way of thinking was wonderful. We had different task to do with matchsticks we have listed them below and tried them with the kids at home.

Task 1: Make an identical copy of these shapes

In this task, we asked them to make some shapes using matchsticks. The kids saw the shapes and they tried to make the identical copy of it.  Some shapes were easy for them to make and for some they struggled since placing matchstick at proper angle was difficult for them.

Some of the shapes we gave to them are,

After this task, we can ask the children which are difficult to make why is it so. We can ask them to point the shapes, what are the shape we can find inside each shape etc.

Task 2: Use the Matchsticks to make shapes of your own

In this task we asked them to use their own idea to create the shape they like. They started to create lot of shapes. Some of them are,

From this the children can understand what are the shapes which are possible with equal sides, the shapes which needs at least one side to be decimal values and the shapes which cannot be obtained with whole numbers. And also, we found some of the shapes which are not possible with matchsticks.

Task 3: Describe the shape that you made to your friend so that he/she can make an identical shape without seeing your shape. Think over how you will describe the shape and write it down. Then read it aloud to your friend so that he/she can make the same shape

While describing and discussing the shape together the children will learn the mathematical terms easily. We tried this with a shape,

The shape we took is,

The instruction given are,

1. Place a match stick horizontally.

2. keep another match stick place one end in the center of the first matchstick in 60 degree.

3. repeat the same by taking one more match stick to the second matchstick.

4. take 3 more matchstick and repeat the process to get the inner hexagon portion.

5. close all edges by 6 matchsticks to get an outer hexagon.

And what I got from her is,


Algebraic kit

-Logeshwari, Tamizharasan

During the session with Ravi Alungati, we made a lot of math materials.

By using the cardboard boxes Gurumoorthy started doing Algebraic kit. Initially, I supported him. Then after that, I worked with Tamizharasan. We made x power 2, x and ones using the cardboard in inches.

To visually see a quadratic equation we can use this kit. The yellow-colored part is positive and the black colored part is negative. The squares are x power 2. The rectangle pieces are x and the small squares are the ones.

The example of a quadratic equation is as follows.

x^2 + 4x + 4 which can be factorized and we have (x+2) and (x+2)

The above equation can be represented as follows.

Quadratic equation with negative terms.

x^2 +0x -4 which can be factorized and we have (x-2) and (x+2)

The above equation can be represented as follows.

Buzzer and LED c connection using Switch

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.

TLM for Percentage

~Saranya , Poovizhi & Madhavan

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.


Udhayan and his craft-work

~ Arun

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.

Divisibility Rule by 3?

~Sandhiya, Ganesh Shelke

We, as a team of two, worked on creating the model to demonstrate the divisibility by 3 rule for 3 digit numbers so that students can actually see and visualize the concept. 

The basic concept is as follows:

Let’s take the number e.g.  498

The Theory:

To see if it is divisible by 3 or not, we will simplify the number as follows:

First, we will simplify it as Hundred’s place, ten’s place, and one’s placed by splitting these places into 1 + remaining term (9, 99, 999, …)

498 = 4(1+99) + 9(1+9) + 8

Simplifying brackets:

498 = 4 + 4*99 + 9 + 9*9 + 8

Rearranging the terms: 

498 = 4(99) + 9(9) + 4 + 9 + 8  (Observe that we get original number back 498)

So, we have 9, 99, 999, … that is completely divisible by 3 and if we multiply these numbers by any number, then also it will be completely divisible by 3. And we will add remaining numbers (4+9+8=23) We put these numbers and divide them as complete blocks of 3 squares. If all blocks are complete, then the number is divisible by 3, otherwise, it’s not. Here in our case, it’s not divisible by 3


To demonstrate this, we have created squares of 100 i.e. 10*10 and 10 i.e. (1*10) and painted every 3 squares in the same color (this demonstrates that it is completely divisible by 3) and then we have one square left from every 1000, 100, 10 blocks. We will add these blank squares, count them and see if we get all complete blocks of 3 squares or not. If we get all the complete blocks of 3 squares, then the number is completely divisible by 3 otherwise it’s not.




Powers of Three

-Pratap & Logeshwari

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.

Image result for dienes blocks

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.

This the visual representation of 3^1






This the visual representation of 3^2
 This the visual representation of 3^3

This the visual representation of 3^4

This the visual representation of 3^5

Here are some simple rules to use with exponents.

  1. a1 = a
    Any number raised to the power of one equals the number itself.
  2. For any number a, except 0, a0 = 1
    Any number raised to the power of zero, except zero, equals one.
  3. 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.

Two-dimension model for 3^2
Two_dimenstion model for 3^3























Government school teachers visiting STEMland 

~ Arun

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


The teachers gave us positive feedback and wanted to implement this in their school.


~ Madhavan, Arun

non-Newtonian fluid is a fluid that does not follow Newton’s law of viscosity, i.e., constant viscosity independent of stress. In non-Newtonian fluids, viscosity can change when under force to either more liquid or more solid. [more..]


Preparation of the non Newtonian liquid:

Needed materials:

  1. Corn powder (50 gm)
  2. Water (50 ml)
  3. Shampoo (5 ml)
  4. Honey (1 table spoon)

Mix all the ingredients slowly and make sure you mix them properly. Mixing might be a little harder and might take around 10 to 15 minutes.


After the preparation of the liquid ,the surface looks like a liquid. When one puts a finger slowly into the liquid it will go inside. When we increase the speed of our hand our finger will not go inside. Please check the video below. We should this to the school children.