Christmas Day Celebration at Isai Ambalam School

Isai Ambalam school celebrated Christmas on 22/12/17. The prayer hall was decorated with lights, candles and Christmas tree. Gifts were wrapped for the children. There were also delicious cakes which Anita made along with the children. Christmas stories were told to the children.

Naveen was characterised as Santa. Most of the older children(7th, 6th and 5th graders) were able to guess that it was him. But the younger children had no clue.

All the children were given gifts in the end by Santa and had Christmas cakes. It was a good day!

Sanketh’s visit

Sankith from Asha (One of our funder) visited STEM land. He visited both centres Isaiambalam and Udavi. Children were very excited to show what they have learnt in STEM land. They also showed their projects.

Children showing bamboo torch
4th graders showing the honey bee model
Punithavl showing his MIT app

Sanketh’s Reflections on visiting STEM Land


EBD project Animals house

In Isai Ambalam school started doing a EBD (Education by design) on birds and animals house. Children from 1st and 2nd standard got the materials from Pondy. They saw some videos in Internet about the animals house. How do animals live in forest and in village. Sakthi and Vasanthrani helped children to create a house for each animals . They have used thermo col, cardboard and ice sticks they started building the house. They have built a small village using plastic dolls of tree, domestic animal, and plastic grass. They have completed the cow shed. Children were excited in  building a cow shed. They were concentrating in doing their work.



Ashram Trustees visit to STEM land and iSmart Class

The Ashram Trustees visited STEM land and iSmart Classroom on 20/12/17.

They interacted with the children and were exploring different things the children were doing. The children showed them the projects that they had made, 3D printed modules, Rubiks cube in STEM land. Then at the iSmart classroom they showed them the Mindstorm robots.

They seemed happy to see the children learning and doing many different things.

Volunteer in STEM Land

Pranav (who left Google) to volunteer with us for 4 months generated interest in children to work on mobile apps. Children in STEM land have created mobile applications on MIT app inventor. Children felt easy to buit an app by coding as they are used to do using scratch. He also helped with the visualization software for children track their progress. He supported children to record their projects to present during the inauguration of i-SMART class. He was very friendly with children but then he had to leave. The day before he had to leave, we asked him few questions and the answers he gave are

Cutting a banyan tree

The pond that we built with children got a crack. We were figuring out how the crack came. There was a banyan tree which was near the pond. We asked a mason how this crack  has formed. Then finally he told it is because on the tree. Then we started cutting the tree with some people from Auroville. While they were cutting Isai Ambalam children were very excited. They  were asking many question to the wood cutter. They were excited when they used few ropes to get the branches to the ground with out damaging the house. Children saw the process how to get the branches down. They learnt about the equipments that they were using, such as chain saw, Carabiner, helmet, knife, different kinds of ropes, pulley  and a ear muff. They explained how to use all the materials. Children also started taking notes and started helping then to move the branches. Children came to know that the rope that they used can hold 2.2 tons of weight. They started drawing the cutting process in their note. Now they have a idea how to cut a tree using the equipments. Children were happy that they have protected their pond.



Ganit Rack with 3rd graders

I decided to use the Ganit Rack for addition and subtraction with the 3rd grade children as they had some difficulty in seeing patterns in numbers.

Two of the not so engaging children were very much engaged when they were doing additions with the Ganit Rack. They were also very thrilled to get the correct answer and did their problems too.

Both Ranjitha and Shivani were able to see patterns of 5.

For example, for 5 + 2 they were able to take five red beads without counting them one by one and then adding the remaining 5 white beads on the same row and 2 red ones from the next row to make 12.

I was happy to see them engaged with what they were doing!

Basic Hands-On Electronics Course:

The two weeks short course on basic hands-on electronic course(From Dec. 7th till 21st ) has been started.

Ragu Prasanth and Siva who are professors by profession. Ragu Prasanth is now volunteering in STEMLand and Siva  is working in Isai Ambalam School. They both feel that practical learning is missing nowadays. So, they are offering this course.

For the class we had participants from the previous electronics course and we also had children,youth and adult from and around Auroville.

On the first day of the course we saw the difference between Electrical and Electronics. How to find the faulty breadboard. I also learned how to use the oscilloscope and add two signals. The class was new and interesting.

Patterns with 2nd standard

In Isai Ambalam school 2nd graders had a difficulty in finding the pattern. When I use Dienes blocks and jodo cubes to identify the patterns. I asked the children to arrange the cubes in different orders that they have seen it in real life. I split  them into two groups and asked them to arrange th cubes in patterns. They started doing that and then shared how they arranged the numbers from 1 – 10.  When I used the Dienes block it was difficult for them to tell how many blocks are used visually. Then I used Jodo blocks it was big and they were in different colors. Children were able to tell the different patterns. They were able to see it visually and they were able to draw it on a paper.  They helped each other to identify the pattern. They were able to tell the different patterns that they saw in their house.