About the Project
“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.”. Albert Einstein , 1879 - 1955)
Direction is the most vital and mind blowing instrument to shape and edge the individual and society in an engaging way. Any change achieved in the direct of a person in perspective on his joint exertion with the inside character and external world includes learning. The chronicled view of the world shows that arrangement has been at the base for any change wrapping the social, social, critical, political and fiscal bits of human life. It is getting ready, which not just changes the customary individual into an average human character yet in addition plans and makes him to make and adjust with the earth life is not like a straight line, one cannot assume the length of a straight line. There will be ups and downs which lead to on-spot changes, these changes sometimes are correct and sometimes not, every situation teaches us a lesson, lessons that cannot be taught within a 4-walled room. Real life day to day problems requires a healthy mind, patience, stability, clarity of concepts and logics. If those are not there, how do we expect them to overcome problems that they will face in future? This project aims to analyse some of the factors that contribute to these problems by providing viable solution for the students, parents and the teachers.
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Step 1: Why
Education is the most important and powerful instrument to shape and mould the individual and society in a desirable manner. Any modification brought about in the behaviour of an individual as a result of his interaction with the inner self and outer world constitutes learning. The history of the world proves that education has been at the base for any change encompassing the social, cultural, spiritual, political and economic aspects of human life. It is education, which not only transforms the ordinary human being into a rational human personality but also prepares and develops him to grow and adjust with the surroundings.
Life is not like a straight line, one cannot assume the length of a straight line. There will be ups and downs, making the assumption totally wrong. Real life day to day problems requires a healthy mind, patience, stability, clarity of concepts and logics. If those are not there, how do we expect them to overcome problems that they will face in future? This research aims to analyse some of the factors that contribute to these problems by providing viable solution.
Background and Context
Development of technical and vocational education is quite unsatisfactory in primary schools. In many of the subjects being taught in early stages of primary school, the understanding of the logic and concept behind it is unclear hence creating a negative impact. Without the understanding the logics and concepts in the early stages of primary school, it makes a negative impact on the student and overall to the world that they will create. Education has always been an area for improvement, changes have to made and are required for each generation. After field visits and talking to people involving in education sector, it was crystal clear that one cannot teach someone the same way, how they were taught 50 years ago. During the field visits it was clear that the hands-on material, working models, interaction models were there but were out of reach for children, education can be made much more fun and easy to comprehend if the models are being used in the hands of children.
1. How can we bring clarity in subject to improve their understanding of the subject?
2. Why don’t children ask questions? Even when the teacher says so?
1. To make learning more fun by applying subject’s logics in real life situations.
2. To build collaborative relationship amongst designers and teachers to enhance the study material and learning experience.
The analysis is based on reports, analytical, quantitative research papers, TedTalks, people involved in education sector. Reading research paper to observe idea implementations that have been done in education sector. Analysing these observations will help create and priorities the area of improvement and implementation for new methods that need immediate intervention. Following this, ideation, prototyping and user testing will be done on the chosen area of intervention.
Step 2: Field Visits
Visits were made to government primary school located in suggappa layout, east colony, yelahanka, Bangalore, India. The school is situated near a highly busy bus stand called, NES bus stop. Looking out for school entrance is difficult as it is right on the main road which also makes parking big vehicles quite a bit of challenge. The school does have a small parking space but it’s mainly a 2-wheeler area. The main gate of the school is from where you enter in the vehicle followed by a ground which is constantly used by kids and then the parking slot is located a few meters ahead. Talking with students during the break time, we learnt that students often go outside on the main road and teachers or even other senior students have to bring them in as there is no security guard present at the gate. Considering the location of the school and students being left alone to do whatever they want is very serious and dangerous. The strength of the school was low as most of the students attend the school only for the mid-day meal. As soon as they are done, they leave for helping their parents or to take care of their young sibling at home. The school itself looked like a jail, with all the barricades running with the corridor right next to the class room. It was a shame as it was not being used as the children were getting out of the school with no problem.
During my visits the school was distributing cloth material for the uniform with the help of volunteer students. The bundle of wrapped clothing was all spread out in the narrow corridor which made difficult for students to pass, it was might have been looked chaotic but It worked like a piece of cake, the communication with the teacher and the helping students was pretty good, even in a noisy place they were able to understand what the leader wanted sometimes just by reading their faces. As we visited during the break hours, we were told to wait inside the computer lab for a while where we got to see the exercising the books they have been using and the computers that were available. The books were in different language but the content of the books and the way it was displayed in the books was right on spot as we were able to understand what was the exercise about. The keyboards however didn’t look like they were much used, as they keyboard keys were not at all oily which happens when you use the keyboard daily even for a short period of time. Although the computer lab did have a backup power just in case if there was an electricity cut. After waiting there for a while we were companied by the staff and made a visit to the science lab where all the cool stuff was kept, the quantity and the quality of the science experiment was just enough considering the strength of the school and well maintained respectively. Judging by the quality of the science experiments, they were expensive and took some time and resources to build. The working models however seemed like they were never touched before but were degraded because of the weather and transportation and so were the computers, they were just collecting dust.
