Workshop

We all learn best when we make, explore, pull things apart, and put them back together. Our current system is competitive and fast-paced, however seldom provides space for such learning. We conduct workshops with teachers and students using this unique pedagogy of making and exploring using very inexpensive material.

List Teacher’s Workshops

 

 

Dissemination via Hands-on Workshops for Teachers, Professors & Students

We all learn best when we make, explore, pull things apart, and put them back together. Our current system is competitive and fast-paced, however seldom provides space for such learning. We conduct workshops with teachers and students using this unique pedagogy of making and exploring using very inexpensive material.

 

  • Million Makers of Chhattisgarh

Our journey working with teachers and children in Chhattisgarh. These Million makers of Chhattisgarh with Gleam in their eyes can truly fulfill the Make in India dream. Make our classes lively change the face of India We started on this journey on 12 Dec 2016 when the 5 minute meeting with Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh lasted 25 minutes. He really liked this upside down tippy top. And I gave it to him happily. We had made this top by sticking a neem stick in the base of used badminton shuttlecock. Niels Bohr and Wolfgang Pauli had also scratched their heads in this top which turns over after spinning. Ordinary looking this tippy top had very interesting physics behind it. Looking at these toys Dr Singh suggested that we visit all districts of Chhattisgarh and work with teachers. Working with a young director of RSA Qaiser Haque we chalked out a plan of series of workshops in Chhattisgarh. In this first leg of this program we visited 11 districts of Chattisgarh all the way from Bastar, Kanker, DHamtari and Gariaband in South Chattisgarh to districts adjoining capital Raipur, Rajnandgaon, Bilaspur and all the way to Korea, Surguja, Balrampur and Surajpur in North Chattisgarh. Feedback from teachers was overwhelming. They unanimously said that this was their best workshop. Often the focus in schools in on covering the curriculum and in that process the most exciting interesting aspects of the subject are sidelined. The idea should be to uncover the curriculum instead of covering it. We hope to get teachers interested in the subjects thereby making the classrooms lively and bring back the GLEAM In the EYES. These children like Dalima Markam shall make Make in India and make India proud.

 

  • Capacity Building of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KV Math/Science teachers)

For the first spell of Inservice Course for Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) Post Graduate Teachers (PGTs) of Computer Science and TGTs of Science and Mathematics – teachers from across the country came to the IITGN campus for a 12 day workshop. The facilitation was done by  faculty from various departments of IIT Gandhinagar and members of CCL.

During the course of 12 days, the focus was to present the curriculum in way which deeply engages the students and makes learning a joyous process. For example, the teachers learned how to divide starting from right and made an equilateral triangle from A4 sheet (not trivial!). When we really make something using the concept we have learnt in the books, the learning gets contextualized and is meaningful.

The teachers got an opportunity to update their knowledge and upgrade their tutorial skills. Mathematics as a subject has acquired a dreadful image in the minds of most students. The overarching idea of the workshop was to introduce the teachers to math pedagogy that can be

engaging and joyous. There were few lectures but most of the workshop was experiential, in form of lots of exercises, activities, models that teachers made, stories and playing games! The teachers gave encouraging feedback to conduct such programs in future also.

 

With the goal of capacity building of KV Science and Math teachers, we have worked with all the 500 master trainers of KV across India conducting 2- day workshops with them at all the 5 ZIET( Zonal Institute of Educational Training). The feedback from these workshops has been really overwhelming. All the master trainers who attended these workshops rated them better than any of their current trainings. They also wanted to attend longer duration workshops.

As a result of this feedback, KVS decided to conduct in-service course (mandatory training for all KVS teachers which happens every five years of service) for teachers at IIT Gandhinagar. The first spell of the course is scheduled in summer 2018. TGT (6th to 10th class) teachers of Science, Math and PGT (11th, 12th) teachers of Computer Science would attend the course.

At the end of the course teachers commented the such a pedagogy is not only essential but is the only way we can improve India’s rank in PISA* test which will happen the second time in 2021. Our children learn the definitions well, but fail when it comes to actually apply that knowledge.

This course done by CCL is a small step in the direction of improving the conceptual understanding of children so that they are able to use the knowledge gained in classes in their daily lives.

 

 

  • Vigyan Jyoti (STEM summer camp, especially for girls)

A 5-day residential camp (Vigyan Jyoti) based on experiential learning was piloted from June 12th to 16t, 2018. When it led to a positive response, to assess its impact objectively, a second one was conducted from June 18th to 22nd, 2018 and the third from January 21t to 25th, 2019. 25 meritorious students of Class 6 – 8 were selected from Government Schools each time, to participate in this workshop.

The primary aim of the program was to create STEM enabling environment and strengthen the scientific temper of participants. As early grooming reaps big rewards, promoting interest in science and technology amongst the students in the early education years has the potential to be very beneficial.

 

In this workshop we tinkered, cut, stuck, pulled things apart and put them back together. Students made spinners, motors, generators, gliders, pumps, levitating pens, sprinklers and many more toys using inexpensive day-to-day material. Once done making, they explored the science behind each of the toys. The goal of this hands-on approach to science is to make learning joyous and experiential. The students saw how seemingly simple looking “toys” can demonstrate complex and beautiful scientific concepts.

