Session with Arulvazhi school students

Rajesh, Sri Bhavani, Narmadha

A few of us stem teachers had a session with Arulvazhi school students coming for the first time to STEM Land.

A few reflections from the session

Rajesh: What I learned from that was that not all get an opportunity to learn in a new and different way that is actually very much more efficient than the system that is generally practiced in school. Getting an opportunity to teach in that new system that STEM Land has is life-enhancing for me as well as the students. I also feel grateful to the organization I am part of.

Sri Bhavani: From the session with Arulvazhi school children, I noticed that children were very excited for learning new things. I see the rigor in children to learn new puzzles. It helps them to think and widen their knowledge. They got an exposure to know, there are many tools that are available to visualize math concepts. The session went well with electronics, big shot camera, solving cubes, learning new games, etc

Narmadha: My name is Narmadha. I stand for equality and happiness for myself and others. When the children visited Stemland, we began with ground rules: “Respect myself, respect others, and respect materials”. The session went well, and the children were enthusiastic to learn new things as they explored STEM Land. What I learned from them is I should stretch myself to learn new things and be curious about learning, and I will apply these in my life.

Students’ insights:

          In the beginning, we felt that we were in a place that had technical materials that would be difficult to handle and learn. But we felt connected to the teachers here and they explained in such a way that it was so clear and easy.

               When I was doing robotics on my own and made it work, it was so encouraging for me. I am becoming more confident in myself.


  • Sanjay, Sunderasan, Jayabharathi, Rajesh

The new academic year for the BVoc program (Bachelor Courses | AIAT)  has just started at AIAT. STEM Land supports the practical for the Computer Science and Machine Learning program as well as the Integral Yoga components of the curriculum at our Udavi campus 3 times a week.  This year 13 Bvoc students joined the program which is a 650% increase over the two we had last year. We were curious about what motivated students to enroll in this program and therefore decided to interact with the students to find out.

The main questions we were interested in were,

  1. How did the students hear about this particular Bvoc program?
  2. Why did they choose the Bvoc program at AIAT? 
  3. Why did they not pursue alternate options for their studies?

The answers were interesting to us and some of what we heard genuinely surprised us. What follow are my (Sanjay) reflections from the interactions.

A surprising number of students decided on AIAT purely due to the reputation Auroville (Welcome to Auroville | Auroville) enjoys in the local community. It appears that Auroville truly does have a very positive image among people here. If it is associated with Auroville, it must be good and it must be high quality was their confident assertion. This was a sentiment echoed by their friends and close relatives as well. It was humbling to hear thisas it means we have a responsibility towards this trust in us.  

Quite a few students are locals and they were already familiar either with C3SLD (C3STREAM Land Designs – (formerly Aura Auro Design) – LEARN, GROW, WORK, TEACH ) and the work done here or they were working with another Auroville unit who we support and interact with such as

  1. AIAT, Auroville Institute of Applied Technology – College (AIAT)
  2. Isai Ambalam School, Isai Ambalam School (
  3. Thamarai, Thamarai Educational Projects
  4. Udavi school, Udavi School – for children up from 1st to 10th standard | Auroville
  5. NESS, New Era Secondary School – A CBSE affiliated school

 They felt very positive about their past experience with Auroville outreach education and wanted this interaction to continue. They felt they had learnt and grown a lot in their interactions with AV entities and wished to continue their learning and growth here. They further believed this Bvoc program afforded them their best opportunity for their continued development as compared to any other offerings from the world outside.

Another big draw of the program was the relative flexibility of the program as compared to the rigidity they found in programs outside. The standard college insists on external forms such as students having standard 12th standard (rather than NIOS), or having completed 12th standard only in the PCM (Physics/chemistry/Math/CS) streams. 

One student in particular came to this program at the end of considerable research. His grandfather visited STEM land, took time to understand what it is we do and how long we have been doing it, interacted with the youth, asked them a lot of questions, listened to their answers, synthesized their answers and then concluded that this was an excellent place for his grandson.

There were a total of 12 students of whom 5 were female and 7 were male. The fact that the program had some Gender balance was also gratifying as this has been something that STEM Land has actively worked towards.

More data on individual students is given below with the student name removed

Our reflections after interacting with the B.Voc students:

Sanjay: I reflected that we make an earnest wish that our actions enhances Auroville’s reputation and we do so joyfully. That the program is designed for personal growth and gives people a chance to learn what they are interested in transcendingrigid rules and regulations that only close doors.. It was heartening to see children who had studied with Sanjeev when they were in school have a chance to continue college with us ?.

