We have created a series of 2 hour workshops keeping the students of rural areas in mind. During these sessions, we deliver innovative, hands-on activities related to science, which are educational, as well as challenging and fun and centered around themes of conservation and the environment. We allow children 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.
We provide a framework whereby we introduce an idea and then allow children to work in groups, (which also helps them to get over any fear of not knowing an answer), to solve problems or facilitate the movement of the class based on their questions and interests even if it does not move in the direction we planned for. Doing so nurtures the child's natural curiosity and allows them the freedom to think through their own solutions, many of which we are often amazed by.
We have found that children often respond with a RESOUNDING "Why”!
Some of the topics we have used to help create this scientific temperament are:
- Snakes – identifying poisonous vs non-poisonous snakes.
- Water Filteration – how water gets purified in natural systems.
- Keeping it Cool – building roofs on our homes to minimize the heat abosorbed.
- Plant Growth – natural methods to prevent insects attacking crops.
- Electricity – building a generator.
We have designed many workshops with the aim of getting the children to experiment and learn basics of science techniques through experimentation, analysis and observation. The binding factor in each is that the children investigate while we facilitate.
We believe that a child needs to explore and discover the world around them and therefore we want to 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 the learning 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 more.
This fair was modeled on Science Interactive Centres around the world with hands on activities at its heart with the aim of getting children to ask questions – “why, when and how does this happen”. We at Curiouscity believe that science is not just a field of facts and theory, but it is one of creativity, that begins with a question. And there is no doubt that this fair will get the children to ask questions and spark their curiosity in subjects they will encounter now or later in their classrooms and beyond.
We have been conducting our Water Works Science Fair at Schools in and around Bangalore and it has been well received by several lower income schools such as the Ashraya Neelbagh School, the Lawrence School Koramangala, and the students from the village schools around the PENCH national park.
No matter how well we sell an idea, your best gauge of this event would really be from the Feedback we have received from both the students and teachers alike.
TEACHER TRAINING WORKSHOPS
We at Curiouscity have been working with children since 2008, doing workshops where we teach kids about the basics behind science – methods of experimentation, observations, and analysing data. We do this in a fun filled, challenging and team based environment, where we take topics of science and work with the children to explore concepts, ask questions and work out methods to answer them.
The idea behind this teacher training workshop, is not to reinvent the wheel in terms of the syllabus, but how to pull out modules within a syllabus and change things around to make the children discover a concept rather than be taught the same – and to expose teachers to the value of such “discovery based learning”.
We have many methods of doing this, from student teaching, to challenge setting, to negative challenges, creating analogies that work – all of which can be used to create an environment that encourages children to think, and ask questions. A child asking a question is a child who is interested. How we address these questions is how we keep the child interested.
This program is designed for teachers teaching in all subject areas, although we use mainly science examples to explore these teaching methods.
This program has been designed and conducted by highly qualified scientists and educators with extensive research and teaching experience.
We have conducted this workshop with the teachers of the rural schools in Pench and in a small rural school in Bangalore, on Tannery Road with great success.