Let’s sort some coins…

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Our first design challenge of the year. This one was for my more seasoned group of makers. I planned to introduce the concept of Engineering Design Process, a one of a kind in any international schools in India. What made it more exciting, was the fact that the design once completed, could potentially do something. An outcome that involves action is not just thrilling to watch, but to work towards as well. Continue reading “Let’s sort some coins…”

It’s all in the paper! – Material challenge

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Today’s challenge was an interesting one. I had the task details up on the pin up board, even before the students arrived. The first ones to walk in immediately noticed the chart, approached it, and started reading through it. As more students streamed in, their attention was drawn to the board as well. Slowly, the pin up board gathered audience. Continue reading “It’s all in the paper! – Material challenge”

Roller Coaster Mania!!

This week, we hit a big milestone. We completed our first longish challenge. The students stayed on one task, over 4 sessions, and managed to pull it off successfully! My initial misgivings on whether there would be continuity in the work, and sustained interest from the students, were all put to rest. Not only did my students stay focused throughout, they actually got quite attached to their teams and designs. The pride and ownership they felt, were very evident. Continue reading “Roller Coaster Mania!!”

“Sneak A Peek” – Go team work!

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This week, I got to work with a fairly big group of students. I have been wanting to meet the kids more often, so I decided that clubbing the students of both grades into one group was the way to go. Truth be told, I was a little nervous! I was worried about how to keep the entire group occupied, about how to keep the distracting elements in check, and about how cohesively the two grades would work with each other. But I was in for surprises. Continue reading ““Sneak A Peek” – Go team work!”

Brown bag design challenge

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Last week’s class gave me a lot of food for thought. I spent quite some time after, mulling over how the session went, how I would have liked it to go, and why it probably didn’t go the way I had expected. When we decided to jump in on the “makerspace” bandwagon, we had some clear goals in mind and decided to do what any best international schools in India or for that matter the world would do. Continue reading “Brown bag design challenge”

“Angry Birds” Akshar Arbol Style

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This week, I got to meet with my younger group of “makers” from Grade 5 who were following IB board curriculum. The activity that I had planned for them was going to be “fun”, no doubt, but also a bit challenging. This time, it was not just about building something, but also about getting it to work a certain way! As the students walked in, I was both excited and nervous to see how the session would pan out. Continue reading ““Angry Birds” Akshar Arbol Style”

Stand tall – Pipe cleaner tower challenge

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Yesterday, our Grade 6 students experienced their very first “maker” session. As they walked into our lovely, open, fourth floor terrace space, the curiosity to know what was in store for them, and the eagerness to start off, were evident on all their faces. After a round of introductions, and a little chat on what they thought they would be doing in this space, and what other Cambridge schools in Chennai are doing similarly, we moved on to the agenda of the day.  They were told, that for the day, they would each don the hat of a civil design engineer, working for a big construction company. In groups of three, they were to take under 30 minutes to design and build the highest freestanding structure that they could, using just 10 pipe cleaners and 10 straws as their resources! Continue reading “Stand tall – Pipe cleaner tower challenge”