In today’s competitive and fast-paced world, we don’t get enough time to explore. Here, in the camp, the curriculum was presented in way which deeply engages the students and makes learning a joyous process. For example, they made a sprinkler to understand centrifugal force and a straw spinner to study Newton’s third law. When we really make something using the concept we have learnt in the books, the learning gets contextualized and is meaningful. Students can then relate more to the concepts presented in the textbooks more when they build something using the concept.

 

During the course of 5 days, the focus was to get the students excited about science. They were exposed to various creative DIY STEM models, igniting their inherent curiosity and creativity. Moreover, they got to explore IITGN laboratories and the library and this might have inspired the little ones to become engineer and scientists when they grow up!  While each participant made so many things at the camp, they also got a take-away pack of raw materials that can be used to make 50+ toys themselves!

GLIMPSE OF VIGYAN JYOTI CAMP

 

The students got an opportunity to update their knowledge and skills. They gave encouraging feedback to conduct such programs in future also. The biggest accomplishment of this program was the dramatic increase in student engagement; evident from the amount of time (almost 30 minutes) each student spent in filling out the feedback forms. Almost everyone wanted to remain here and didn’t wish to go home!

 

 

 

  • AICTE Workshops (innovation in engineering)

This workshop aims at implementing project oriented STEM learning in classrooms. The experiential and hands-on workshop will introduce participants to methodologies and techniques for developing interesting creations to encourage STEM learning in the classroom. Participating faculty will have the opportunity to utilize labs to develop independent creations for their classroom use.

Over the course of 5 days, participants  from engineering colleges from across the country, attended about 20 unique sessions where their primary purpose was to tinker –  to do something first and in the process, understand the why of it. Each session of cutting, slicing, taking apart and fitting together, when led to the final product, left them wanting for more. The joy in their eyes was palpable, the atmosphere full of enthusiasm.

 

The workshop kickstarted with a discussion on the need of experiential learning in our current education system and then moved on to actually doing something hands-on when they made robots and geodesic balls.

The days that followed saw the participants partake in sessions ranging from space science to engineering drawing, to environment engineering and binary computing, all the way to electromagnetism and so much more. They worked on all kinds of mechanisms including robotics, geodesics, newtonian physics as well as with a laser machine to create their own designs. Most of these models were made using easily available materials  or from the prefabricated MDF sheets laser-cut at IIT Gandhinagar.

It was very encouraging when participants eagerly asked to take back MDF sheets for all the activities and projects they had worked on. Here’s a glimpse of their time with us.

 

 

  • Foundation Program on Inspiring Engineers

With a goal to create and foster makers who can take innovation to the next level, we started a program last year, wherein we conducted 2-day workshops at 7 different IITs last year. The students seemed to have had an absolutely amazing experience and so did we, interacting with almost 2000 first year students and sharing our philosophy of hands-on learning with them budding engineers.

The origin story of this program lies in the work we did with the students of IIT Gandhinagar during their induction program for the incoming undergraduates. Since they don’t have any regular classes for the first five weeks, quality time was spent tinkering and the feedback left us overwhelmed. The next thing we knew, we were sharing this experience with students of other colleges and different IITs.

The students would get a flavour of engineering in a more realistic, hands-on way through this program and would likely get motivated to focus on concepts in their upcoming studies. They would design and build machines like Robotic Arm, a car that draws sine wave (also triangular wave and many others), JCB machine, Geodesic Domes, a DC motor and then discuss & understand the science, math and engineering behind them.

 

 

 

  • MACOM (Makers and Communicators)

Great technologies in the world emerge from simple tinkering and out of box thinking. Going forward these skills will be the most sought after skills. However, the current curriculum at out technical institutes (polytechnics, ITI’s) needs to be updated. Basic understanding of STEM will be driver for growth in coming decades. Developing country like India is in dire need of this talent and untapped talent is present ITI and other vocational programs.

Education is based on rote Learning and conceptual understanding is missing. We have realized this and slowly there is a movement to start making, tinkering labs, science/math spaces in schools and Engineering colleges. These spaces however lack skilled passionate individuals who can run these. There are about 2000 schools which have been awarded Atal Tinkering Labs (20L Rs per school over 5 years). This in independent of private schools and Engineering colleges trying to setup Maker Spaces. We embarked upon this idea based on the success of our pilot with ITI interns from AliRajpur (M.P.) and queries from various schools offering Rs 50,000 pm for resource people manning the makerspaces.

To address this dearth of resources, Makers and Communicators (MACOMs) Program, a flagship program to train next generation Makers at IIT Gandhinagar,  was proposed and will now be implemented in Gujarat and Bihar with more states to follow.

 

 

 

  • Collaborating with Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation Schools

The collaboration with AMC (Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation) was struck to make middle school ( Classes 6-8 ) science and math hands-on, conceptual and joyous. Project Spark is meant to ignite the curiosity of children by exposing them to a plethora of low-cost science and mathematics toys and activities which can be made using everyday materials and inspire them in STEM.

