Author : Prabhu
Grade : GRADE 1,GRADE 2,GRADE 3,GRADE 4,GRADE 5,GRADE 6,GRADE 7,GRADE 8,GRADE 9,GRADE 10
Subject : Others
STEM at RaKs
Our knowledge-based economy is driven by constant innovation. The foundation of innovation lies in a dynamic, motivated and well-educated workforce equipped with STEM skills.Having understood the challenges being put forth by the worlds, the Pallikkoodam learning community provided its learners with opportunities to bring their critical thinking skills to the forefront. STEM-based learning activities that culminated into a STEM show on Saturday, 14 March 2020, was one such platform. Considering product design and trying to work out logical solutions by trying out feasible options were tasks that kept our learners hooked to their respective projects for weeks before they showcased their work.
STEM DAY 2020 - The possibilities of closed and open circuits working with natural conductors or alternative transmitters, like lemon instead of batteries and aluminium foil instead of copper wires - as insurmountable a challenge it might seem for our young learners of G1- was nevertheless overcome by them with consistent efforts and constructive collaboration.The concept of proportions and the appropriate ratios of ingredients to be used, right from our kitchens to our construction sites was evaluated by our learners of G1 , through the making of jelly and mixing of concrete. Analysis of different proportions enabled our learners to identify the right proportions to arrive at definite products.G2 Primary learners surprised the audience by providing detailed evidence of their experiments on understanding how different surfaces affect friction. By building a ramp and covering it with glossy sheet, emery paper, fabric etc. the students proved that some amount of friction is necessary for any object to move or stop.Conducting surveys, collating the data and representing it pictographically was the challenge dealt with, albeit successfully by our young learners. They collected data on the different fragrances associated with flowers and drew bar graphs – surely a mathematical feat for junior Raksters!A group of students from Grade 3 worked on constructing different kinds of bicycles using discarded pipes, wheels, rods, wires and sticks. Their challenges included understanding the functions of each part, modifying and sculpting with raw materials to make such parts. An example being, using discarded CD’s to create a chain wheel and a used pencil becoming an axle. Analyzing the role of a chain in driving the wheels and looking at solutions to bring in balance, stimulated design thinking in these young learners.After extensive discussions on why the current trends in fashion are not tenable, “sustainable fashion”- surely the need of the hour and a permanent and viable solution for the future, was a theme taken by another group of futuristic thinkers from Grade 4. Dresses were designed using eco-friendly material such as old CD’s, foils, newspapers, ice cream sticks, paper plates, paper cups, etc. It definitely nurtured a positive line of thought and encouraged our learners to utilize resources more responsibly.Students of Grade 6 set to thinking about a non-electrical mode of transporting vegetables, especially the ones that can easily get squished during the process (tomatoes, for example) from the mountain tops to the base. The activity was called Tomato squash challenge .It was a challenge not so easily overcome, as it required collaboration, critical thinking and analysis of the appropriate length and material for the rope, the size of the pulleys and shaft and the right kind of baskets which would hold the weight.Exploring alternative sources of energy by Grade 8, i.e bio diesel extracted from a renewable resource such as cooking oil and distilling bioethanol from sugarcane juice lent itself to extensive research, testing and evaluation for the senior Raksters. Retrospection on the challenges faced by farmers living in flooded areas paved the way for our learners to design a floating garden, a real life projection of how the farmers could cultivate crops even in flooded areas and how vegetables could be grown for home use in such areas was put together by Grade 6.Handmade soaps, an interesting kick the ball and wash your clothes substitute to a washing machine was invented by 8 th graders . Making of a wind mill and checking the content of sugar in different concentrates was collated together by our grade 6.Investigating into different rocks available around the campus and trying their hands and minds on the functions of the different systems in the human body was demonstrated and explained by Grade 2.It was a purposeful day -a culmination of the year long STEM challenges with loads of learning - a typical Rak’s way of learning - HANDS and MINDS on learning .