Savarayalu 8th Grade Class – 20/02/17

We started by sharing what they learned new from last class. We asked about what did in the last class and also asked about the homework. All student answered that they were able to do the dialogue well. Then we started the class by introducing the pen down and pen up commands today. we showed the program of the ball game and asked them to use pen down command and to follow the path that they created. The children wrote down the commands in their notebook. Then the children sat in pairs and started to code. Some were confused with the motion x-axis and y-axis commands and then I asked some question and made them to find the correct answer. Most of them did well and they understood what the code was doing. They also saved their work in a separate directory under the shared folder. The children coded for almost an hour. We concluded by sharing what they learned today and how they felt. Some children said that they had learned about pen shade, pen down, set pen color, pen size. We gave them a homework to draw a square, triangle and a circle and also gave some hints how to make.I would like to be more rigorous in checking their homework. Sorry I didn’t check the homework.

Prathap

Controlling a single LED using two switches

During the electronic class that is held on every Wednesday afternoon at STEMLAND, Muthu had built a circuit and figured out how to control a LED using two switch model.

His working prototype is as follows:

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Video of his prototype:

Building structures with the 5th and 6th graders

Along with the students of Udavi school, we together were exploring shapes. They used the straws to build their shape with the constraints provided.

  1. Using 12 equal straws, and to build 8 equal squares
  2. Using 6 equal straws, and build 4 equal triangles
  3. Using 8 equal straws of one kind and 4 equal straws of another, and to build 2 equal squares and 4 equal rectangle.
  4. Using 8 equal straws, and to build 4 equal triangles and 1 square

5th and 6th grades: The students stared off figuring out in teams:

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Using 12 equal straws, and to build 8 equal squares:

IMG_20170112_113812026_BURST001 IMG_20170112_113954418

Using 6 equal straws, and build 4 equal triangles

IMG_20170112_113013218IMG_20170112_112824713IMG_20170112_112820700IMG_20170112_113418623

IMG_20170112_112924635Using 8 equal straws of one kind and 4 equal straws of another, and to build 2 equal squares and 4 equal rectangle.

IMG_20170118_101135532_BURST000_COVER_TOP IMG_20170118_100034772_HDR IMG_20170118_100513582Then the students came up with their own constraints and built the following:

IMG_20170118_102855444

 

 

 

Scratch Course

 

Task 1

Task  one is to make a scratch program that asks 10 different questions and the user enters the answers. This program should use sensing operation in scratch. When the answer is correct it should move to next question. If the answer is wrong then the same question should be repeated.

Outcomes

  • Able to understand sensing operation in scratch.
  • Able to make a simple scratch program.

Task2

The pen function, motion functions were introduced. To get more information about the following function, We did a session with government school with the following function. To get more info visit the link http://www.auraauro.com/school/savarayalu-8th-grade-class-200217/

Task to complete:

  • The challenge is to draw a square, triangle and a circle in scratch.

Outcomes

  • To be able to use pen up and pen down function.
  • Able to understand and use motion commands like move, turn (right, left) using degrees etc.
  • Able to draw a square, triangle and a circle using scratch.
  • Able to use pen size, pen colour, change pen colour and pen shade.

Task 3

Scratch can be used to make games. In the third session we asked the children to make a maze game. To get more information on the session visit http://www.auraauro.com/school/savarayalu-8th-grade-class-20170220-2/

Task given:

  • The task was to use the pen function and draw line when the object moves in the maze game to find out whether the object is moving smoothly or hardly.
  • Then the children worked in pairs with each other and also with their teacher on the pen function and were able to draw line when the object moved.

Outcomes

  • Able to create a maze path background image.
  • Able to use sensing functions.
  • Become familiar with motion functions.

Task 4

Once the previous task was completed the children added score function to the maze game.

Task given:

  1. Create score and increase it for every right answer.
  2. Decrease score for every wrong answer or reset to 0.
  3. Create a repeat until loop for each of the if else conditions.

Outcome

  • Able to use functions that are present in control block.
  • Able to use logic using if statements.
  • Able to  set a variable using Data block.

Task 5

In the 5th session Function and Variables are introduced. To draw a circle with by creating a simple  function with variables. For more information you can visit the following link http://www.auraauro.com/school/savarayalu-8th-grade-class-03032017/

 

Task given:

  • How to draw a circle and check how many circles can be drawn around a circle with the same diameter touching each other.
  • How  to draw a circle from smaller to bigger circle with the same between each other.

