STEM Land Newsletter Volume-7, Jun ’19-Sep’19

~Sundar, Sandhiya


STEM Land Newsletter

Volume-7, Jun’19-Sep’19

About STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) land

STEM Land is currently located in two outreach (Isai Ambalam and Udavi) schools of Auroville. Children come to STEM Land for their Mathematics, EVS, and Science classes. They learn Mathematics, Electronics, 3D-Printing, Programming, Mindstorms (Robotics), strategic games puzzles and much more.

The children take responsibility for their learning and plan their goals. They work individually, in pairs or peer groups and ask for support from facilitators when they need it. This self-directed learning is based on Sri Aurobindo’s first True principle of education (Aurobindo, 1910); “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. Read more

Growth of the team and new engagements

This has been an exciting four months at STEM land. Our team of youth supported through our partners has doubled. This came with a n engagement with Quilt.AI ( A Singapore based AI company currently supports the 5 members of a technical AI(Artificial Intelligence) team who work on analysis and analytics of web data as well as 4 members of the content team who are working on analysis and content for Quilt. This has also supported STEM land expand and create an English program other than the Mathematics and EVS/Science support we provide to schools. We are currently a team of 18 Engineering and Arts Professionals. Our projects with partners range from embedded software in Python, Analog VLSI layout,  Artificial Intelligence and analytics. Meet the team

(Left to right) Murali, Thamizhselvi, Anupama, Prabha, Vimal, Bhuvana, Sanjeev, Sriman, Pratap, Ranjith, Arun, Sandhya, Sivaraman, Poovizhi, Abilash, Sundranandhan, Vasanth, Saranya, rushikesh (Naveen and Logeshwari are not in this picture).

We organized a teacher training program over the summer for organizations that were interested in setting STEM land at those locations or learn programming with children among them were Abilash, Jagdeeshwari, Saravanan, Savitri, Vimal, who are setting up STEM land at AV schools, Tamarai, Aikiyam School and AIAT. Also a paper based on the workshop “Conscious teacher training supporting inner development along with developing skills and competencies” has been accepted at epiSTEME8 that we will present at Homi Baba Center of Science Education in January.

STEM Land New Location Inauguration 2019.

STEM land was offered a new space in Udavi. All of us were busy setting up STEM Land for a couple of weeks. Especially, Saranya who took the lead for setting up the place. Now we have a bigger space and have a separate room for electronics.

A lot of thought was put into how space should be organized and some construction and repair was needed. This was handled by professionals and organizing the space was up to us. Saranya made a 3D model of the space and was materials should come. Everything was planned before the move, we needed no afterthoughts. Read more

Sri Aurobindo  birthday and Independence day celebration run 

As India marked its 73rd Independence Day, Children’s of Isaiambalam school celebrated Independence Day with flag hoisting and cultural events. We started our day at 5:00 am with bonfire and meditation for an hour in amphitheater Matrimandir Auroville. Later, we had started our marathon. Our Whole team and teachers helped to organize this event. Students started their marathon from Auroville Matrimandir across the Auroville communities and villages and reached school. Our Principle Dr.Sanjeev and teachers followed them and encouraged to finish the marathon. Read more

Javascript course

We had an intense course offered at STEM land by Umang Doctor who has over 18 years of experience in software development and digital technologies. Ten people participated in the course and we learned and Practical experience of responsive website development primarily using JavaScript.The course included: HTML 5, CSS 3, ES6, Bootstrap 4, JavaScript basics, Data structures using JavaScript, JavaScript modules, OOPS, Debugging using Chrome. Read more.

Internship at STEMLand

Three students from college came to STEM land for intern-ship for two weeks to learn Scratch programming. We have asked them to create some projects from scratch. They created some video projects on addition, fraction, number line, multiplication, representing and arranging ascending order and descending order with squares. People from STEM land took Stewardship for new emergence for them. They took a few tools from that session for them. For examples stand, fear, deep listening, and background conversation, four profile and Conscious Full-spectrum Response. Read more


We are working in collaboration with Ramakrishna Mission on a personality development program (part of Human Excellence). Swami Krishnan Maharaj from Ramakrishna mission in Chengalpattu helped set up the program that we call Inspiration at Isaiamblam school. The program is across verticals with groups that include some teachers, volunteers and children from 6th to 8th grades in each group. We discussed the inspiration and how it feels when we get inspired. Then we learned about value-added education where we need to add value throughout our life. Then we split up into 6 teams and got a topic for each team. The team was mixed with teachers, STEM land volunteers, and children. Read more.

