Many of the greatest scientists of our past were not merely mathematicians or physicists or biologists – but they were creative artists in many fields – from physics to art, biology to astronomy. Take Leonardo Da Vinci for example, he was a painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, and a botanist – but most of all he was an inventor and he was creative. And he was not alone – many scientists of older times were the same – they created and invented in several fields –Benjamin Franklin, Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, Aryabhata or Jagadish Chandra Bose to name just a few.
There is a world out there that is waiting to be explored, and our attempt is to bring some of the excitement of exploring science to children growing up in an increasingly data and fact filled world. We want to take the children beyond the world of books, the four walls of the classroom, and let them experience science first hand by working on simple experiments, and scientific concepts. Following the great Physicist Richard Feynman who once said “I cannot understand what I cannot create”.
Curiouscity has been created with the aim of promoting creativity in science amongst children. We believe that science is not merely a set of subjects filled with theory and equations, but that it is also a creative field of study. We attempt to get the children to create their own little moments of scientific discovery, their own little moments of WOW.
We deliver innovative, hands-on activities related to science, which are educational, as well as challenging and fun. While one cannot get away from a syllabus which has also its own place in learning, what we can do is to supplement the learning by helping fill the gaps left by such structured learning and offering kids the possibility of exploration and experimentation on their own. This is what we call "Creating Scientific Temperament" amongst children. We, at CURIOUSCITY, do this in an interactive, challenging, and fun filled way.
If you have ever felt that your child has suddenly lost their once sparkling interest in things around them, stopped asking the endless "WHY" questions, and attends science classes with trepidation, ask yourself "WHY?”
In the minds of many children, science takes on the image of being full of ugly "equations", difficult "formulas" or "definitions" that make no sense. Has anyone ever taught your child that the basic idea behind an EQUATION is that the two quantities are EQUAL on both sides or used a balance to show them that if they add or remove anything from one side they need to do the same to the other side? It is so simple, yet it is something that hardly any of our children really learn in that manner. The aim of Curiouscity
is to bring back the JOY of science where one starts with a practical approach to solve problems or to understand some basic principles of science without using endless definitions.
These programs are designed for smaller groups of individuals who can sign up for our events at different locations around Bangalore such as the Hippocampus Learning Center, Claptopia, and Koothuhala.
Our target group has been children between the ages of 8 to 12 years. Recently we have also introduced classes for a younger age group of 6 to 8 years. Our work has targeted several groups of children since we started in 2009, in short term (2 weeks) and long term (1 year) programs.
We also do summer camps and field trips with individuals who sign up for these events individually.
URBAN SCHOOL PROGRAMS
Our Urban School programs are designed to bring innovative science events to your students. Given how teachers are already so busy with teaching the core cirriculum, they do not have the time to create many new science events with children, and that is where we step in.
We at Curiouscity have desgined several programs to bring events to your school in the form of half day hands on and interactive Science Fairs, or shorter one hour lecture demonstrations that bring about a WOW factor in learning about new topics. We also have created Day trips to sites around the city from Waste Management programs to Exploring the water bodies in our cities. Our field trips take students on short (2 or 3 day) or long (10 day) science related trips which include astronomy to field sciences – from Masanagudi to the Galapagos islands.
We have also created teacher training programs using science based examples on taking parts of the syllabus and creating a hands on learning approach to the same.
RURAL SCHOOL PROGRAMS
We have conducted programs at several rural schools or lower income schools in and around Bangalore and also as far as Pench. These programs include Science Fairs, Workshops and Teacher Training Programs. All our programs are done at cost or we find sponsors to cover the basic cost of transport and materials, so we can do the programs for free at these Rural Schools.
We believe that every child needs to explore and discover the world around them: therefore we take them out of the four walls of the classrooms and let them experience science first hand. While one cannot get away from a syllabus, which has also its own place in learning, what we can do is to supplement it by offering kids the possibility of exploration and experimentation on their own.
With this in mind we have created a Science Event called Water Works Science Fair, in which we use materials that children can easily access at home so they can go back and experiment and try things out. Topics covered range from properties of water (melting, boiling and freezing points), cohesion and capillary action, water weight and water pressure, water conductivity, non-Newtonian fluids, Bernoulli’s principle and the Coanda effect, the history of water use, water in interstellar space, tornadoes and whirlpools, animal distribution in the oceans and estuaries, effect of water pressure on animals, and much much more.
Galapagos Field Trip
Students (open to students of grades 8 to 12) will examine why these islands are so special – a living example of Evolution in Progress from which Darwin came up with his theory of Natural Selection. Why these islands have the perfect set of conditions to allow Evolution to happen so rapidly creating many Endemic Species (those seen nowhere else on Earth). What it takes to conserve such a delicate landscape and the role and affect of humans therein. History, Geology, Ecology, Evolution, and the Economics and impact of Eco Tourism will also be a large part of the learning on this trip this trip.
We will be working with IOI (Intercultural Outreach Initiative) in America and their counterparts in the Galapagos. Students will be expected to stay with local families on the island of Isabella and work with the science Eco-conservation program every day.
This will give the children great exposure to a different culture through the local people, communicating in Spanish, eating the local cuisine and traveling independently.
We have been working with many groups of children for the past several years in short (2 weeks) and long term (1 year) programs. In our effort of teaching Science in CURIOUSCITY's innovative interactive fun filled ways, we have found that the children respond in an amazing manner to this kind of stimulus. The changes we have seen in the way the same group of children approach science after just 10 sessions with us are encouraging and can be measured by the things they try at home and the questions they ask.
Rather than focus on a topic or attempt to teach them a scientific principle, we use topics to get the children to take a different approach to learning. One in which, instead of asking, "How can I do this?” a kid asks "Can I do this?”
The idea is to introduce the children to a topic - be it chromatography, photography, animal behaviour or estimations and get them to come up with creative solutions to problems set in this area.
For example, in a set of experiments with electricity, one child actually decided that blood would be a better conductor than a lemon because he once got a shock from a plug point! Needless to say we found a spontaneous way to test this and discovered a lot more about conductivity and grounding in the process.
When we were doing acids and bases with a group of children, they analysed unknown samples and found out how to cook "Green eggs" using a base indicator. The following session, one of our 10 year old boys came back and declared that he had made "Pink Lemonade" at home. He took the red cabbage juice (indicator) and added it to the lemonade (acidic) and it turned pink. He was puzzled as to whether this change was because of the purplish colour of the cabbage juice. So, he extracted the juice from a green cabbage, added it to the lemonade and it turned pink. This is what we term inculcating a Scientific Temperament.
Some of the exercises are designed to make the children solve mechanical problems which then gives them a chance to redesign their models after an initial test. The idea is not for them to learn the words "force, or fulcrum, or velocity", but to allow them to be creative, and understand these forces and balances, with an objective in mind. We hope this will later come to their mind when they study forces and vectors as part of their regular curriculum.
Our favourite response from the kids feedback forms was this:
"I liked this class, because I learned to do things by myself"
In 2012 we introduced a Science Fair called Water Works which aims at bringing Science to children in a more fun and exciting way.
Write to us with your suggestions, comments and queries at:
485, 14th main,
3rd Block, Koramangala,
Bangalore, India – 560034