Outcome

  • Able to create a function .
  • Able to  set a variable using Data block.
  • Able to reduce the size of the code.

2016 Reflections

In the beginning of 2016 I was assigned to a new project on Python called Cello (Graphical User Interface for a chip). Working on this project has improved my skill in Python and my style of thinking.

I was a beginner to Python language. I had spent quite a lot of time even with some small logic. Initially, I followed trial and error method to make my program work without much logical thinking. Indeed, I hoped for the best out it like a magic (Yes, it did work for quite a few sometimes).

Fortunately, I was able to make some small pieces of code (functions) to work. That gave me the confidence to strive to break down my program into smaller logical units. After sometime, suddenly, I realized I had started liking what I do and it seemed that I was very eager to make things work. However,  I was still a novice and I had only thought through things superficially and had no depth in it. Most of my programs were inefficient and had no comments for future reference.

After few months I completed the initial specifications project and thought I was done. It was then that I was asked to add few more features in it. It was only at that time I started to realize all my incorrect assumptions and mistakes. I think that experience was for my growth and how I did so consciously,  the capacity to deal with stress and ability to think about the big picture rather to be stuck with some of my assumptions particularly when I design something.

On the other hand, I played the role of Teacher in two schools (I’m a volunteer at two schools- IsaiAmbalam and Udavi). It was as much of a challenge as being a good programmer. I realized, it was easy for me to deliver a lecture to the class, but that did not give the result which I expected. I started having one to one conversations. I didn’t change the whole picture but few students had taken the responsibility of their own growth and started working towards it.

Later, rest of the students started noticing it and wanted to be like them. In other words, those few people inspired others simply by their action & outputs. Generally it’s hard to track each child, but this is what I’m doing and I’m happy too. I fell proud when a child teaches me something which I have no idea. I learned many things when I sit with a child (particularly problem solving skills, reasoning, aptitude and how to make myself light & happy).

Aura Auro had given me an opportunity to attend Vipassana also. That helped me to look at myself and find out what I really care for and what all are my biases. This was my biggest learning of 2016.

Savarirayulu Government School visit to StemLand

Mrs. Hemavathi ( the principal of Savarirayulu govt. girls high school) had visited us a few weeks back and spent a day at STEMland talking to children and seeing their work. Hemavathi is the general secretary of the Pondicherry Science Forum and a very respected teacher trainer in the government. She was thrilled with the motivation and self-direction of the children who she saw were able to work independently and effectively. In her visitor note she wrote that STEM land gives her hope.

She put this in action and this week she organized all her 20 odd teachers to come during the holiday to STEM Land for training. We also prepared for a 4 hrs module on teacher training including use of stewardship tools that look choice of working from possibility and fears and doing things differently. We then jumped into getting teachers who had been fearful of computers for 30-40 yrs to program with scratch. The teachers were very engaged and delayed their lunch by an hour and a half to work.

They also interacted with children and their reflections at the end of the day gave us hope of changes in attitudes both towards technology and how they work with children. We felt that this school is the first government school to whom we are going to partner with for training and continued work with the children.

Here is what we personally felt about the workshop with the teachers,

Arun:

Teachers’ sharing:

  • A Computer teacher requested her school teachers not to be strict to children and instruct each and every movement of the child. Instead she wants teachers to show love and care so that the children don’t move into fears. She added that children will have the courage to ask doubts if that happen.
  • I had an assumption that the Govt school teachers won’t be open to learning. But Kabilan (8th Grader) taught scratch to the computer teachers and they were very open to learning no matter who was teaching them.

Insight:

  • Freedom is an universal value.

Bala:

From people sharing:

  • At lunch, I told the teachers that they can sit anywhere and have their food. A teacher replied saying that ‘you are giving so much freedom to your children and we know that we are allowed to sit anywhere we want’. It struck me that not many schools give freedom to children to make their choices.
  • A teacher at my table said that creating projects in the computer is real learning and very different from other schools where they simply give internal marks without doing anything.
  • A teacher said that he stood for all the values – I had the same thought one day, for me to happy I have to be in all the universal values. Was interesting to hear someone had the same thought as me.
  • Another teacher shared about how she was always for others and this was the first time she had time to think about herself and her values/stand.

My insights:

  • I was able to look at the wisdom profile of the teachers. Before, I looked at their social profile and made assumptions. I was able to break it.
  • I learnt to look at situations from different perspectives/lenses.

