English Class

~Sandhiya, Prabha

As part of the continued learning program at STEM land, we took two courses “Grammatically correct English: writing and speaking” and “Advanced English course” along with other teachers and staff of SAIIER.  Sessions were held twice a week from 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. on Mondays and Fridays.  The course was an offering of SAIIER and will be free of charge to the participants.

This was an intensive course that required homework ranging from 15 minutes to half an hour.The teacher for the course is Miss. Vatsla had many years of experience teaching English.

The advanced course had around 15 members and was conducted over 3 months

  • Introducing self
  • Use of used to/ never used to
  • Apostrophe’s
  • Use of Articles
  • 12 Tenses and Rules
  • Chart: Affirmative, Negative, Interrogative, and Interrogative + negative.
  • Practice with the help of a chart
  • Article Combination
  • Difference between few and little
  • Modals
  • Prepositions
  • Condition clauses
  • Chain of condition clauses
  • Use of I am yet to
  • Sentences with has to, have to, had to, will have to
  • Sentences with I came to know about

In advanced course has around 11 members and 8 classes, and everyone has teachers from in and around Auroville. So far, we Covered,

  • Active and Passive voice
  • Direct and Indirect Speech

These are the list we practiced in advance class,

  • Debate with ourself
  • Given a topic/word and create narration in front of others
  • Given the situation for two members and talk about that.
  • Create a sentence and end others’ sentences.
  • Write the paragraph for the given topics
  • Strengths and weakness
  • Few lines about Diwali
  • Few lines about home town
  • Peer learning with ourselves for easy understanding.

Group- 3 group photos

The more work I have, the easier it is to find time to meditate and exercise

~ Sanjay Tumati

There used to be a time when I used to consider having too much work, a valid reason for not finding time to meditate. Isn’t that what you hear all the time? It’s what I hear all the time. These days, those same words make me laugh as I would laugh at genuinely good inside joke with close friends.

I have never been busier in my life than I have been at c3StreamLand and never have I meditated so regularly, so effortlessly. Not only do I meditate regularly, I manage to exercise regularly as well, again effortlessly. This was brought home to me during the Pongal Holidays when I went to visit relatives. There was no work to do, and I struggled mightily to meditate daily and I did absolutely no physical exercise there whatsoever. And it’s not just this visit. It is the pattern in any situation where life is comfortable. Why is that? Here are some humble reflections

I meditate regularly at C3StreamLand because life here is so challenging. I have to teach, to work and earn a living, deliver projects on time, make sure team members deliver, do registration for a Vipassana center, handle finances for a school, supervise an electronics lab, come up with new experiments, try to work on practical circuits such as inverters and adaptors, branch into a new area of work such as firmware programming, handle Vipassana group sits for the community in Auroville. I need a very sharp mind to be able to keep all this going on a daily basis. So I am forced to meditate everyday and also exercise regularly or else I will be overwhelmed by the responsibilities I have taken up.

I see that exercise and meditate regularly keeps me at my full potential. If I am not at my full potential I fail disastrously. . There is no middle way here. There is no possibility of a Chalta-hai (it’s ok) attitude. No dependence on last minute Jugaad (wing it). I notice that in a meditation session when I have meditation session where I struggle through the 1 hour session without as much concentration, I know I benefitted from the meditation because of the sharpness of mind that I experience in discharging my responsibilities.

I can’t afford to indulge my senses via net surfing or overeating as I immediately experience a dullness of mind that again does not permit me to discharge the responsibilities I have taken up. So wholesome work that is also challenging also drives lifestyle changes in other areas.

Thus, it becomes clear that the problem with not meditating is not too much work. It never is. The problem is lack of motivation. When I am engaged in wholesome work all day and I know I need a sharp mind to complete the work, I will somehow find the time for both meditation and exercise. When I do not actually have any work to do, any responsibilities to discharge, I somehow never find the time to either meditate or exercise. How strange!!!

I am now discovering my own version of GoenkaJi’s admonition that one must meditate 2 hours everyday except when one is extremely busy in which case one must meditate 3 hours.

Ardiuno Projects

~ Sivaraman

Arduino projects are done for the learning of embedded systems programming. In simple terms, this supports make projects that are programmable yet interact with the real world. These games were programmed in C language, which can also be written with snap4ardiuno, interactive programming  for children and includes a module for Arduino.