Last one year has been very productive, focused and result oriented. We were given one classroom of grade 7 in 7 Schools from different zones [Nava Vadaj Hindi-1, Mahatma Gandhi -1, Shahpur Urdu School-5, Bardolpura – 1, Baheramapura – 1, Purusottam Nagar – 1, Bapunagar – 3]

We took 2 hour sessions each week at each school, conducting a total of 276 hours of inspiring sessions. 200+ students attended these sessions regularly. 35+ Science and Math teachers of that school and of another 2 schools also came during our sessions. Our sessions were mainly activity-based and interactive. We focused on engaging students as much as possible and kept the blackboard work as little as possible. We had regular interaction with teachers and shared ideas.

 

We took a Pre-test and a ‘Post-test’ for this project which shows promising results. We were very proud to see students improve and perform very well in ‘Post-test’. Almost all the students did extraordinarily great in activity-based assessment part of the ‘Post-test’

 

 

 

  • Student and Teacher Workshops in Sri Lanka

In light of the tremendous response from the 300 students (from three different districts- Vavuniya, Jaffna, Kilinochi) and 100 teachers (from all across Northern Province) from February 26th, 2019 to March 2nd, 2019 – we propose to reach out to a much larger set of audience. The idea is to create a chapter of our center in Sri Lanka, at University of Jaffna, so that our mission to bring back the gleam in eyes of students and teachers finds newer pastures, reaches greater heights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Short Courses

Cards and Combinatorics

Many little-known theorems of advanced mathematics were introduced on a roller coaster ride from delightful self-working magic tricks to serious math, then back again to magic. The tricks don’t require any sleight of hand or trickery.

A similar course is taught at Stanford University by a former professional magician named Persi Diaconis. At school, Diaconis supported himself by playing poker on ships between New York and South America. Martin Gardner, a writer at Scientific American, once saw him and recommended to a professor for Ph.D. at Harvard University.

In two days, students learnt about Hummer shuffles, Royal Hummer, de Bruijn Sequences, Universal Cycles, Mandelbrot Set, Neat Shuffles and many more card tricks.At the end of this course, participants had about 10 cool card tricks up their sleeve and were comfortable exploring many more as you would know the terminology of math card tricks by the end of the course.

Exploring Geodesics, Polyhedra and their extension in designing products

“Some people discover the world of geometric forms through the study of mathematics and others through artistic endeavors”- Stacey Speyer, Polyhedra

Through this course, students entered the fascinating world of polyhedra and create some of our own by stellations, truncations and chamfering. They then explored the structure, topology, followed by design, laser-cut and assembly to form our own Mathsy Lamps and Balls. Some interested participants also derived the math of the polyhedra designed.

Geodesic balls were designed such that they could be used as lamps. It is also interesting that these spherical structures can be made using plane MDF wood sheets. All the parts come out of the sheet designed by the participants themselves and don’t require any glue or tape to assemble the structure. The exercise also enabled us to get more comfortable in consumer product design and 3D visualization.

Machines, Mechanisms, Automatons at Ahmedabad University

In this course, we will uncover concepts behind various interesting real life motions. We will design and build working prototypes of various kinds of automata. These automata are also used by animation studios like Disney to make animated films. 3D CAD software will be used to understand, design and create the mechanisms which will be used to fabricate the machines. The fabrication will be done using Laser Cutter. Example of automata are Coin picker, Man pushing a wall, Spider walker and our latest Pentapod. After this initial exposure, the groups will be asked to come up with their own unique design of automata which they will design, prototype, fabricate on a laser cutter and then finally display on demo day.

Arts, Engineering and Mechatronics at Ahmedabad University

Students will have hands-on experience of working with electronic circuits, sensors, actuators, gears etc to understand the logic and underlying mechanisms. They will learn the scientific principles behind the new and upcoming technologies without going into the theoretical complexities. The focus of the course will be more on application building. This will help them in visualizing and innovating new product ideas for day-to-day applications. In the process they will learn methods of problem-solving. This would be a great way to exposure children to interdisciplinary domain. After initial exposure, the groups will be asked to come up with their own unique design of machines which they will design, prototype, fabricate and finally display on demo day.

Automatons and Mathematical Toys at GenWise Summer School

In this course, students will build toys and automatons (moving mechanical devices imitating human beings). In this process, they will learn to apply various mathematical concepts like algebra, trigonometry and geometry, and learn design principles and 3D CAD software. They will also learn the scientific principles behind new and upcoming technologies without going into the theoretical complexities, develop hands-on skills and learn methods of problem-solving.

For example, students will investigate the working of a cart that draws a sine wave on the ground, and explore alterations to draw different wave shapes. They may make an automaton that mimics the action of another human or mechanism e.g. somebody pushing a wall. They will also design and make geodesic domes, which will help them to develop an intuition about 3D shapes and space, how architects use tessellation, rigidity and structures etc. In short, through this course, students will develop the confidence to work with their hands and minds and begin their journeys towards becoming designers and makers.