MTA (Mathematics Teachers’ Association (INDIA )) Conference at Mumbai

The conference was happening for three days. There were about 100 people from different states. We wrote a paper on how children can  learn mathematics by building project using physical technology eg. building /  construction. Virtual technology such as programming. Children can also learn conceptual ideas by programming a computer.  It helps them to break down their ideas into smaller bites for a computer to follow.  At the conference we met many people who are working on the Maths education. People who were attending the conference were school teachers, college professors and some research people.

They were many  paper presentations happening and debate were happening about mathematics. Most of them talked about the Mathematics at college level. There was a technology session happened using with GeoGebra. Where they introduced how to use this software. They showed how to find the angles and how to draw a parallelogram. They introduced all the tools to us on how to use GeoGebra. To learn more about Technology  session  Click here

Other Posters at the conference:

As I went for Epistemy7 conference. From my conference experience going with Sanjeev to the Epistemy7 I had just followed everything what he had told in Epistemy7. I followed those things in MTA conference. I had a check list and also created a directory structure with everything that I am going to present. There were about 30 poster and we need to present in an hour. Most of the people visited our poster and I was happy that we were able present our poster to everyone.  We also asked people to sign up their Email ID  to send further information. Since I took initiative to present the paper I was well prepared for the presentation. I also met many people who had already came for the  Epistemy7 last year.

 

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.

To learn Scratch     Click here

Raspberry pi course

In STEM land a person from Auroville came to the iSMART class to conduct a course about raspberry pi course. Initially I dont know how to use raspberry pi. I was curious to learn raspberry pi. I also learnt the differences and advantages between Arduino and Raspberry pi. I learnt the different pin functions and the number of pins on a raspberry pi board. Day 1&2 was fully theory session which was boring.

In order to make it interesting I started ask many question to the teacher and the session was engaged by the participants. What really was interesting in the course was that the Arduino can’t drive a relay but with a raspberry pie we can drive a relay. One the teacher told that a relay can be driven by rapberry, he had a relay module but he couldn’t drive it. I took as a challenge and struggled for two days and I figured it to drive a relay. We made a small circuit with 2 LED where when the relay is on one of that LED will turn on and when the relay is off the other LED will turn on.

      

After this the teacher was also very happy and he also learnt something from us. Then the next challenge was that to send and to receive inputs from a raspberry pi to a web page.The teacher had asked who knows web page development.

             

Since I learnt Django web framework in STEM land, I was able to connect What I knew with what I lean now.  So I had asked him to show an example how to pass inputs from raspberry to a web page. Then finally in the last class we were able to complete all the task that we planed to accomplish in the course. Now I have some knowledge about raspberry pi and also I can build something with it.

To learnt about raspberry pi visit this link      Click here

Children solving puzzles

~Saranya

Children from 7th grade his name is Hariharan. During his activity period he picked up a set of puzzles to solve and he practicied it. After two weeks he is able to solve the same set of puzzles in 3 minutes.

And also he is showing everyone to solve the puzzles. I felt instead of giving instruction sheet we could use his video to solve the puzzles.

Reflections from SFNE workshop(Stewardship For New Emerging)

~Saranya

Session -1

1. When I deeply listen to others I was able to ground myself it made me relaxed and It made others also to be relaxed.

2. From the movie(12 angry men) I noticed they were talked about fact and interpretation.

3. Whenever I get complaints from someone I realized It was an good opportunity to learn and also I noticed when I am complaining to somebody I felt like I really care about the things that’s why I was complaining to somebody.

4. I realized that within 2 minutes I can make others to put in their fear at the same time I can make others to put in their stand.

Session-2

1. While doing the fact and interpretation tool I noticed myself is that if I give importance to the stories I was unable to find a solution (what to do next) at the same time when I give Importance to the fact I was able to know what to do next.

2. I have realized that moment to moment I was unable to be in integrity.

3. While doing the breakdown to breakthrough I noticed through my wild idea I was able to see what will be my output and outcome for my project. For breakdown to breakthrough I was able to connect with my synergistic operational.

4. I noticed there is relationship between fact interpretation and judgment and discernment.

5. I learnt what is the purpose for forgive without condoning.

6. While doing the overload and overwhelm I have realized that when I felt overload I was able to separate things according to the priority and also I can get help from others. When I am in overwhelm I did know what to do and also I did know whom to ask help. The overwhelm is just a feeling that I noticed it it was stayed in only few minutes then it’s gone when I went to do for another work.

7. When I was doing the conversation for completion I realized what was I missed for past conversation.

7. Whatever the thing I did in the past this session-2 helped me to notice and name it.

STEM land 3rd birthday!!

On 16th October 2018 we celebrated STEM land’s 3rd birthday in Udavi school. A week ago children were back from their first term holiday and worked on creating projects to present during the celebration. Some children attended the scratch course conducted during the vacation and created projects on Scratch.

    

It was quite a busy morning, both children and STEM land youths were so energetic and were decorating and organizing the place. 9th graders from Udavi decorated the entrance of STEM land with colorful Rangolies. Tables were placed outside STEM land and children checked out the games and puzzles which they were interested and played them with the visitors.

    

Children and Teachers from Aikiyam and Isai Ambalam schools came. We commenced the event with a samosa and a banana for each.

    

It was a bit drizzling but we continued the celebration and STEM land youth gave an introduction about STEM land by saying the universal values and principles of STEM land, ground rules, learning rules and about the courses that we offer for youth in and around Auroville. One of our volunteers in STEM land who come to learn have also shared her experience and what she has learnt.

    

Then Sanjeev from Udavi followed by teachers from Udavi, Isai ambalam, Aikiyam  and Bridget from Thamarai lit up the lamp and begun the celebration. In front of the staircase the flames of the candles were beautifully dancing and saying “STEM LAND” and warmly welcomed everyone. Children’s projects were recorded and were projected.

    

     

Children from Isai Ambalam have also brought their projects and their EBD models. They were explaining their projects, demonstrated light sensing robot which they’ve made within two days and were also playing strategic games. Few Isai Ambalam  children also played games which were programmed by Udavi school children on Scratch.  The volunteers have also presented their project which lights up the LED serial lights only when someone stands in front of it and gets turned off automatically when no one is there.

   

It was unexpected and touching that the children from Isai Ambalam school have baked cakes and wrote STEM on them and brought them to Udavi. Visitors from Auroville and few people who have attended the courses offered by STEM land have also visited and played games with children. They went around STEM land and got to know what all we do and how children learn in STEM land and also solved some cast puzzles.

Everything went smoothly and the celebration ended with the same energy along with children’s drumming. It was fantastic to see both Isai ambalm and Udavi children drumming together. Children and visitors danced and enjoyed the celebration.

Salem conference (Mind mingle)

Sanjeev and I were part of an educational conference held in Salem called the “Mind mingle – inspiring schools to be innovative”. People from different background gave speech on their views on education.  Garry Jacobs talk was very inspiring where he wanted to bring in values in education.

We gave a brief introduction on STEMland. Then we held a small workshop on Stewardship for all the speakers and participants. We received a good response from everybody.

Personal reflection: Being part of such a rich (knowledge) crowd was very different. I was nervous in the beginning but I talked from my possibilities. Listening to other speakers was very inspiring and motivating.

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.