While children/youth who have been coming to STREAM Land have been programming in Scratch we had not been able to create an interesting context for them to move to hardware programming since COVID. This changed in the recent Christmas Fair where children were making games that others could play. It seemed so much fun that the youth also wanted to demonstrate their programming skills and out came the Arduinos. [Siva Sankaran, Sivaraman Ramamoorthy] Here are a few games that were made that were popular with the children.

Simon Says

This project is a memory follow game where you have to follow the led blinks and need to click on the appropriate flow of blinks to win the game.

Runner Game

This game is runner game where hops and hide are made using a push button to hop and hide to maintain the flow to the run.

Shooting Game

This one is the difficult to play with two hand was made purpose fully to make the game harder, one hand should control the x axis movement and second hand is for the shooting control

 

Insights from One Straw Revolution

Rajesh
As part of the Becoming and Being a Shifu program we have time put aside for reading books. I read the One Straw Revolution. After reading the book, the first thing that I noticed is how I can think differently about problems. When I start to think differently, I can see a lot of options, and I can go with the best one which is helpful to all. The other insight is the gap between thought and action is the most important to fill. Implementing an idea may be difficult, but one man’s effort can become revolution among all the people. Implementation: I have already done farming, but in the normal way that people use today with chemicals and fertilizers. But now I would like to do
farming in a very natural way as practiced by Masanobu Fukuoka in
one straw revolution after completing the Becoming and Being a Shifu program.
Book reading:
Book reading improves my communication skills and also helps me understand new ideas and their meaning of the context and comprehend any passage that I read or hear.

What I learnt when I wanted to teach Algebra

This year I teach mathematics for 8th grade children in Udavi at STEM land. I wanted to teach Algebra for children and I have created a lesson plan for the same. Sanjeev gave feedback on it and has made a video on motivation algebraic identity and suggested them to me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d53Mgu-NLBw&t=222s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTvJ-69xJWI&t=106s

From that video I have learnt to connect the previous concepts while introducing a new concept to children. I learnt to connect the dots between algebraic identities and the short cuts we use to find square of two-digit number and Vedic mathematics method.

When I thought my learning to children, they were happy to unbox the magic behind the short cut method of finding square root of two-digit numbers and started to see the logic. They started to ask for more practice questions and were able to see the connection.

I’m now a believer in Blogs, experience at Vipassana half day courses

~Sanjay Tumati

For some time, I was sceptical about the value of blogs and the value of photos and posting on Blogs as social media such as WhatsApp. I did not think that they actually inspired anyone and I never bothered much about photos and blogs. To be sure, I maintained a journal for myself from time to time and found it useful, but never shared these with others. Usually it was because I thought others would not be interested but sometimes I am not comfortable sharing.

At C3SLD we organize a half day Vipassana session for about 4 hours at our Udavi campus every Sunday. We would receive around 6-7 meditators some of whom meditate for only part of the four hours. And this is largely the case week after week for months.

Last week, Sanjeev suggested taking a group photo and posting it on the group to motivate others to attend. I was sceptical anything would change. However, we went ahead and did it anyway à Took a group photo and posted it on the group. The very next week, the turnout doubled to 15 to the extent that we ran out of space for men. This was happening right before my eyes. These are real world results. I can’t argue with results and what my eyes see.

 

Now I am more optimistic about the impact of blogs and sharing photos and reflections. I took photos with more enthusiasm and also posted them on the group with some comments to motivate others to join us. And I have resolved also to post blogs more often. Sanjeev says that people do read our blogs for pointers and it has indeed inspired others to try something new. It was not that I did not believe Sanjeev, just that I did not pay it too much heed based on my back ground conversations and pre conceived notions. However, this experience has definitely been an eye-opener. I may still not post out of laziness, but not because I feel it is ineffective.

Annual Reflection 2022 to 2023

Pratap

Looking at the last year being part of C3STREAM Land Designs (C3SLD). I started taking responsibility for my growth and the team’s growth. I have inquired into the congruence of my values with what I am doing at C3STREAM Land Designs. Being on time is my choice and a way for me to embody my commitment and dedication to work. I find that it sets behavioral standards and workplace values are aligned with my values. Even though we meet at 8:00 a.m. for meditation (and 7:45 a.m. for learning sessions) I inspire myself to come in around 7 to 7:15 a.m. to work to strengthen my resolve to be reliable and trustworthy. Consistently coming early to work and if needed staying late from the office helps me ensure that I meet important deadlines. Coming early, I have enough time and energy to accomplish my daily tasks eg: taking a class in Isai Ambalam, and doing admin stuff for the office early in the day, which allows me to work in VLSI layout work for Aura the company that supports me to C3STREAM Land Designs.

