The Inspiration story of Straw Spray – Part 1

~ Naveen and Abilash

It was Abilash’s first class in Auroville Schools. He had asked me what would be a good place to start making science projects with small children. I said that something fun and interesting will make the children curious to work on. Then we decided to make a Straw Spray (Aravind Gupta toys – Toys from Trash).

So, at Isaiambalam school Abilash and I were in the process of making the straw spray. After completing the process, I was demonstrating how the straw spray works, to Abilash. Athiyaman and Aasish from 6th Grade came over and asked us what we had made, and how to make it. I just showed them the model that we had built using straws and thermocol.

I asked them how the water was pulled upwards?

They answered,“You are sucking the water upwards”

I again demonstrated it to them and said, “Look carefully I am not sucking the water upwards, I am blowing only the air.”

Athiyaman said that as I blow, the water is being pulled upwards but he did not know why.

The next morning, I was having breakfast when Athiyaman came to me and said that the straw spray that he had made was not working. I asked him how he made it because I did not show him how to make it. I had only shown him the completed model. He said he saw the model and made one like that at his house by himself and showed it to me. Then as it was time for his morning assembly he left the model he made with me and went to the morning prayer. I also left to my class.

Again, in the afternoon he had come to me and asked whether I made the straw spray work. In the morning, I had forgotten the straw spray model he gave me and left it in the dining hall itself. I went with him and found it in the corner of the table where I had my breakfast.

Then I looked at the model and made some modifications to make it work. Then it worked. I explained to him the Bernoulli’s principle and told him that “as we blow the air, the air moves faster making the pressure of the air low and the water moves in the upward direction as atoms move from high pressure to low pressure.”

I was happy that day because I found a child inspired to work on his own. Then only I realized that when I do my best and with myself fully involved in a thing it will reach out.