I made a 3 minute video of a stroll through STEM Land on a Sat. We (Aura Auro team) are together at the same time with multiple classes and a few children from around who join us. Here is the video:
A few notes:
- The display for STEM Land was made last week by a few children. It switches between a 5 sets of ways of how STEM Land is displayed. The children soldered the board together programmed an arduino to switch between these (with help from Naveen). Here is a blog post with more about this.
- We recently added dobble, blockus and another abalone to STEM Land. Blokus is another great strategy game and dobble is excellent for observation with different scaling. These additions are popular and extremely good in brain twisting skills.
(We also got bounce off and jungle speed which are also very popular though I am not as convinced about their utility to learning :).)
- Children have been working quite a bit on Alice a 3D programming environment. This allows children to stretch the programming they were introduced to in scratch with a 2D stage to a 3D world. Here is a note on a game that Rati is creating.
- Blender has also picked up and few children children have learnt more or less on their own. Vaidegi also started putting the 3D printer in action first with things available online and then with learning blender herself this has added the idea of being able to create what you make in blender. The implicit mathematics and visualizing in modeling 3D images is excellent. With the printer you couple this with what can actually be made nicely.
- The 'fan' is a salvaged (thanks Lata) and the children added an external battery adapter (since the one inside had rusted) and Puni is explaining how he noticed that it acts more as an exhaust picking up things rather than what he expected of pushing things away.
- One group of students have become quite good at putting together mindstorm robots. The first one took them 2 weeks. This is their fifth robot and it just took them 2 days to put together. Here is a link with a snake robot in action.
- We have started salvaging old boards that I had around to get components we can use elsewhere and started a fix it lab. We fixed our first phone...yay, more on this later.
- A few Isai Ambalam children join us on Sat since its their day off and so do a few children from Auroville.
Playing, tinkering, making and learning is alive in STEM Land.