Coming early gives me enough time and energy to accomplish my independent tasks before tasks requiring engagement with the team need to be done. It helps me meet deadlines without rushing through tasks and plan with the larger picture of my personal development in mind.

Last year when I started coming early it helped me improve my work relationships and teamwork. It showed respect for others and that I valued their time when we met together. Consistently being on time required me to develop my time-management skills, as scheduling my morning arrival on time for work often involves planning and scheduling things at home with my wife and child. I also extend being on time in the morning to all tasks and activities and I see these are valuable in my continuous growth and my career. For example, the early morning also gives me time to reflect, and beyond technical work helped me accomplish publishing an article and posting and documenting 25 blogs this year.

These are my contributions in the last year growing in all aspects. I started to take initiative to organize planning and reflections on school work. I also created a Signal group to support this initiative. The notes are not only reflective of the teacher but also allowed Sanjeev to be able to provide feedback and make videos that supported the learning of teachers. When I saw Vahan cube was missing in STEM land, I laminated 3 sets for STEM land. Mathew from AVI-USA wanted to document good initiatives in Auroville and asked to make a video on C3SLD and STEM Land. This involved all the initiatives of C3SLD be it volunteering in different schools or our partnership with corporates that supports and sustain us. Serina from Aurore Eye Films, Auroville made the video and I helped her capture all our initiatives. I went to the conference in Aurovidhya where we did an RTL (Radical Transformational Leadership) session and an electronics session for the teachers. I organized the sleepovers at Isai Ambalam and did many projects with children which I documented in blogs and be in integrity as creating a new narrative for learning is one of our ground rules. The projects we did were EBD school ground, LED sessions with 6th grade, Rashi project, and school ground. I was accountable for handling the website and I posted all the blogs that I received from everyone in the office. I made some changes to the website so that the lessons that the teachers created can be accessed by everyone. I also provided technical support to the Isai Ambalam school when the internet was not working, I debugged it.

For the Shifuians, I took RTL tools and processed TED talks. I see a change in myself as I was uncomfortable while doing this but I understood that it is for my growth. I also worked on the accountability of the office space be it by installing an air conditioner or following up for faster internet. This year I published an article in the teachers plus magazine. I see that I broke my pattern of not publishing anything to something. While I don’t have the authority to ask others to do something as it creates resistance between me and others, but I see that I am the change I wish to see. I use RTL and Vippasana which help me to overcome and move forward and work from my fullest potential.

This year I was training and supporting Santhosh, Choudhary, Elam, and Narmada to do the floor plan layout. For Aura, I worked to deliver 4 products. I held integrity to deliver the layout projects that I worked on time. I am happy being part of C3SL where I am growing in inner capacity, competency, and skill. I feel grateful for being part of building the ground in Isai Ambalam which is used by so many children and publishing an article. I am grateful for posting 25 blogs in the last year and organizing events like Karthigai and Christmas celebrations. I am grateful that I am confident and learned to work on real projects and I delivered what I intended and was able to work independently.  Looking at the last year I learned to be more responsible and make hard choices based on what I want to accomplish and grateful for whatever I delivered. I learned that I should not do things so that people appreciate them but so it benefits others’ growth. I also feel grateful to be part of the RTL book reading club which helps me have the clarity to deliver sessions on RTL. I feel grateful for being able to support sleepovers for one year and that I learned how to write blogs as new narratives. I am grateful that last year Aura recognized our contributions and enrolled us in shares and I was recognized as a senior person at work based on experience and contributions.

What I learned about myself is how can I inspire myself in all the things that I do. I learned that I need to take only the positive things from other and ignore negative things from other. I learned that I need to hold integrity so that others get inspired by me. Practicing RTL and triad every week give a reflection on my accomplishments. Practicing Vipassana helps me to see things as they are and to work effectively, and efficiently with delivering outputs. When I am overloaded, I do meditation and then start my work. I am delivering what I plan to deliver and holding integrity.

