Sets game

Few girls from 9th grade chose set language as their goal and were working on it. Few weeks back 10th grade children were working on set language and created a game on set theory. 9th grade children read the instruction manual to play the game and went ahead to play.

While playing the game they were able understand intersection of sets. Then to make the game more interesting they changed the rule and said that they need to find the write answer within three guesses. The sets game had three circle on a chart and each circle corresponds to a shape, colour and size. The opposite team will think of any particular piece with a color, shape and size and the other team guesses the right piece by placing it in the circles. It was interesting that children created their own teaching learning material and that it is used by others when they come to learn the same concept.

STEM Land April-June 2018

STEM Land Newsletter

Volume-1, Oct-Dec 2017

About STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) land
STEM land resource centres are located in Udavi School and Isai Ambalam School, two outreach schools of Auroville. Children come to STEM Land for Math, EVS and science classes.They learn Mathematics, Electronics, 3D Printing, Programming, Mindstorms (Robotics) and play strategic games that enhance logical thinking. The elder children take responsibility for their learning and plan their goals and only ask for support when they need it. This self-directed learning is based on Sri Aurobindo’s first principle of education, “Nothing can be taught”. With younger children we work on real life projects that impact their surroundings. We believe a nurturing environment can support a child’s learning and taking responsibility of his or her learning.

Building an Infinity cube with the 6th graders.

The 6th graders from Udavi school wanted to build something to show their parents. A few weeks before the class had built cubes from chart paper to understand volume. In our training with Ravi Aluganti at Isai Ambalam School on Kirigami we had encountered the infinity cube he had built. The structure that could move within itself was amazing and we decided that we will work with the children to convert the regular cubes to an infinity cube.

 

The infinity cube was showcased by the children in the Open House for the parents before the summer break. For the event they also put together other projects they had done in the term that they had found interesting. This consisted of electronic circuits that they had built. One project was a table top lamp operated of a 9V battery and decorated with foam and color . Another was LEDs that show the capitals of states in the India map. Another was a Buzzer that was connected to a battery using a switch.

Video on Infinity cube

Children building a tree house in their school

The children at Isai Ambalam have been wanting to build a tree house for some time. Josh who volunteered at STEM land at Udavi school last year was back this year. This time he spent time both at Isai Ambalam and in Udavi school and had some experience with building tree houses. He decided to work with the children to build a tree house.With the help of the children and some very nice tools Josh brought with him the children were able to help him use the bamboo on campus for the main sections of the tree house. Josh was very impressed at how comfortable and efficient the children at the school are at using tools.

Josh had also taught the children a song about trees in English and the children sang this song as well. The tree house community also supported us in the initial stages. The entire structure came up very quickly in a little over a week including sleep overs. The children measured and cut bamboo and the tree and created a complete platform and a short keep out wall that makes it feel like you are in a boat in the air. Read more

Teachers training and teachers visits to Isai Ambalam and Udavi school

A group of 44 teachers from Babaji Vidyalaya came to visit Isai Ambalam. We shared about what we deeply care about and explained  some of the EBDs (Education by Design) that children made. We showed them the pondclay room and later children took initiative to explain their own EBD projects. Children first spoke about the tree house. They explained in English and shared their work confidently to all the teachers.  They also showed the clay oven. The 6th grade children explained the India map that they built using red sand. Then they took the teachers to the garden and showed them the Kitchen waste water treatment plant

The teachers then visited the class room and interacted with the Isai Ambalam school teachers and students. UKG children told them the months in a year and the 6th and 7th graders showed them how they had organized their classroom as a 5S system. They also showed the Mindstorm robot that they built in STEM land and the projects they had submitted for Raman Award. Ayush from 7th standard presented his project in Scratch.Then Saranya took the teachers to STEM land and showed the materials, games, puzzles and projects that children have done. She also explained how we work including the ground rules and the check in check out system. 

