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Buzzzz @The GenWise Club++

++Upcoming Events, Parenting Tips – Communication with Restless Children, Learning Insights from Cognitive Science

Buzzzz @ The GenWise Club

It is now a couple of weeks since we have some sort of critical mass @The GenWise Club. In this beta phase, we now have 10+ parents, 15+ children, 10+ GenWise mentors, plus a few student counsellors from schools, on the Club.

Reiterating our goals for the Club – we wish to move beyond courses, and be available for and engage with children on an ongoing basis, in platforms which they already frequent; include parents/ other educators in the process.

We are very encouraged by the engagement we have seen, both from Friends of GenWise (including parents), and students. We present a few examples below, to illustrate the possibilities:

1. Proof that pi = 3

Navin provoked the audience with the following “proof” in the Math Channel:

This generated some animated comments and responses from a host of students, including Devansh, Sinan, Manasa, Hari, Omkaar and Sifar – with several correctly identifying the error in the “proof”. Manasa posted (from Youtube) a proof for 1=2 and wondered if this was in the same family of “proofs”. Navin extended his “arguments” to prove why “Navin = Taylor Swift”! Navin went on to write a few lines about the great mathematician Leonhard Euler, whose 314th birthday (pi-hundredth!) it was, on that day!! It doesn’t feel like “education”, when it is FUN!

2. On Gender, Race, Privilege, Confidence, Humility

Archana, a parent, shared her blog post around asking the right questions around gender, caste, privilege, race, etc. Here’s Sinan’s (a student) response:

I thought it brought out a great point by emphasizing that the differences in people are caused by the choices taken by them, and not because they were assigned a role at birth.

This was followed up with a discussion initiated by @eshnil around confidence and humility, including this timeless quote from Bertrand Russell:

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.

3. How Bees Perceive Time

Navin posted this fascinating TikTok-style video (only 55s, must-watch!!), on how bees perceive time. The scientific method, including listing down hypotheses, designing experiments to test the hypotheses, are visible, and can be well understood by middle and high school students!! In response, a parent pointed out this brilliant book by Raghavendra Gadagkar “Experiments in Animal Behavior” which has lots of examples of “frugal, effective research into animal behaviour” and experiments which can be performed even by children. Radha Gopalan, GenWise mentor, added that the book had perspectives into the history of science.

There are numerous other conversation threads around how far is the sun really from the earth, the helicopter on Mars, the number and types of fig trees, building a sandwich maker from scratch…

More ideas we are exploring include – book reviews, film/ documentary reviews, quizzes, cryptic crosswords, etc. Please let Vishnu know if you have some ideas we could pursue.

How do I become a member of The GenWise Club

In the beta phase, the Club is open to all. All it takes to join are these steps:

Get an account for you and/ or your child on Discord

Use this invite (valid till Apr 30, 2021) to join the GenWise server

Direct Message (DM) Vishnu with your full name and details once you slide in to The GenWise Club!

Upcoming Events

External Events

Miss Representation on April 24 ¦ Saturday ¦ 6:00 pm IST. In this session by Bangalore International Centre (BIC) in collaboration with the Museum of Art and Photography, two independent filmmakers explore multiple approaches to spotlighting the narratives of women in diverse urban and rural spaces. Register here. If you want your child to attend, please check directly with the organizers if the event is appropriate for children. (Free)

What are Polymers? Why are they important? ‘Talk to a Scientist’ presents this session by Vidhika Damani, PhD student from the University of Delaware, will take us into the world of polymers, how scientists study them and their role in our day-to-day lives. The event is on Saturday, 24th April, 5-6 pm IST Register here. For children ages 6-16. (Free)

A family quiz on ‘Science relevant to India’ on Sunday, April 25 at 4 PM IST. Your family can register as a team- how exciting is that! The event is by ‘Talk to a Scientist’ and you can register here. The top-scoring family wins an Amazon voucher too! (Free)

The SDGs in the era of the Pandemic and the Right to Development is a panel discussion organised by The University for Peace (set up by a UN General Assembly resolution) and the Training for International Diplomats on Wednesday, April 28 at 530 PM CEST. Register before 26 April, by sending a mail to Ms. Lena Krause ( mentioning full name, country of origin and affiliation.

CONTAGION Exhibition from Science Gallery, Bengaluru. CONTAGION explores the phenomenon of the transmission of emotions, behaviours, and diseases. CONTAGION is a 45-day exhibition season, from 30 April to 13 June. The first lecture is titled Control, Consensus, Chaos: The Global Response to the Pandemic by Dr. Sheila Jasanoff from the Harvard Kennedy School on Friday, 30 April 2021 at 06:30 PM IST. There are also several interactive workshops for 15-28 year olds beginning May 9 and ending June 6. For more details visit their website here. (Events are free)

Events @GenWise

“Nuggets with Navin” – Sat, Apr 24, 11am Navin Kabra has designed and delivered several courses at GenWise – including some very popular ones on Cryptography, Exponential Growth, Economy of the Modern Internet, etc. – with several more in the pipeline for the 2021 Summer, including Understanding AI. This is a chance for students who have attended his courses (and those that haven’t), to come by and hangout with Navin. All students and parents welcome!

“Explorations with Radha” – Sat, May 1, 11am Many of you will also know Radha through her participation in several GenWise Addas, the Auroville experiential learning programs, and the design and delivery of courses in the Environmental and Life Sciences at GenWise. If you enjoy residential programs/ field trips/ nature, you will want to drop in on this informal conversation around the emerging importance of Natural History (what is it, really?) for the 21st century student. All students and parents welcome!

At least 3 GenWise courses coming up soon (out of 40+ courses listed here):

Parenting Tips: Communicating with restless children

These simple habits on the part of the parent can be highly effective in communicating with restless children.

1. Touch them first to gain attention. Get eye contact and speak only after that.

2. Keep what you are saying short and crisp.

3. Reduce the number of times you interfere and instruct them.

4. Show how it is done, help them do things.

Dr. Bhooshan Shukla, GenWise Mentor MD, DNB, MRCPsych (London), Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Twitter – @docbhooshan Register below to learn more about managing your teen/ tween’s gadget/ screen time.

Learning Insights from Cognitive Science

This week we look at how retrieving information is a much better learning strategy than repeated reading.

Students often read and re-read a textbook because it feels good. In fact, if students read and re-read a textbook, research shows that they become more and more confident that they will do well on a later test. If another group of students instead take practice tests (they are retrieving information), they will be less confident in their later performance – because these tests can feel hard. But in reality, those who took the practice tests will outperform those who re-read the textbook.

Every time a memory is brought to mind, it is reconstructed and reinforced. When students take a quiz, they’re not just checking their memory – they are enhancing it.

Students can practice retrieval in different ways, for example-

by answering tests set by themselves or others

writing down what they have learned in their own words

representing what they have learned by making drawings or concept maps

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