Monday, 23 May 2016

Learning through Origami

Through Origami Club at the Third pole Ebase we learnt all about our local biodiversity by using Origami. The final book report made by the kids on all that they learnt turned out to be interactive, informative and interesting; and to my surprise had elements of science, storytelling, personal anecdotes and all other things that we discussed in class. I have written enough posts about origami and its benefits even from way back in 2012 when I first started this blog and I cannot stress more on why I think its an excellent tool for integrating storytelling, learning and math in the classroom.  

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

5th December 2016: Design For Change Conference

I haven't been writing much lately, so thought I'd update you with what happened as a result of the post: The Most Epic Musical Maestros . We were invited to the Design for Change conference for making it to the top #20 stories and then the most unexpected thing happened....

Ahmedabad, Gujarat: We won the "Grand Prize" at the Design for Change "I can" Awards, awarded by two famous Indian Sportsmen, Irfan Pathan and Geet Sethi, out of 2512 schools from all over India.
I am so proud of my students. I guess, this is how parents must feel at their kid's achievements. 

It was a crazy fun filled day! From inspiring talks, messages and design thinking sessions by Amitabh Bachchan, Vidyudh Jamwal, Rahul Bose, Irfan Pathan, Mr.Candle(Google this guy!), Jiving to music, creative teachers from all over India, 2512 stories of change, passion-driven students to winning the Grand Prize! The vibe in the air left each and everyone inspired, humbled and wanting to create more positive change around. 

If you can inspire children to find solutions to the biggest challenges in the world, you can change the world!

The man! 

Day 2 was twice as fun and inspiring as day one. With more inspiring candid talks by amazing sportspersons like the 15 year old, 7-time national level champion- Mana Patel and Mr. Geet S, the tear-jerking silent national anthem by Umang school, an electrifying performance by 'Dharavi rocks!' (YOU MUST CHECK THEM OUT!), more inspiring stories of simple innovative impactful solutions for everyday challenges by children driving change! Easily tops to become the best conference attended yet.

So much respect for this women! It reminds me of a post in this very blog from 3 years ago. Little did I know I will get to meet her  three years after. 

Dharavi Rocks: If you haven't yet heard them, you absolutely must check them out!!

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Backyard Science

We at Ebase map each learning topic and theme to a practical activity and its real-life relevance, which makes Science Experiments and field trips a norm and aid in maximum retention. Our curriculum on sustainability works with 5 broad themes and we ensure learning about those broad themes with practicality.   

Weather Station Instruments: Global Warming which is leading to climate change and extreme climatic conditions all around the world has shown its fury on ladakh’s fragile ecosystem in the 2010 Cloud Burst at midnight which caused severe damage to life and livestock. People in Ladkah still recall it with sadness and till date there is a flash flood threat every second day. I experienced a flood in my very first week where school was cancelled for a week all over Leh and we had to evacuate the hostel and camp out in the cultural hall at a higher ground followed by two days of shoveling the and silt away from the roof tops, our rooms and the catchment area. This lead us to explore better ways for preparedness for these natural calamities, make weather station instruments from waste materials, learn the science behind weather forecasting, and do experiments through religious data collection and keeping daily weather logs.

A barometer: to measure wind pressure. 

An Anemometer: To check the Wind Speeds. 

A Wind Vane: to show the direction of the incoming wind. 

A Rain Guage. 

Soil erosion: Tracing back, the 2010 flood to the reasons for climate change and to ways to prevent various natural disasters, we came to a deeper understanding of how to mitigate the adverse effects of a flood through a simple solution of afforestation. Planting more trees prevents soil erosion as the root hold on the soil and not let the top soil wash away. This can be demonstrated by a simple experiment with waste water bottles slit in halves. Bottle one has only sand and represents a barren land, Bottle two has stones, cow dung, and wood pieces and represents fallow land; Bottle three has plants planted 2 weeks ago and represents a forest or a field. On pouring water at an incline we can see that that the cleanest water is collected from bottle number 3 in the glass jar below demonstrating that plants help prevent soil erosion or washing away of the topsoil.

sowing the seeds. 

Germination: even our plants have a great view! 

Notice how the water collected by bottle 3 runoff is a lot cleaner than the other two?  

Mini biogas plant: Sustainability encompasses clean energy resources and solar is the most popular in a place like Ladakh with abundant sunshine for 260 out of the 365 days. The E-base is completely solar powered even supplies excess power to the school office and the audio visual room, ensuring internet even during power cuts. Class 6 made a mini biogas plant with spare parts and with waste. That has been the running trend with all our experiments- The use of waste material. The kids never cease to surprise me with their innovative Jugaad thinking and find quick fix solutions to all road blocks. It was great to see how the girls didn’t cringe even once while mixing it even though the boys did and kept teasing them about it. The experiment was semi-successful as it did produce methane gas through anaerobic respiration but due to leaks in the pipes there was not a lot of methane gas collected, but there were signs of Methane gas the room smelled a certain way, distinct by the smell of methane and on taking a lit match stick to the nozzle of the tube containing the methane the, flame got sucked in and intensified proving the presence of methane gas. Yes methane is a green house gas but is a much better alternative to Smoke producing choolas causing respiratory diseases.