This year I can see my growth in all aspects. The days in the last year were busy where deadlines had to meet or something completed urgently while working during tape out. These days were stressful to the point where there were times, I did have to stay back to get the work done. This in some ways reminded me a lot of my late-night study sessions at college and how even in the workplace, this does not change. As I reflect I see that I ended up learning a lot more than I thought I would be able to in the last year.

Vasanth Reflection:

My name is Vasantharaj, I stand for equity and full potential for myself and for others. When I reflect back on the last year I am able to see my growth in both technical aspects and inner being. Our office C3SLD started a new initiative of subsidizing new e-cycles for employees this year. I had been using the e-cycles and wanted to transition to a regular cycle. Many people suggested that it won’t suit me. But, I made the choice and used the subsidy for a better geared cycle. I have been continuously using the cycle for a year now. It has been
excellent for my health and my determination to not take the convenient way out. Now it has become my habit, I avoid using motor bikes and like to use the cycle.

From a technical perspective I worked on layout for about 8 months this year
delivering 4 products\.I learnt skill programming and did the setup of one of the project bindkeys. Viren invited us to visit Bangalore Aura for one and half month of training. It was a good opportunity for me to improve speed in layout and while we were there I also learned about micro component soldering. In October, I made a choice with the help of Sanjeev and Sanjay to move to the Verification team of analog modeling. It provided new dimensions of
earning in different aspects. I started to look into some details of the circuits, model them using verilog modules and look at mixed mode simulation. I started documenting my learning process in the verification team that will be useful for upcoming team members I supported Choudary and other people in the Shifu program learn layout skills and work at their full potential. This became new learning for me and also it refreshed some layout concepts.
I started my journey as a PC in the RTL workshop. It provided me to explore the tool deeper and give chances to deliver it, and get feedback from others. I started supporting 2 children in the SAC program. That feeling is my greatest initiative this year. This year I worked with children on a Monsoon project, garden EBD and electronics.

 

The Board of Studies (BOS) meeting for B.Voc with Pondicherry University

~ Durai

C3steamland Design has been running a residential 1 year “Masters” program for called Becoming and Being a Shifu (Master) program for a couple of years. This program supports those who have completed an undergraduate degree in any field learn skills, competencies and inner-capacities through a hands-on individual mentor driven program. This program is not officially certified by any university, but over the last couple of years has become extremely successful. Most of the students who graduated from the program joined us and continue to create this learning environment for others. It got us thinking why we should wait for youth to waste 3 or 4 yrs in undergrad where they don’t seem to have developed much. An opportunity presented itself to partner with AIAT Auroville Institute of Applied Technology) to start a recognized undergraduate course affiliated to the Pondicherry university. The exciting par tof the B.Voc Bachelor of Vocation programs was that we were allowed to design our own syllabus that was applied and holistic. From the C3STREAMland Designs we offered support for two possible courses in software development & machine learning, Applied electronics & chip design. We worked for almost 5 months to create a syllabus for these courses to meet the industrial needs and value of life. During syllabus creation, we also explored recent courses online that are application oriented and were excited with the syllabus which we felt met the real needs of the industry while keeping in mind broadening of character of the individual. In this blog we look at the board of studies that was put together to review the syllabus we came up with from different perspectives of computer science and engineering.

About B.Voc

Looking at the incredible advancement of science, the world continues to face an enormous crisis, especially the rural-urban divide and the disconnection of technological progress from human needs. Auroville is the city of the future and we are here to open the way of the future for youth who belong to the future. Our program and curriculum based on integral education address not only the skills needed by the youth but also the competencies to use these skills to create a life-enhancing culture and interrupt unhealthy social narratives (or ISMs such as casteism, sexism, consumerism, etc.) and develop inner capacity (responsibility, dignity, courage to create) already present in the youth. The B.Voc programs over the three years are targeted for these. The program has been developed by academia, recent neuroscience and leadership training, and industry leaders through research and application and includes recent online learning platforms.

Through this program, we aim to develop the synthesizing mind (ability to abstract, compare, and summarize), the respectful mind (respect and dignity for all), the ethical mind (developing systems and culture with care for people and the planet), and the creative mind (creativity that comes from care as distinguished from innovation which may be limited to something new).