In Udavi we gave a presentation on STEM land in the i-SMART class room. We also shared the stewardship (leadership) tools with them.Through the session every teacher was able to process what they really care about and found what they stand for, and notice their common fears. The teachers were happy and also took the stand and fear chart to put it on their notice board in their school to remind themselves about their values. Read more…

Smart board in i-SMART class room

We set up a new smart board at our i-SMART class room. Children from the 10th grade were very excited to see the smart board. They were discussing how they solved the questions in their Maths annual examination of the previous year. When Sanjeev was writing on the smart board with his finger instead of using the given pen, children were fascinated by it and all tried using the smart board. They discussed all questions from last term question paper and gave turn for each child to write the answers  they knew on the board. The 10th graders now use the smart board during their classes. The children often explore the advanced features and let us know.

Preparation workshop with Isai Ambalam school teachers

A stewardship workshop was arranged in the morning with all the teachers and volunteers at Isai Ambalam School during the summer vacation. The focus was on to find what one wants to accomplish on the up coming year and determine ones roles and accountabilities. It also allowed us to have a common language to help us be more effective as a group.

It was organized for three days, the table PCs were the members of STEMland. The workshop was delivered by Arun and Sundar. We were able to plan well for the next year after knowing what we really care about and knowing the change that we want to see. Read more…

Trail Blazers Conclave at IIMB (Bangalore)

Sanjeev was invited to the  trailblazers conclave organized by IIMB and Rotary as a panelist to talk about innovations in education. The talks and panel included those who were running large scale programs across the country and those who had working programs that could be scaled. We received interest in visiting and collaborating with STEM land. Read more

Contributions can be directed towards

Auroville Unity Fund
(with a note for STEM land)
and mail to Dr.Sanjeev Ranganathan,
STEM land Udavi School, Auroville,
Edayanchavadi, Tamil Nadu – 605101
All donations are 100% tax deductible in India.

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Education system should go beyond examination

Our research work

 

 

Priyan the tailoring bird

 In an EVS session 4th graders at Isai Ambalam School were studying about Indian birds. In the class we discussed about the birds which they have seen. During the discussion we talked about nests, how they are made and how each bird makes its nest differently. As an activity, Naveen, asked them to go out of the class like a bird and build a nest of any material with which they can build a nest. Everyone were excited and they ran out in search of the materials for their nest. They collected some twigs, hay, leaves. Priyan was able to make a tailoring birds nest out of the leaves,hay and thread he found outside.

He was making the nest even in his break time. While he was doing the nest Nithish from 3rd grade came and helped him. After Priyan’s sharing about his nest model in the assembly, Harish, Aasish and Elanchezhiyan made a nest model of a weaver bird. It was an example of how the work of one child inspires others into action. Read more..

WordPress course

Kshitij who attended the python Django course offered a WordPress course. It was 8 session course, two classes in a week. Technically, it was a lighter course compared to Python Django course. We learnt to design and create our own website. Feedback from the course indicated that they found the course interesting and enjoyed it. Read more

LNET Conference (Learning Network)  in Bangalore

STEM land contingent of 7 people attended the LNET conference in creative school at Bangalore for three days . The conference was primarily of practitioners from across the country and was also attended by teachers from different schools. Resource people conducted sessions on different aspects of education. In addition to the main sessions we also interacted with some resource people who offered us sessions at night on Mathematics and drama.
We also conducted sessions on all three days. We offered stewardship tools and an electronics session. We did stand, fear and deep listening and in the electronics session we did the seven segment displays to display their name. On the last day, we offered a session for the children from creative school and were very engaged and interested in it and felt complete and content only after completing their names.  Read more

Bonfire and Silambam with Mohanam (bamboo center)

As part of our sleep overs when children work on projects this year we collaborated with Mohanam cultural center. After working on projects at 6:30 p.m. the children go to the center  to learn drums (around a bonfire) and at 7:00 a.m.the next day morning they go to learn Silambam. This has added an art and musical dimension to the sleepovers Our children showed interest in learning arts and opened up as they danced around the fire. Some of us have joined both these programs and have a great time with the Mohanam team. Read more

Creative school children interaction and Jayashree’s session on healing

Jayashree from creative school in Bangalore came to STEM land with her school children as well as a volunteer who is interested in setting up a STEM land at their school.

The children from creative school  had completed their 10th and 11th grade taught the children mindfulness exercises specifically focusing on the 10th graders at Udavi for 3 days. They shared how these techniques had helped them keep calm and be fresh when studying and taking examinations. These included breathing techniques and affirmations. They also colored mandalas with their non-dominant hand and shared how they felt doing it. Children also practiced fire meditation with candles that could help free them of nagging emotions. Various aspects of being free of fear, being able to solve many math problems came up from the Udavi children in the interactions.

