Learning By BeingDoing

(Please click on pie slices to learn more; more (MUCH more) detail below the pie)

 DOING 

'academic'

4-5 hrs/day

3-4 hrs/day

'beyond-academic'

3-4 hrs/day

Learning By Doing - Academics

The 'academic' component of the EE Program covers all pillars of our GenWise Curriculum

 

These curricular elements will be covered over 2 weeks (4-5 hrs/ day), as follows:
 

  • Week 1: Mathematics, Science, Design and Technology (STEM Focus)

  • Week 2: Nature, Society &Individual; Tools for Thinking & Communication (Humanities Focus)

Please click on each week to know (MUCH) more...

While children are free to pick either week, we strongly recommend a balanced exposure to  the content over both weeks.

Learning By Doing - Beyond-Academics

This module, culled from  three sets of activities listed below will be offered by GenWise mentors Harikrishna, Vishnu,  and Amaresh:
 

Click on each activity to know more.

These activities will last roughly 3-4 hours a day; at least 3 out of the 4 activities listed above will be presented to children, every day, every week.

Learning By Being

We consider this to be central to the child’s wholistic development and essential to long term well-being.

 

This is at multiple levels of being - as an individual, a learner, a child, a member of a community, a friend and a citizen of the world at large. While much can be achieved towards this goal through the waking hours of the child - in the classroom, and elsewhere - here are some specific activities we plan for EE2020 :

  • Tree Walks/ Bird-Watching
    (our venue lends itself very well to this goal, as you can see here)

  • Yoga and equivalent activities

  • Journalling/ Reflection

  • Talent Nite

Week 1: Academics: STEM Focus

We will work on experiments to discover extraordinary properties hidden behind “ordinary” and familiar materials and things that we see all around us such as air, water, light and ingredients used in the kitchen for cooking. 

We will discover the world of Electricity and Electronics, learn and speak the  language, and gain an understanding of the most fundamental concepts in this area - through squishy circuits, flexi-circuits, and a variety of fun activities. This early familiarity could give the students the courage to fearlessly explore the world of Electricity and Electronics, as part of their learning journey over the coming years.

We will deal with Mathematics not only as the language of science, but also as an intellectual challenge in its pure, abstract form and find joy in it.

We will explore various real life applications of mathematics through hands on activities. For example the problem of tiling a given floor area with tiles of various shapes can pose interesting challenges in geometry and symmetry, and connect to deeper results in mathematics.

Through simple games and age appropriate puzzles accessible to children we will introduce them to the ideas of mathematical proofs , counterexamples and invariances. Children will be able to see how the simple notions of odd and even numbers open up a whole new world of exploration. Hopefully they will take back the idea that mathematics is not only about rigour and precision but also about creativity and fun!

During this week, our aim will be to create the right conditions for the children to experience the “pleasure of finding things out,'' as Richard Feynman puts it.

 

These modules will offer various hands-on activities to enable participants to get a feel for how real scientists and mathematicians work (Scientific Method, Proofs, Conjectures, etc.)

Our purpose is to help children realize that Science is not confined to hi-tech laboratories but is all around us. Along the way,  we will learn how to: 

  • Sharpen our skills of observation

  • Emphasize the need for recording observations honestly, without bias of prior knowledge; develop confidence about our own experimental observations even when they appear counterintuitive

  • Interpret our observations to draw conclusions about observed patterns, to “discover” an underlying property or principle

  • Uncover multiple ways of looking at the same problem

  • Work cooperatively in groups, compare observations across groups and discuss and constructively criticize agreements and anomalies.

 

Week 2: Academics: Humanities Focus

Under the broad theme of The Planetary Web: Nature , Society and the Individual, we will focus on the concept of Food; in Tools for Thinking and Communication, we explore Structure, Modeling and Representation of Ideas through Spatial Orientation .

Food is central to all life and human society is shaped by its diverse food culture. Some of the questions we will address as part of this session include:

  • How many of us really know where our food comes from: the journey of the fruit, vegetable, meat, or milk from the farm to our homes? Who produces it? How is it produced?

  • Is there any connection between what we eat and something that we are hearing a lot about - climate change? Why is it important for us to trace this journey in our changing world?  

