Saturday, November 19, 2016

Seeing is learning: A visit to Agastya foundation science lab in Bettadasanapura

Time and again teachers and principals at high school have revealed to us that children especially in government schools fail to understand some basic concepts taught at primary school level. The reasons are manifold and there are existing evidences to confirm this. What seems to be working or at least getting children enthused about studies, is the activity based learning.

We saw in my last post that how delighted the kids were when movies, videos were projected on big screen which helped them understand some concepts about water cycle. Couple of days back, we made a visit to Agastya International Foundation’s Science Lab in Bettadasanapura near Electronic city, Bengaluru. The visit was facilitated by Mr. Nandeesh from ELCIA Trust. ELCIA Trust has adopted 19 government schools around Electronic City. To facilitate better learning for these government school students ELCIA invited Agastya foundation to set up a science lab. One of the schools’ campus was identified for setting up this lab.

The science lab is open throughout the day from 10.30 am to 3.30 pm. Two tutors from Agastya conduct daily two sessions for the students of these 19 government schools. The batches are decided, fixed with consent from school, the concepts explained as per the standard/grade the students are studying in. The lab has conceptual models for explaining basics on biology, chemistry, physics, geography, etc. The models are developed as per the syllabus for each grade and hence relevant for students to learn and understand.

The tutor from the lab, Mr. Sunil, said that “if you explain the concepts in a lighter vein and show children the working principle, then the difficult concepts become simple and easy to comprehend”. We at Biome hope to learn from these initiatives and develop some conceptual models for explaining concepts related to water.  



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