STEM Poster presentation at International Commission on Mathematical Instruction conference

The International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI) symposium is a major international conference that brings together mathematicians, mathematics educators, and researchers from around the world to discuss current issues and challenges in mathematics education. The symposium is held every four years and features a range of presentations, workshops, and discussions on topics such as mathematics curriculum development, teacher education, assessment, and the use of technology in mathematics teaching and learning. The ICMI symposium provides a forum for sharing ideas, research findings, and best practices in mathematics education, and plays an important role in shaping the future direction of mathematics education worldwide.

 Pratap Ganesan, Saranya Bharathi, Muralidharan Aswathaman, and Vasantharaj Gandhi presented a poster presentation on how the Isai Ambalam School in India used cultural celebrations and festivals to promote universal values and environmental consciousness among its students. The research methodology employed the theoretical framework of interrupting disempowering ISMs (rigid and disempowering mindsets) and the wisdom profile that embodies universal values to address all ISMs simultaneously. The philosophy underlying the C3STREAM Land is based on the progressive and constructivist thinkers such as Bruner, Papert, and Sri Aurobindo, who emphasized self-knowledge and integral development. The interventions discussed in the poster include Aadi festival and garden, Maavoli, Christmas decoration and fair, and Pongal, which provided opportunities for students to learn about different topics, such as monsoons, environmentally conscious alternatives, and traditional games, and encouraged higher-order thinking skills. Overall, the poster emphasizes the importance of collective effort beyond silos of subject learning to promote universal values and create empowering narratives through festivals and celebrations.

One of the ways the teachers shifted the culture in their community was by addressing social issues that had previously been ignored. For example, they tackled the notion that only women should do kolam (a traditional Indian art form using rice flour), and encouraged the participation of men as well. This mixed-gender approach during the kolam event was a significant shift in the cultural norm.

As part of their project, the teachers organized a vegetable gardening competition to further encourage families to grow their own food. The winners of the competition were awarded a variety of vegetables, which could be used to make a nutritious dinner for their families. This initiative was highlighted in the symposium and received positive feedback from the audience.

During the symposium, participants were able to connect with the teachers and provide examples from their own experiences. This allowed for a meaningful exchange of ideas and strategies for addressing socio-ecological issues in different communities around the world.

Reflections from the authors

Attending the conference was a turning point for me as it boosted my confidence to speak about our work with children and helped me understand the significance of contributing to the world and the impact we create. I take pride in my personal growth as I was able to answer the audience’s questions without any assistance. The response was overwhelming, and I am grateful for the opportunity to connect with a diverse audience worldwide. Our approach to breaking down societal barriers and isms with children inspired many, and people expressed their interest in knowing more about our work. I am grateful for the support of Sanjeev Ranganathan, Saranya Bharathi, Muralidharan Aswathaman, and Vasantharaj Gandhi in making this happen. The team spirit and the commitment that you all contribute enriched our work with children and I will use it in my life.

I noticed that being part of this research paper and presenting it to a wider audience around the globe helped me realize the importance of the work we do here. Seeing people appreciate the paper this much indicates that we as a team are addressing the isms and doing things in an alternative method for the betterment of society.

I have learned that I presented well, but I still need more practice. I took extensive notes on Sri Aurobindo’s principles of true education, but only two minutes were allocated for me. As a result, I was only able to convey the essence of the Aadi Massam project and the garden. However, I noticed that I am able to summarize and convey my ideas effectively in a very short amount of time.

Overall, the teachers’ presentation at the international ICIM symposium was a success. They were able to share their innovative approach to shifting culture and addressing social issues, and their work was well received by the audience. The teachers’ dedication to their project and their willingness to try new approaches were admirable and inspiring, and they made a positive impact in their community.

Cleaning Edyanchavady School and Pond along with Let’s Talk Trash group in Auroville

The Let’s Talk Trash group in Auroville is a community of dedicated individuals committed to keeping their surroundings clean and sustainable. They have a routine of collecting waste every Sunday from different areas in and around Auroville. This week, they decided to come to Edyanchavady, and I enrolled the Shifuans, a group of of C3STREAM students, to join them. We met at the government school in Edyanchavady, and a few children from the school also came forward to lend a helping hand. The Let’s Talk Trash group provided proper gloves to each and every one of us, and we started collecting waste from the roadside and inside the school campus. They had different bags for paper, plastic bags, mixed waste, and glass bottles. It was amazing to see how everyone was so enthusiastic about cleaning the area and segregating the waste. After an hour of cleaning, we brought everything back to the school to load it onto the van. We washed our hands, and the Let’s Talk Trash group gave a short explanation of waste segregation and what happens when everything is put together. They explained that it is burned, and how that contributes to pollution and is not an environmentally friendly option. Burning plastic is a harmful practice that releases toxic chemicals into the air, which can cause various health problems. Polluting a pond can have severe consequences on the ecosystem and the living beings that depend on it. The pond is a vital part of the water cycle and serves as a habitat for many aquatic species. One of the major causes of pond pollution is human activity. Dumping waste, garbage, chemicals, washing clothes and other harmful substances into the pond can lead to a host of problems. The waste materials can cause an imbalance in the pond’s natural ecosystem, affecting the oxygen levels and the quality of water. This can lead to the death of aquatic plants and animals, making the pond unfit for other species to survive.