2017-2018 batch children’s reflection on STEM land

2017 – 2018 batch children from Udavi had a get-together. We’ve planned to meet them and have a conversation on how STEM land was useful for them and what they feel about STEM land. Children were in their summer holidays and organized a get together themselves. We all felt happy to see them back. We started the conversation by asking them “What do you remember or miss about STEM land and how is it used?” Read more



STEM Land in Aikiyam

Pratap and Murali started supporting Saravanan in initiating a STEM Center in Aikiyam School. Following are some updates from Aikiyam:

STEM Land in Thamarai

There were around 20 kids from 6th std above. Thamarai facilitators said that they wanted to teach mathematics using materials. To start with basics we used Dienes block to visualize the arithmetic operations. Children learnt about cube, rod and plate. I wrote the numbers and the operator on the board and asked children to find the answer using Dienes block. Children were split into four teams and worked as a team. Facilitators also learnt along with the children. Through this, children got clarity of how carry over works and why do we carry over and borrow.

STEM Land Projects at Auroville Schools

As most of the students were new to electronics, they were asked to build a simple battery holder
( Aravind Gupta Toys) and to measure the voltage from the battery using the multimeter. They were given different batteries and were asked to measure the voltage by keeping them in series. They were able to notice the change in voltages in different batteries and enjoyed the process. The students helped each other by sharing their knowledge with their younger buddies and we were able to see the Peer Learning build up. At the end of the day, they were able to learn about voltage, LED, copper, multimeters, and make the LED glow. Read more

What’sUp Integers

With the many STEM lands coming up we felt that Thematic Weeks across schools could be interesting for children to learn from each other across schools. We have started to learn and discover the different ways of how Integers can be looked at. Children can come up with projects, stories, modules explaining the same with a short 3 to 4mins This event starts on the 20/08/2019 and comes to close 31/08/2019. Both schools should interchange videos among them. Read more.

Automatic street light using LDR

While preparing the electronics class, we took “Automatic street light using LDR” as the circuit, where  “LED” turns ON in dark and turns OFF in bright place automatically. After giving the circuit connection, the LED didn’t turn OFF when it was bright. So we started analyzing the circuit, then we found out that, the R1 resistor was low when compared to the resistance of the LDR under the brightness. Read more

Sharing Knowledge across grades

6th-grade children are studying photosynthesis which is one of the topics in the EVS chapter. Meanwhile, 7th-grade children have been doing a model of a plant cell using clay under the guidance of Vasanthraj. Since now they have completed their model, they wanted to show and demonstrate it to the other grades. When they came to present to 6th grade, we noticed that we are in sync. Photosynthesis is related to plant cell, Thus the 6th graders find it very much useful in what they are studying and asked a few questions/doubts to the 7th grade and they answer their question. Inter-grade education like these is highly appreciated by teachers and students as well. Read more

Monthly Progress card for School Software

We created a 2nd version of the school software to make and assess the plan for children in Isai Ambalam School. Teachers were writing the monthly progress card by hand. We made this feature so that teachers can use the planning software and make the progress card. It would be useful to copy the progress card for multiple children and make changes that would save time. It helps to keep track and view the previous month’s progress card. Read more


Atrei Visit

Atrei is a geology scientist, who is our main support in Asha Bangalore. She had visited Udavi and Isai Ambalam school STEM Land. Later she had interacted with the youths that work in STEM Land. During the interaction, the youth had come up with a few questions related to geology. There was also a Judo demonstration by the Isai Ambalam School children. Atrei has a black belt in karate.