Prathap:

  • Whatever I do, I have to love it and do (work). This requires sincerity, responsibility and progress. All those will come if I love what I do. This is what I learned from the teacher’s insight.
  • The other insight was that if I have a problem in my project, I have to see that with different perception or from all points of view and sort out the problem.
  • If students didn’t do their work,  I have to connect their stand  with what they do and make them to work from their stand instead of their fears. It doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t be firm (on my objectives) on what I want to see in a larger picture.

Sundar:

What i was inspired with:

  • Elder gentleman, who stood for all values but had to enter with his own door into this whole set of universal values.
  • ‘I need to express myself as i and not as we all the time, i don’t have to talk for the sake of others’
  • High value for children coming from not that high class background.

Vaidegi:

My insights are,

  • Age doesn’t matter. All I need is Enthusiasm and courage to accept and create what I want to see in the society.
  • Sincerity and being rigorous are what I learned from Hemavathi.
  • It gave a new lens to look at what is meant by a TEACHER.

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Govt School Teacher’s visit to Stem Land

From people sharing:

  • At lunch, I told the teachers that they can sit anywhere and have their food. A teacher replied saying that ‘you are giving so much freedom to your children and we know that we are allowed to sit anywhere we want’. It struck me that not many schools give freedom to children to make their choices.
  • A teacher at my table said that creating projects in the computer is real learning and very different from other schools where they simply give internal marks without doing anything.
  • A teacher said that he stood for all the values – I had the same thought one day, for me to happy I have to be in all the universal values. Was interesting to hear someone had the same thought as me.
  • Another teacher shared about how she was always for others and this was the first time she had time to think about herself and her values/stand.

My insights:

  • I was able to look at the wisdom profile of the teachers. Before, I looked at their social profile and made assumptions. I was able to break it.
  • I learnt to look at situations from different perspectives/lenses.

2016 Review – Bala, Sundar

2016 has been a challenging year for me both mentally and physically. I am able to see the difference in myself as compared to the previous year where I was literally a novice both at work and as a person.

My biggest learning at work is that I have found out ways to be more efficient and efficacious, be it automating work or asking other people for help. The two weeks we spent in Bangalore gave me an idea of how people work in the ‘real’ world. It gave an opportunity to learn from different people and their style of work. This was the year where I was able to make significant progress in my project.

Last year, Aura Auro had given me different platforms to explore more about myself ie, workshops such as Nainital, Stewardship and Vippasana(though I didn’t complete it). All of these helped me know about myself better. From being a participant to being a PC in the Stewardship workshop, the experience has been very different. As a PC I learnt that I need to be more rigorous in my practices. Providing a space for others to explore and learn at the same time gave me happiness.

As a teacher I am able to read the children better than last year. I used to get triggered a lot often but now I tend to listen to them openly. This made me address their problems better.

And as always contributing to the schools and to Auroville makes me feel that I am a part of this place and that I am giving something back to the society that brought me up right from my childhood.

To conclude, 2016 has been a year where both Aura Auro and I have progressed to the next stage. In cricketing terms, we began the innings with a four(people) and we finished it with a six!(people)

Regards
Bala

Reflections of 2016

From the of start of 2016 to the present (Jan 08 2017), Time has been short yet has taught me plenty. The person I was and the person I have become has a lot to say about the many things that I have done and experienced, for me the most important thing that I care about is the freedom and universal truth that I put together in doing things in my journey, one path that I took among many that I enjoyed doing was learning and teaching at the same time with the children and my colleagues. I have, and am working with the 6th and 7th std students of Udavi school. The 7th come to STEMLAND for their mathematics class, while the 6th are at the New Building campus of the school.

This time when participating and being part of the organization team for the SFNE made visible the unseen, the amount of work and energy, effort put together to bring out the workshop by all the members was inspiring and moment was amazing.

I am gifted to be part of a larger community and given a space to grow and enhance by competence being in the AAD’s team. I have come to know how import it is to give what I have and receive what is it that is out there.

Regards
Sundar

Asteroid game

I developed an Asteroid game from the python course . I did this game since two weeks .I had some difficulties while writing the codes. My team members helped me to over come errors in the program. Here’s a video on the game .I really enjoyed developing this.

-Prathap

Trigonometry Puzzle Game

I have been working on a project for the 9th graders. They had a small puzzle game where they were supposed to find trigonometric ratios and built the puzzle piece by piece by colouring it. Children liked it and as a team we decided to build it in scratch. I took up the responsibility and build a scratch program similar to the game they had in their text book. Here’s the program.

Children were excited and they started building the program themselves.