Through cleaning and waste segregation activities, the children learned about the impact of waste on the environment and the importance of preserving it. They also learned about the negative effects of pollution on living beings, including animals and humans. The children and Shifuans learned the importance of taking responsibility for their actions and the impact they have on the environment. They learned about the need to properly dispose of waste and reduce their environmental footprint. Participating in cleaning activities helped the children develop teamwork and collaboration skills. They learned to work together to achieve a common goal and appreciate the importance of each person’s contribution. The children also learned about the importance of maintaining a clean and healthy environment for their own health and safety. They learned about the proper use of protective equipment, such as gloves and masks, to protect themselves while cleaning. Overall, participating in cleaning and waste segregation activities helped the children develop a sense of responsibility and environmental awareness, while also building important life skills such as collaboration and problem-solving. These learning outcomes can help them become more conscious and responsible citizens of the world committed to preserving and protecting the environment. It was a great learning experience for everyone, especially the children. They realized the importance of keeping their surroundings clean and how to segregate waste properly. It was heartening to see​how everyone came together to make a difference in their community. We hope to continue to work with the Let’s Talk Trash group in the future to keep our community

Insights: ” It gave me a sense of purpose and inspired me to be more mindful of my plastic usage. It also gave me satisfaction knowing that I contributed to our environment”

Radical transformation leadership program for B.VOC team and Family members 

~ Poovizhi, Durai, Sribhavani

On February 18th, from 8:45 AM to 5:30 PM, C3stemland organized a radical transformation leadership program in Tamil at Auroville SAIIER conference hall. It was a one day program in Tamil, facilitated by Srilatha Juva, Professor at TISS. B.VOC students and teachers, SAIIER staffs, employees, volunteers and their family members were invited for the program.

Radical transformation leadership is an approach developed by Dr. Monica Sharma, who worked for the United Nations for 22 years as director of Leadership and Capacity Development. It is based on universal values of dignity, compassion, fairness, and equity. It enables people to shift from ego-systems thinking (what benefits me) to eco-systems thinking (what benefits all)

The primary objective of the program was to help participants identify their stand,fear, four profiles and gain a deeper understanding of their background conversations, system principles, and design from universal values. By participating in these sessions, participants were able to develop a new project that addressed their problem statement, focusing on self-growth or social issues, and using their potential to bring about positive change in themselves and their communities.

Around 55 people took part of the program. Throughout the program, participants collaborated with their partners, shared their reflections and insights, and engaged in a collective effort to create a better future.

The program was an interactive session with everyone and involved practicing the tools such as:

  • Introducing oneself with what one deeply cares about or universal values that reflects one’s purpose and vision
  • Identifying one’s own profile based on four dimensions: wisdom, social, personality, and professional
  • Understanding one’s own background conversations within the family and how they influence one’s actions and choices
  • Deriving system principles  based on universal values
  • Designing projects based on universal values and system principles, noticing system and cultural norms, and shifting them by being in action

Throughout the session, everyone engaged with their partners and shared their reflections and insights on plenary.

Some of the insights from participants during the session were:

  • I realized that I have been limiting myself by my own beliefs and fears
  • I learned how to communicate effectively with others without being judgmental or defensive
  • I discovered my passion for environmental sustainability and how I can contribute to it through my project
  • I felt more confident and empowered to take action for my goals


Organizing the program was an opportunity for me to stretch beyond my comfort zone and be in rigor. At the end of the session, I felt whole and fulfilled. I was able to ask for support from my team. I was able to notice my fear, my background conversations and that I judge myself  when I shared my personal example with everyone specially because most of the participants were from local area and were people I or my family members know. I was able to name my fear and be in my universal values and share.


I was inspired by the participant through their insights. I saw this as an opportunity to remind myself to notice my fears and let them go by acting from my universal values. I was able to notice, what can I do differently and able to discern others perspective of thinking.