Support A Child Program 

In partnership with Asha for Education we have set up a Support a child program for Isai Ambalam School. The support of Rs.11,000/year covered some of the running expenses of the school including teacher’s salaries; nutrition; activities in sports, music, swimming, and STEM land activities. Last year we successfully found support for all children at the school by the end of the schooling year. This year the strength of the school has increased to 154 and the third phase is in progress.. A positive development  that we see this year is some of the parents are putting in funds to collectively support some children themselves.

Contributions towards STEM land can be directed towards
Auroville Unity Fund
with a note for STEM land and mail it to
Dr. Sanjeev Ranganathan,
STEM land Udavi School, Auroville,
Edayanchavadi, Tamil Nadu – 605101
All donations are 100% tax-deductible in India.


Continue reading “STEM Land Newsletter Volume-7, Jun ’19-Sep’19”

STEM land meeting with all STEM coordinators

~ Murali and Poovizhi

Sundar (Udavi school STEM land coordinator) gave a demonstration on learning Algebra using weighing scale. He used few sketch pens and weighing cubes (1gm) . For example one side had 10 grams and the other side had 5 sketch pens when both were weighing equal. He asked us to find the weight of each sketch pen. Then we discussed and solved few such examples in solveme and came up with all possible algebraic equations.

Saravanan from Aikiyam school had brought a star tetrahedron in which children had learnt about pyramids and triangles.

Arun who is coordinating with AIIT explained about parallelogram and showed how a rectangle can be formed by bisecting the angles of the parallelogram.


STEM land in Thamarai learning center

~Poovizhi, Saranya

There were around 20 kids from 6th std above. Thamarai facilitators said that they wanted to teach mathematics using materials. To start with basics we used Dienes block to visualize the arithmetic operations. Children learnt about cube, rod and plate and recalled place values .  I wrote the numbers and the operator on the board and asked children to find the answer for it using Dienes block. Children were split into four teams and worked as a team. Facilitators also learnt along with the children. Through this, children got clarity of how carry over works and why do we carry over , borrow and whether we carry over ones, tens or hundreds based on the place value.


A new Intern (Shivaram) has joined the team, he will be working on Responsive web page development (HTML and CSS), school software and learning to program the mindstorm.

Initially he built a small bot with wheels and learned powering and controlling the motors through the user interface. The batteries were discharging way too quick than expected and caused a halt in the learning.  Then I checked the back of the battery case there were 6 AA batteries connected in series resulting to 9V. I decided to use a power supply and showed him how to connect 🙂 . Now he was all set with uninterrupted power supply. By the end of the third day he had programmed a line follower.

Stewardship Stage 1, Session 2

~ Bhuvana,  Vasanth, Thamizh

Stewardship For New Emergence was held On  September 27,28,29 (2019) for session 1, followed by Oct  18,19,20 (2019) for session 2. This program is for our own growth and self exploration. It similarly aids for organisational development and team capacity building and we could see the growth significantly  by implementing the tools practically.

I learnt about myself and my inner values. When ever a problem  showed up I used to ignore the issue and tried  to escape from the situation. Later I realized that escaping from a problem will cause another issue, By using the stewardship tools I am addressing the problems and getting solutions then and there. Earlier I used to think  in a narrow way to get a solution , after attending the stewardship workshop I am able to think in multiple perspectives to get better solution for the problem.~ Vasanth

I noticed about my self that I am able to see my growth by practicing the tools in various situations. It helped me to be a better person than I used to be, before attending the workshop. All the tools are useful in exploring myself and for the growth of my organisation. After attending the workshop I clearly knew what I am deeply care about for my self and others, then I started to work towards  it. ~ Bhuvana

Before attending the workshop, lots of questions ran around my mind. Questions like who am I? What am I going to do to still myself at difficult times in my life etc. After completing the first session, I was able to explore myself deeply, identify myself and my values and things I care about for myself and others. The tools that I learnt helped me to still myself. It was also helpful to better myself. I liked the tool “forgive with condolence” the most which helped me to lighten myself with the heavy feelings which I was carrying for many years.~ Thamizhselvi

Mindstorms !!