They also did sessions for children in Isai Ambalam school. They colored the Mandala and did the meditation techniques. 

Youth trainees at STEM land

Three engineers who have completed their engineering under graduate in electronics are interested learning in  programming  and hands-on electronics. They are now going through a python interactive course along with three of our team members. During the course participants are expected to do assignments and Sanjeev reviews the code and gives feedback.

Workshop on Siddha Medicine

Our work on well being for ourselves and our children coincided with the interest of the teachers at Isai Ambalam school and we invited a Siddha practitioner to the school. Vignesh had an interactive session to understand common understanding and distinctions between symptoms and root cause and then shared his knowledge on the history of Siddha medicine and current status of Allopathic medicine and how people are using it at many times to address symptoms.

He also talked about the collection of toxins and how day to day living practices and natural mechanisms if allowed to run their course detox the boxy.
He stated the benefits of many herbs and trees around campus depending on the conversation. He also gave natural alternatives for the daily use of products such as shampoo  and tooth paste. Later a similar workshop was also conducted for children after which there is much buzz about making our own natural products. We have so far made toothpaste and one group of children are considering maintaining a mill. Read more

Support a child

In partnership with Asha for Education we have set up a Support a Child  program for Isai Ambalam School the school we all volunteer in. The support will cover the needs of running high quality programs at the school including teachers salaries; nutrition; activities in sports, music, swimming and STEM land activities. The support for a child is Rs.11,000/year ($168/year). Please sign up to support a child here.

Our Team

We are a team of 9 engineers at STEM land. Our projects range from python programming and more recently to analog VLSI layout.

(Left to right ) Poovizhi, Ranjith, Arun, Logeshwari, Sanjeev, Pratap, Sundar, Saranya, Naveen

Meet the team

 

 

 

Peer learning in 8th Grade

Anisha,Janani,Sivasakthi,Sindhu and Larasem were working on geometry in finding the angels for triangle with the other angles given directly or indirectly. They had some confusions and started to discuss among themselves by working out in each others notebook. Later, each took turn and used the board to frame their own questions and  asked the others to solve. Then they discussed among themselves in how to solve the question.

What they learned in the discussions are as follows:

  • There are three angles in a triangle.
  • They know that the sum of angle in an triangle is 180 degree.
  • Intersecting angles in a straight line is 180 degree.

Finding the Pattern using shapes and colours

3rd grade children from Isai ambalam school are studying about patterns. They were given an activity to make some design out of different shapes and colors. They split into teams and started to create their own designs. Later they all went through each one’s design and found the pattern in the design. Children were able to find the pattern that was used in the design and discussed about it. They were so interested to use the material and it was easy for them to understand about patterns. Later they were able to find patterns from their class room. They came up with things like window grill, wall, Leaves and so on.

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.

link to project: https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/236316674/

 

Bonfire with Mohanam(bamboo center)

~saranya

We had a great time with mohanam team. Our children showed their interest towards tabula through playing instruments and dancing.

Each children got an opportunity to learn one one thing. Finally children took over their turn. We enjoyed a lot and I am able notice few things (1. New children also came out of their hesitation , 2. Gurumurthy much interested in playing kind of drums instruments etc….)

Every children got an opportunity to play all the instruments. And I also had an opportunity to recall what I learnt from mohanam cultural centre.

ESL session at Learning network

Using ESL and bilingual activities to simplify English language teaching

I attended a session on ESL creative school, Bangalore.

We wrote our names and split it as per the phonetics and wrote our names in our mother tongue and split it using hyphen.

We did the same for our friends name also.

We framed sentences and translated them to our mother tongue.

We went through small booklets with short stories as a team and filled out reading record with title, interesting word and stars and chose the best book of the day.

We shared our best story with other teams.

Then we made our own booklets and came up with our own short stories. We also drew pictures and colored our booklet.

It was fun and interesting when we translated the sentences from our mother tongue to English.