  • How is our relationship with food changing in today’s world? What does it matter that  a typical meal our child eats is so different from what our grandmothers ate?

  • What is the role of the media in shaping our perception of who we are based on what we eat? 

Unraveling the Complex Web that is our Food System

Structuring, Modeling, Representation of Physical/ Intellectual Ideas

This module is shaped around the child’s need to know where he is located; to then learn to navigate himself through and beyond to “other” places.

 

The course introduces the foundational ideas (Referencing, Problem structuring, Representation and Modeling) that underlie the products and services we take for granted - from physical maps through GPS to Google maps. 

The module offers a hands on experience in structuring, modeling and representation of two things that young learners are beginning to encounter in their daily lives.
1. Physical elements - Eg. earth, mountains, oceans, sea routes, air routes 
2. Intellectual ideas - Eg. Representation of a spherical earth as a 2D map; a night sky into an handleable system of constellations). 

 

We will pursue fascinating, yet relatively simple, questions like :

  • How did merchant ships find their way to a country through a vast open sea? 

  • How was the first map of India made? (Trigonometric survey) 

  • How can a person explain his physical location to anyone who needs to find her? 

  • What is the best way to move through a space (for ex- classroom) if all the children in the room want to move simultaneously, with different paths and if there is to be no collision? 

 

MAD about MATH

This activity is based on the book ‘Beautiful Symmetry -A Coloring Book about Math’ by Alex Berke (MIT Press). In this activity students explore the nature of symmetry and learn the language of Group Theory. In particular they explore symmetry in the 2-D plane.

Akex believes (like we do) that children should not have to wait till college to begin grasping some of the concepts around Group Theory. So while this description has some technical terms, the interactions with children will be completely devoid of jargon.

Through systematic use of colouring as a tool, we will first learn about rotational symmetries like Cn groups. During this process they will be introduced to the technical language of group theory, before they go on to examine reflection symmetries. This is followed by Frieze patterns and wallpaper groups.

 

Math with Origami

We will use some examples to first establish Origami as a mathematical tool. Students will then use unit the methods of Origami to build the five platonic solids. And then they will have a delightful guided tour into ‘Flatland’ to explore the different cross-sections of these solids.

 
 

HOOL is a hoot!

This Mind Sport was one of the "most enjoyed"  segments of our EE 2019 Program.

 

Facilitated by Amaresh Deshpande, the children were fascinated by Hool (developed by Amaresh), a pre-cursor to that giant card game, Bridge.

 

The key design feature that makes it appealing to children  is the new Board Game approach devised by Amaresh. Hool is now officially on the World Youth Bridge list of training tools to learn to play Bridge!

The benefits, to children and adults, of playing Bridge are well documented, including on cognition and performance on standardised tests; the movement to spreading this game at schools around the country is gaining momentum.

Why, and Why Not!

The principle of Causation is so central to our engagement with the world - from the simple (Fire burns my skin) to the very complex (What causes climate change?) So what is this principle? What are the various ways in which one thing affects another? Why are some events predictable but even experts or smart adults fail to predict some other kinds of things - whether it is a revolution in Egypt or global warming? 

Using discussions, debates and real-life examples that the children can relate to, we will examine how cause and effect works in different contexts- whether a process like a chemical reaction, or a social movement, and start making better connections and predictions.

Why, and Why Not!

The principle of Causation is so central to our engagement with the world - from the simple (Fire burns my skin) to the very complex (What causes climate change?) So what is this principle? What are the various ways in which one thing affects another? Why are some events predictable but even experts or smart adults fail to predict some other kinds of things - whether it is a revolution in Egypt or global warming? 

Using discussions, debates and real-life examples that the children can relate to, we will examine how cause and effect works in different contexts- whether a process like a chemical reaction, or a social movement, and start making better connections and predictions.

Evening ADDA

This is our attempt at providing children the right exposure to Experts in different areas. While most GenWise mentors fall into this category (and have delivered ADDA sessions in the past), it is our intent to bring practicing Experts in front of our participants.

In the picture are some of our students with Roopa Pai, the celebrated children's author, reading to the children passages from her books, sharing her thoughts, responding to children's questions, in an informal setting.

Past speakers at our ADDAs include Ashwin MaheshSaad Nasser, B Ashok, RamG Vallath, Sarah Fisher.