Children of Isaiambalam (4th to 6th Graders) school have been doing an EBD (Education By Design) project on Water. The school was running out of water for the past 3 months. Children was struggling to go to the rest room and for drinking water.
Then the problem was fixed by lowering the Bore well pipe by 150 feet. Now the total depth of the Bore well is 350 feet. We decided to take a real time problem for their EBD. Then the children started to discuss in groups what were the real reasons behind the shortage of water. They had lot of assumptions. For example; They thought that the recently drilled Bore well near the school took away lot of water, The motor was not good enough, The pipe was blocked by the sand etc.
Through EBD children were exposed to learn Maths, English, Tamil and Science.
Maths: They measured length of pipes, Built a pond in school where they measured the Diameter, depth, area etc (Will talk about the pond later in another blog).
English: They wrote whatever they learned in their note book in English. The younger children who were not able to write in English wrote in Tamil first and then translated it back to English. Few children discussed the project in English and presented to the whole group in English.
Science: Children learned the Water Cycle. They learned what was ground water and its process of settling down in the Aquifers. They watched video to learn few concepts like Process of drilling Bore well, Ground water, Water cycle etc. They even saw the process of drilling Bore well near their school.
Soil scientist: A soil scientist Deoyani from Auroville visited the children and shared her experience with soil and water. She gave few ideas for rain water harvesting. Children were very excited and asked her questions. She pulled out few ideas for saving water from their mouths.
Aaranya forest: Children had a night stay in Aaranya forest (Puthurai). Saravanan (Person who takes care of the forest) took them for a walk through the forest. Children learned new tree names, their history and uses. We had a discussion with the children after the dinner on what they learnt from Saravanan. Children wrote it down in their notebooks. They were very thrilled to know that before the forest fully grew there were 50 different kinds of birds. And now over 250 different kinds of birds visit and lives in the Aaranya forest. Children saw how they were doing rain water harvesting. In the morning we had bridge crossing and rope gliding which were very exciting for the children and myself.
Unfortunately children had only 12 days for their water EBD. We asked the children to present to others what they learned through this project.
- Kavya and Guru created a book.
- The pond
- Model for ground water system
- Model for hand pump
- Hand sketch for rain water harvesting in their school
- Chart work on
- water cycle,
- ground water,
- Drilling bore and
- Wastage of water
- They were able to work with different age group children.
- They were able to build a pond on their own.
- They were Able to write English sentences.
- Some children were able to speak in English.
- Two children were able to write a book on their own.
The children took up responsibilities for their learning and materials, They had the courage to create models and worked with each other with equality which were aligned with values of STEM Land.