I was also much impressed with this grandfather and his approach and his willingness to go the extra mile and to not be led by marketing and size of campus. May his tribe increase. Hearing this brough to my mind the words of the Buddha from the Kalama Sutta Kalama Sutta: The Buddha’s Charter of Free Inquiry (

Sundaresan: I was impressed with the homework done by some of the students in choosing a college. When I went to college, all I did was look at CENTAC. I can relate to some of the students whose parents wanted their children to attend this program partly so they could be closer together. I felt more connected to them. 

Rajesh: Volunteering to teach is a day-to-day activity for me and I don’t think too much about it or the impact that it makes, either on myself or on others. However, some parents were actually inspired by our spirit of volunteering and they decided that they wanted their children to continue their education in just such an environment surrounded by those who cared. Hence, I too am inspired to continue to volunteer and also to take up more responsibility with more or increased enthusiasm. I now feel very positive about mentoring one of the Bvoc students and also about handling the support-a-child program for Isai Ambalam. During my Shifu program, I had a mentor which gave me a feeling of confidence that I could handle any task that I take up. Now I get the chance to do the same for my mentee and I am excited about the opportunity.

Jayabharathi: I came to know that many of the students had never used a computer before and did not know any basics at all and they enjoyed working in scratch these last two days. The students expect this college to be different from all the others in the sense that practice will accompany theory. I was also impressed by the research they did in choosing a college. I felt they were also very responsible students in the sense that they had all done whatever was assigned to them by their respective mentor. I have great expectations from this batch and feel they can do great things. I wish them the best and look forward to further interactions with them.

Sound Healing yoga Session

Every Saturday, our group from Stemland, consisting of Sundaresan, Preethi, Sri Bhavani, Ajay, and Sivaguru Prasath, goes to the Matrimandir amphitheater for yoga with around 150 children. Last Saturday (August 26, 2023), we had a special sound healing yoga session conducted by Mr. Balu, an executive from Mohanam, with guidance from Muthukumari and her team.

Ajay’s Insight:

I could feel my inner peace and a completely relaxed mind in that environment. The fresh air, the sounds of birds, and the early morning pleasantness made me feel refreshed all day long. It was my first time, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. After the session, there was a smile on everyone’s face.

Sivaguru Prasath’s Insight:

While practicing sound healing, I felt relaxed, calm, and experienced enhanced focus. I also noticed physical sensations and relieved from pain and dullness. Time flies quickly when I concentrate and stay focused.

Sundaresan’s Insight:

In Sound Healing Yoga, the teacher said it might make you feel sleepy. I decided to pay attention to myself. I ended up falling asleep without realizing it. During the session, I discovered I could listen very closely. That day, this therapy made my listening even deeper. That’s when I understood how powerful sound healing therapy can be. I could hear background noises more clearly than before. I even noticed the sounds of small birds while listening to the music. After the session, I felt very calm. My mind was clear, and I didn’t feel stressed. It was really effective. The vibrations caused some changes in my body. I had energy the whole day, finished tasks quickly, focused better, and got clear ideas. It also helped me talk to others in a positive way. It made me imagine things in my mind. Many people use it to help with sickness. I want to keep doing this to become wiser.

Preethi’s Insight:                                                 When I attended the sound therapy, I found it quite interesting. Each instrument allowed me to focus on the melody and harmony without any lyrics. This session helped me relax, and the soothing sounds and vibrations made me feel calm. It enabled me to connect with my inner self and emotions. The sound therapy session helped me achieve a sense of relaxation, inner peace, and improved my overall well-being. I felt calm after the session and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Sri Bhavani’s Insight:

During this week’s yoga session, we had the opportunity to experience sound therapy treatment offered by one of the organizations in Auroville called ‘Swaram.’ The therapy involved various instruments that produce sounds, including bamboo and sound bowls. I had a new and refreshing experience throughout the entire session at the Matrimandir Amphitheatre. This session helped me relax both my body and mind, relieving stress. Children from different schools also had the chance to experience this wonderful therapy at an early age, thanks to this session. In addition to the yoga session, we support children from Udhavi School in visiting MatriMandir, which encourages us to take greater responsibility for their care.