Reflection 2017-2018

This year what was interesting for me was that I realized that learning has different curves. I have learned to be systematic and think of automation when I repeat something often. I worked on many projects last year and it gave me opportunity to be consistent and competent. The courses that was conducted in the I-smart class room was helpful to enhance my skills.

I worked on many EBD projects with Isai Ambalam school children. I have also noticed that the children who were academically weak were doing well at activities. Children were also more engaged in the class rooms and girls and boys were working together.

In Udavi I was supporting all the multi-grade classes. I needed to be always ready to answer any questions children ask. Since the children work on different topics and it is also multi-grade the questions are diverse, this makes me think more than what is needed for a black board teacher. Teaching them science, software and math at the same time makes it more interesting. I was always helped by the tools I learned from Stewardship for new emergence workshop. I have also got an opportunity to do research and access the teaching technique.

WordPress course

Day 1

# What is WordPress

WordPress is an open source, free to use Content Management System. It was initially designed and build to support emerging bloggers to
effectively communicate the message to larger audience by focusing more on the content and reduce the time investment required to code a new page for every single post.

# What is a domain & a server

A web domain is an ip address with human readable name mask that points to your website when a user types it in the web browser.
A domain is just a name available on the web to point to the directory where you keep your website, to build that directory you need a web server.

# Download and install Local server –

– Xampp – https://www.apachefriends.org/download.html
– Wamp – http://www.wampserver.com/en/

# Setting up database and db_user

Once we download and install Xampp/Wampp server, we need to create a new database. To do it easily, we run the xampp/wampp server, then in the web browser we type – localhost/phpmyadmin or localhost:8080/phpmyadmin

In phymyadmin look for the option create database. Give it a unique name and for language, select collection and hit the create database button.

# Installing WordPress

– Go to – https://wordpress.org and download the latest available version of the WordPress.
– Unzip the files into your htdocs folder

# WordPress folder hierarchy

———————–
| htdocs/www | ————- This is your web server’s root directory.
———————–
|
|
|
———————
|WordPress/public_html| ————- This is your web site’s home directory.
———————
| \
| \
| \
| \
| \
| —-=> This is where all your need to Extract all data
| from the .zip file we downloaded from wordpress.org

Day 2

Go to your home page

Appearance → Themes

Download themes from online.

Plugins →support theme to avoid spam activate it.

Search for install plugin

setup mail → install and activate sends email

For page builder

search for elementor pro. Download and extract it under

Xampp/ htdocs/wordpress/ wp-content/ plugins

Day 3

Download Oceanwp

Themes-→Addnew → upload themes

Check if you have style.css in your extracted oceanwp

If you have it compress oceanwp to zip file and upload it

If you get an error php.ini

Go to xampp/htdocs/wordpress/wp_config

Add a line Define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’,’256M’);

Above /* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging.*/

Stop Apache and start it again

If you get the same error again

Go to xampp/php/php.ini

Find

1) memory_limit set it to 512M

2) max_input_time set it to -1

3) max_execution_time set it to 30

4) upload_max_filesize set it to 512M

Stop Apache and start again

choose file → oceanwp1.15.zip → install now

Activate the theme and bigin installing plugins

Click install on ocean extra

Download and extract wptest.io . It is a demo data for wordpress

Dashboard → tools → import→ wordpress → install now → Run importer → choose file → wptest_master → wptest.XML doc → open upload file and import → select all as admin

select download and import file attachments and submit

Dahboard → appearance → menus

Theme panel select themes and save changes.

To set Logo

Browse online for freepick or freelogo and download

To change font and style

Typography → choose options

Priyan the Tailoring Bird:

The 4th grade were studying a lesson called “A busy Month” a letter written by Gijubhai. In that he would talk about many Indian birds. In the class we discussed about the birds which they have seen. While in the discussion we were discussing about nest and how they are made. Each bird makes its nest differently. So, to do a hands on activity, I asked them to go out of the class like a bird and find any material with which they can build a nest. Everyone were excited and they ran out in search of the materials for their nest. They collected some twigs,hay,leaves. Priyan was able to make a tailoring birds nest out of the leaves,hay and thread he found outside. He was making the nest even in the break time. While he was doing the nest Nithish from 3rd grade came and helped him.

After,Priyan sharing his nest model in the assembly Harish,Aasish and Elanchezhiyan made a nest model of a weaver bird.