~ Sundar.K, Abilash.S

Abilash who is taking up scaling of STEM Land in Auroville schools wanted to introduce Lego Mindstorms to children from TLC ( Theivan, Meet, and Daniel) who were interested in robotics. I (Sundar) took this opportunity to create a mixed group environment. I knew some children (Murali, Yuvan and Jeeva) who had already built robots using Mindstorms in Udavi and knew how things work. Murail came in early and set up the laptops with the instruction and PDF for building various robots. He initially was very reluctant in working with children with other background. Once all the children arrived in STEM Land we started with a few moments of silence and refreshed the ground rules. Initially they were a bit shy to speak and mingle, but as they started to work it became normal and the goal became important on building the robot. Both of the students were enjoying the session and were working very eagerly to complete (snake bot and humanoid) it within the day, due to lack of time they had to store the work in progress to be continued later next week.

Abalone championship

~ Arun, Murali

In STEMland we take up one topic in math for a week (sometimes a couple of weeks) and children are asked to explore more about the topic. We started with integers for the first two weeks and children presented many projects to demonstrate what they know about integers. (more info on our previous blog)

Followed by that we had Abalone week in STEMland. Abalone is a strategy game (more info..) and is one of the popular games in STEMland. Children of all schools were encouraged to play abalone and compete with each other. Children practiced playing for a week  with their pals.

On September 25th we had the final event. 42 children from Isaiambalam (which included ex-students) and Udavi school participated. We had a knock out round to start with and children were asked to compete with each other. Many of the children were knocked off and only four children were left to play the final round. The following four children competed  with each other in a league fashion. The one who won maximum number of games was considered winner.

  1. Ayush (ex-student of Isaiambalam)
  2. Shushma (Udavi)
  3. Vishal (Udavi)
  4. Udhay (Isaiambalam)

Ayush won against all the contestants and was declared winner.

Children starting with a circle
Knock out table
From left : Mani, Murali, Deepak
Children playing
Children playing
Children playing


Friday session with STEMLand scaling group – Ganit Rack,Ganit mala

~Pratap , Murali, Poovizhi

On 2019/10/11 we had the third meet with the Scaling group. More information on the second meet can be found at : Link to previous session

This time Abilash started by sharing what he did in Auroville schools .We did the Siphon experiment which  involves air and water pressure between two containers of water connected through a pipe.When the water levels are equal in the both containers,it attains equilibrium state.For more information refer the link below: Siphon experiments

Saravanan from Aikiyam has made maths materials like 1)integer game using number chart and 2 dice.It contains numbers starting from 0 to 89 (both positive and negative side).A target has to be set before starting the game i.e 25 (both positive and negative side). One die contains numbers from 4 to 9.Another die contains three (+) symbols and (-) symbols.Both dice should be rolled simultaneously.The number indicates number of boxes to move while the symbol indicates the direction to move.

2)A tool for Quadrilateral shapes with different angles using scales and pro-circles.

Sanjeev suggested Ganit mala and ganit rack to do integer calculations which should be easy for children to visualize and do calculations faster.



Real Personality-summary

Sandhiya, Prabha, Thamizhselvi.

The children of Isaiambalam are undergoing a project called Inspiration.  The purpose of the project is to understand the spiritual values. There are 6 teams under it.  Real personality is one of them.

The development of  5 aspects i.e. being physically strong, mentally balanced, morally sound, intellectually sharp and spiritually advanced is real personality. It also gives positive thinking that repeated good thoughts, speaking good words and doing good actions will help us developing good imprints and good character in us. The proverb” As you saw, you shall reap ” is a good example of it. The environment you choose is will decide which kind of personality you will become.

If we have thoughts, it will lead us to bad actions and bad thoughts. The same way around, If we have good thoughts, in any situation angels will protect us. These thoughts encourage children to do good activities and they develop their personality with compassionate love.

Learning about this project makes the children build their inner capacities. The children understand that truth is strength, purity, and knowledge.  It also helps them to practice that any unwanted thoughts that weaken them should be rejected in life.

While learning the project through songs, scripts, memorizing sayings of Swami Vivekanandha made the children understand that they are the creators of their destiny. They believed that they are glorious and immortal, hence they can achieve anything in the world if they have good thoughts and will power to achieve it.

Through learning this project they understood the importance and the essence of real personality.

Here is the real personality Links and Projects: