## STEM land Annual Report 2015 – 2016

STEM LAND

The vision behind the STEM is learning based on concepts, practical observation & abstraction with the help of teaching kits & technology. In short “Mediocrity to Excellence. It empowers students to use their creativity to solve problems, ask questions and continually learn. The children have boiled down learning rules at STEM Land as – learn something new, learn something old, learn something now. This translates to.

• Old – Fill up the concept gaps in the math which haven’t learnt in last term or year or before.
• Now – Learn concepts or idea which supposed to learn in this term.
• New – Learn something new. It may be curricular or extracurricular.

Activities in STEM land:

We team of six teachers (Sanjeev, Bala, Naveen, Sundaraman and Vaidegi, Ranjini) all Electrical Engineers work with children from 6th – 9th grades. We have started teaching mathematics with the programming tools called Scratch & Geogebra.

Scratch & Geogebra:

We have started teaching the mathematics with the programming tools called Scratch & Geogebra. In Scratch, Students have coded many programs which demonstrate the mathematics concepts like addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, circle, triangle, fraction, percentage, Pythagoras theorem, square & square root, cube & cube root & algebra. In Geogebra circle, triangle, cone, fraction, percentage, data handling & Pythagoras theorem. Since they had coded the same concept in different tools they got the granularity and became capable of connecting it with many things in real life.

Measurement Equipment:

They had used distance meter to measure the distance to get the sense of meter(m)& kilometer(km), Heart rate monitor to understand the functioning of heart, using temperature monitor they have learnt difference between Celsius & Kelvin, Speed gun and so on.

Montessori & Jodo Gyan Materials:

These materials used to demonstrate the Division, Fraction, Degree, square & cube also gives a sense of numbers (Integers, decimal).

Assessments:

Assessments are conducted every week for the students to notice their own growth (where they can discuss the answer without copy).

Mind storm:

Children had learnt a lot with these     Mind storm robots. Nearly they had built 4 different kinds of robots (also programed it) and one is in progress.

Electronics:

Almost all the children of 7th, 8th and 50% of 9th and 6th know how to solder. They have built power supply, Battery model with lemon and water, Seven segment display of STEM land using battery power (and later the battery has replaced with solar panel by students) ,Generators & solder more than 50 soldering kits like kitchen timer, claping circuit,  FM receiver and so on. Few of them know how to use resistor & capacitors.

Hardware Programming:

Some of the students from 8th grade knows how to program Arduino, makey makey and Aravind’s kupta toys. A student worked in Solar panel and made seven segment display to display the STEM land name. Around 25 students are able to do soldering and have built some Electronics & Electrical circuits (example Kitchen timer, Clapping circuits, FM transmitter and so on)

One student from 7th grade has built a power supply which gives 9V, 8V, 6V and 5V volts as output. A group of students from 9th grade made power bank to charge the mobile phone.

Software Programming:

Alice & blender are 3D programming. Students have created many 3D videos using Alice. Some of them narrated their own stories too. A student used Alice to demonstrate the (a+b)^3 formula. Blender tool used to create a 3D image for 3D printer.

Games & Puzzles:

STEM land challenges the students in every aspects of their learning (whether it is related to their curricular or extracurricular activities or games & puzzles). Game and puzzles helps them to see patterns. More than 15 students can solve rubik’s cube and 6 can solve within a minute.

Collaboration:

Stem land is the place for collaboration. Students from different school (Isai Ambalam, TLC, Government school of Edaiyanchavadi) come and work together and learn from each other.

Articles on STEMLAND:

There  are two articles on STEMLAND from ‘The Hindu’ and ‘Auroville Today’.

Output:

The outputs of the STEM land are,

• It creates a place to learn many things from many areas.
• Also it set up the place where people learning from each other regardless of age.
• It makes people (children or adult) responsible for their.

Outcomes:

• Continual learning.
• Self-directed learning

## Important points to note:

• Use ‘return’ to return all the values to continue the animation (when you need to call it from a function). Otherwise animation will stop at its first iteration.
• Call the function with name. ex. ‘Animat=animated_plot()’ not simply ‘animated_plot()’. In the latter case, all the values are collected as garbage values. So it won’t draw anything in the canvas.

## Passing ‘Global Variable’ across the files in Python

Passing global variable – Attachment

I have encounter a situation where i need to pass a variable from one file to another file. This is like passing global variable across the files. I’ve created three files to demonstrate this as follows,

## Tooltip for Canvas items

Tooltip : Attachment

Tooltip:
I am presently  creating a GUI in python. One of features is when I go on top of any button it should show the name of the button.  Tooltip can do this in python. Unfortunately it doesn’t work with images (My all buttons are made up of images) because it doesn’t consider image as widget. So I have come up with following method to create namebox.

******************************Tooltip for canvas Items ******************************

## Rubik’s Cube – The viral in StemLand

We started to build the robot to solve rubik’s cube with python as platform in the STEM land. At that time Yuvaraj (8th grader) wanted to solve it. He searched for the algorithm to solve rubik’s cube. It took him 3 classes to solve the cube for the first time by following the steps. He was very happy and excited about his work and he showed it to other students also. Initially they were all looked at him as Genius and that moment made him to to solve the cube without looking at the algorithm after the continuous one week of hard work with passion. Suddenly, this made an impact in STEM land activities. Every child  wanted to learn it but the bad news was we had only one cube in the STEM at that time. So Sanjeev bought some cubes (bumb cubes, speed cubes and 4×4 cube) for STEM land through Asha grant. Almost all the students started to work on it. They helped each other to solve it regardless of grades. Presently there are 18 students who can solve rubik’s cube and few students can solve less than 2 minutes. For me its all about inspiration. None of us  asked Yuvaraj to solve it but he took the effort on seeing us building robot. No one asked other students to pick it up  but they picked it up on seeing Yuvaraj solving the cube. This is how STEM land works….  The following video was demonstrated by Rathinavelu.

## Bangalore Days – My Internship on “Toys from Trash”

I went to Bangalore to do an internship on “Toys from Trash”(Aravind Gupta Toys). I did the Internship at SchoolGuru(located at Malleshwaram in Bangalore). Procheta was my practioner. The timing was from 10am-5pm.I did some 21 toys by watching the videos on youtube. After I finished each toy, Procheta and I we would discuss about the toy like how it will work and what principle it is based on,were it would be used and all. After a week Procheta,Vishal(another practioner)and I conducted a small workshop for the kids in Pura Fountain (Appartment in Marathalli,near Marathalli Bridge) . There were about 12-15 kids(age- 8 to 12 years old) , we conducted the workshop for three days. Each day we did some 5 toys. The kids really enjoyed making the toys and also enjoyed playing with it.

Then I went to Azhim Premji University(Electronic city,Inside PES College Campus) on 11th and 12th with my team (Vishal,Procheta and Me) were we attended a workshop conducted by Vikas Maniar on “Learning Maths from Trash Toys”. We made Counters, 2D blocks, Arrow Cards , Money Cards , Place Value Cards and Abacus and some more materials using waste cardboard sheets, small wood piece, nuts,cycle spoke and color paper to teach children(primary section) about numbers and addition, subtraction, division and multplication. How the children can find their own way in recognising the pattern and their own way of solving the problem was the main goal of our work.

On 13th Friday we conducted a workshop at Thermo Fisher Scientific(A company which helps Researcher in their research field) for 18 students(from 7th-10th Grade) from rural school and even some of the employees attended the workshop with their children. Then in the afternoon we went to NIAS(National Institute of Advanced Science which is situated inside IISC-Indian Institute of Science Campus) where Procheta and Vishal gave a small demonstration to the kids there and after we conducted a workshop for the kids to make the toys. The kids were so excited and they were asking lot of questions.

My Reflections:

I learned many things from making the toys,how to be organized when conducting workshops and how efficiently I am able to work. First, we would discuss what toys that we will do with the children in the workshops. Once, it is finalised we would take the materials and arrange the materials and take it to the place where we would have the workshop. Then we will first distribute the materials needed for the first toy and we w it will do the toy one step at a time. First, we will do it and the children would see it and then they will do it. Once, the toy is finished we all would discuss about the toy how it works and why it works. This is where the children starts thinking and asks question. After that they go and play with the toy. I would like to see going forward by taking session on how I conducted the Workshops with my team(Aura Auro Design) and teach the childrens in school. It was a nice experience that I had in Bangalore. I would like to use the experience that I got in my work space.

## Reflections on Interning at Aura Semi

The Aura Auro Design team had interned in Bangalore for two weeks from the 2nd to the 14th of May at Aura Semi . The day started at 8:30 AM and we would leave after 7 PM. In these two weeks there was a lot of exposure for me in knowing how people worked as a team, and approached each other to clarify, and learn. The way things were organized and followed. The consistency and rigor in coding which would lead to a more efficient and understandable work was in-cooperated into mine, from observing and learning from the environment where I was. I had observed how as a team one can achieve way more than working in silos, getting others involved and having inputs greatly benefits in seeing things from various angles and aspects. That I had l less considered.

In these two weeks I have learn’t a lot about myself on how flexible I could be. Organizing and planning for the days ahead. Allocating time for various tasks and my work about in prioritizing them.

It was a good walk of 20 min everyday that I enjoyed with my colleagues on the way to office> We stayed as a PG, where we three (Arun, Bala, and I) had shared a room with two others. Was a new experience and a good one too  😉 .

## Internship at Aura semiconductors, Bangalore

We spent two weeks as interns at Aura semiconductors, Bangalore. Staying, food and travel was taken care by Aura.

Things that I noticed differently:

I saw people working for a long time from 10 to 13 hours a day. They worked very focused and as teams. Problems were brought together and discussed between them. I noticed that they did not move to the next solution instead they stayed with the problem. People reviewed their work often.

What I learned:

This was a learning experience for me and I leaned a lot by simply noticing other people work. People had their own style of coding. I learned to think logically. This really helped me to move faster (than before) and I noticed that logical thinking helps a lot in coding. My four main learning are

1. Never hard code

2. Make the code as general as possible

3. Comment and give meaningful names to your variables so that it helps others understand what the line does. Even it helps my own self if I look at the code after some period of time.

4. Write down all the comments first before I start coding and have an idea of what the code should have. Write it in simple English.

In fact I learned lot more other stuffs.

What will I do differently:

I will interact more with my team and learn from each other.

Other cool stuffs of Bangalore:

There are lot of places where you can hang out. Living is too expensive. There are many job opportunities for graduates in Bangalore especially Engineers.

## Stemland Guests

Children from Govt school, Edayanchavadi visited us one day in April 2016. They interacted with Udavi children. Some of them showed them how to do the Rubiks cube. They were taught Abalone and other games. Some made the Bigshot cameras and some worked on a robot that was transferred into a guitar. Looked like they had good fun!

## Bangalore Naatkal – May 2016

I spent two full weeks at Aura Semiconductor, Bangalore as an Intern. Most of the days we were in office from 8:30am to 7pm. These two weeks for me was more about learning and noticing how people at Aura work efficiently. Though I got some work done, the trip for me personally was about my growth and learning to work more in a professional way.

I noticed that everyone there work very well as a team. There is lots of team work involved. People talk to each other a lot. They sit with each other and clear their doubts. They maintain Revision control system. People checkout and checkin from that. They all had certain long time goals and plans which they wanted to achieve. People are very helpful at Aura. They seem to acknowledge each other very well too. Not all are always glued to the computer. They also take some time off having some coffee etc..

I learnt that whenever I am stuck with something and cant proceed further I should talk to others and ask for help. I should value other people’s time. I was adding comments to my code which I wasn’t doing before. I am learning to write code in a sensible manner and not add unwanted lines. I also learnt how powerful formulas can be once they are applied in a code.

The experience for me was very different spending nearly 11-12 hours day in office. Sometimes I missed Stemland and school during the day. But the days never felt that tiring when compared to Aura Auro. Maybe because of the AC, snacks, coffee and people staying late 🙂