(Software development and machine learning) held on 15.09.2022@ at 10.00 am in blended mode, at the seminar hall department of computer science, school of engineering and technology,

The Members of the Committee present are

  1. Dr S. SIVASATHYA, Chairman, Professor & Head, Department of Computer Science,

PU, Pondicherry

  1. Prof PUNAM BEDI, PROFESSOR, Department of Computer Science, University of Delhi.
  2. Dr S.NICKOLAS, Professor, Department of Computer Applications, National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli
  3.  Dr P. ANANDHAKUMAR, Department of information technology, Madras Institute of Technology campus, Anna University, Chennai.
  4. Dr R SUBRAMANIAN, Professor, Department of Computer Science, PU, Pondicherry
  5. Dr T CHITHRALEKHA, Professor, Department of Computer Science, PU, Pondicherry
  6. Dr S.K.V, JAYAKUMAR, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, PU, Pondicherry
  7. Mr R.P.SREENIVASAN, Assistant professor, Department of Computer Science, PU, Pondicherry
  8. THE PRINCIPAL, Pondicherry University Community College, Lawspet
  9. THE HEAD, Department of Computer Science, PUCC, Lawspet
  10. Mr SUBRAMANIAN MEENAKSHISUNDARAM, Client Technical Leader, FSS India Pvt. Ltd, Bangalore. (Special Invitee)
  11. Dr K.S. KUPPUSAMY, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, PU, Pondicherry. (Special Invitee)
  12. Dr V. UMA, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, PU, Pondicherry. (Special Invitee)
  13. Dr S.L. JAYALAKSHMI, Assistant professor, Department of Computer Science, PU, Pondicherry. (Special Invitee)
  14. Shri. LAVKAMAD CHANDRA, Director, AIAT, Auroville. (Special Invitee)
  15. Dr SANJEEV RANGANATHAN, Principal AIAT, Founder C3STREAM LAND, Auroville(Special Invitee)
  16. Mr P. DURAISAMY, Staff C3STREAM LAND, Guest Faculty AIAT, Auroville. (Special Invitee)
  17. Mr S. SIVABALAN, Assistant Professor, AIAT, Auroville. (Special Invitee)
  • The Special Board of Studies Chairman welcomed the Members and the Special Invitees. The Chairman briefly introduced the members and their fields of specialization.
  • The Chairman appraised the members about the purpose and background of the Special BoS Meeting. It was elaborated that the Auroville Institute of Applied Technology (AIAT) is affiliated with Pondicherry University. The AIAT institution is located at Irumbai Main Road, (Opp. TN.E.B.), Vanur T.K., Villupuram District, Tamil Nadu P.O. – 605111. The AIAT intends to start the new Vocational Degree course, B.Voc. (Software Development and Machine learning) from the academic year 2022-23.
  • Then, Sanjeev Ranganathan, Special Invitee, the Principal of AIAT, gave a brief presentation on the Auroville Institute of Applied Technology (AIAT), and the infrastructures available in the Institute, along with the aims of starting the new course, “B. Voc. Software Development and Machine learning” from the academic year 2022-23.
  • Then, the main agenda of the BVSc. (Software Development and Machine learning) The syllabus was taken up for deliberations.
  • After detailed discussions, the following modifications/suggestions on the course syllabus and curriculum of the BVoc. The program was suggested by the members for the appropriate incorporation into the Syllabus.
  • Meeting ended with the concluding remarks from the Chairman.

System and cultural shifts

Theory – > Practical education system

Unskilled -> skilled learning

Regular Learning -> industrial learning

Unemployment -> employment and entrepreneurship

Reflection:

The professors really appreciated the spirit with which we had planned the program. What was expected to be a couple of hours of the presentation went on till the evening and even the HOD stayed till the evening to ensure all the questions were captured so it had a unanimous approval and was successful. Experts from different sub-fields emphasized their areas, but could all agree that they wanted the program to be most beneficial for students. It also helped us broaden our horizon so the students were not only oriented towards what we know well, but broadly for industry.

 

Mindstorm Robotics during half yearly exam holidays

Lokeshwaran and Vishwa are studying in 8th grade. They have completed their half yearly exam and had holiday for a week. During this week they were coming to STEM land and were learning Robotics. Along with them another friend of them who studies in Aikiyam school has also come and learnt to do robotics by watching Lokesh and Vishwa. They have built a Mindstorm robot which moves and picks an object when controlled. When I asked Lokesh what made him to come to STEM land during holidays and why he was so much interested to learn Robotics, he said he watched videos of his seniors in Youtube and got an interest to learn. He learnt it on his own by watching videos on Youtube. He said that he is now building a robot snake and will show it to me once it is done.

Here is also a short video on this.