During the I-IV class sitting, the students were excited to see someone new other than the teachers. Teacher began teaching and some of the students were so energetic because of having someone new in the class room, that they were performing really well to show us that what they know. While some other students were absent minded as we all are during some point in the day. During the visit, the school had combined the I-III classes together because of which we got to see how the elder students took care of the young ones, the classroom was every dirty when we were about to enter maybe because of raining happening during that month, so this one girl took responsibility of cleaning the classroom by herself. The way she took care of it was pretty amazing, she even took care of the dust under the shelf and all the small places one could imagine, not even the house cleaner are so dedicated to the job the way she was. Judging by the number of students there should have been considering that 3 classes were mixed, may were either absent or had left after the mid-day meal. The overall strength of the class was 24 which is 80% number of students in a typical class room. And it’s way low considering three class room were merged but I guess it worked out as the school was understaffed and the teacher couldn’t have possibly handled all the students all at once. Sometime the teacher had to use a steel scale on the students to bring order in the class. The way the teacher was teaching was the same way I was taught 15 years ago by speaking out load and making children repeat all together in the class. Each generation have different mind-set, different things to interact with, different surrounding situation, after field visits and talking to people involving in education sector, it was crystal clear that one cannot teach someone the same way, how they used to teach 50 years ago.
Step 3: Educational Area and Product Area of Focus
John Dewey believed that human beings learn through a hands-on approach. He believed that students must interact with their environment in order to adopt and learn, he felt the same idea was true for teachers and that teachers and student must learn together. Model based learning is essentials as there are many things that cannot be taught by books. In today’s examination, all students have to do is, remember what they did for a particular period of time and repeat all that in 3 hours but this time with new sets of question. If the concept is clear, it makes life more easy (what the topper does) to remember the stuff, otherwise you will end up in mugging up (what the topper and failure does). If the students can see the use of logics and formulae that they learn in class in real life then it makes the logic clear as of now, in school, we don’t get to know where to use these formulae and logics in real life. Research has shown people remember objects with which they had physical interaction. Look it at this way – we all do remember scenes from the movies we have watched even after so many years, would it be still the same case if the movies were explained as what is current, voltage and resistance? We remember the toys we had in our childhood, its functionality, its texture, its size, its weight, its smell, its quality, do we remember how the teacher taught us alphabets?
In India, from my father’s time (when he was a student) to present, not a lot have changed. Everything is still taught in the same way, maths is still being taught like it’s the god, you must treat it with respect by putting an equals sign when you continue to solve a problem in next line. In physics case its more of a word play thing, instead of teaching the logic, book will explain in the toughest language they know, let’s take buoyance or buoyant force, it is the force exerted on an object that is wholly or partly immersed in a fluid. Teachers don’t explain where is this force coming from, what kind of force is this, is this a torsional force or is it a gravitational force or is it a frictional force? They won’t teach how is this force being generated in the first place, they will just read it out making it difficult to comprehend.
There are many methods that I have observed from my school visits and from my time when I was a student in school. The most common one is Aural, which the name tells it all, teacher reads out a word, paragraph, table and then the whole class repeats after the teacher. Visual in which pictures or videos are shown. Verbal learning by speaking and writing exercises. Physical in which they learn by touch. Logical – learns by logic and reasoning. Most of the schools don’t have a hands-on approach even when they (school) have labs with wonderful models which no one is allowed to touch. Most common methods are listed above although there are companies that are trying to incorporate learning with hands-on interactive games. They are being recognized but by a very few individuals as hands on learning is something which is not taken seriously in India. It’s like a revolution, it will happen eventually but it will take time, just like how India got its independence.
Step 4: Explorations and Experimentations
Initial idea was to make separate products for each topic but was later discontinued and all in one product was taken as the new direction for the production. Materials that I have experimented on for the kit in 3d printing are PLA (Polylactic Acid) and ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene).
PLA - because its cheap and most popular 3d printing filament available and prints without any issue such as warping and can be printed at low temperatures without causing much stress on the extruder and the power supply of the 3d printer without requiring a heated bed.
Other material I tried printing was ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, ranks as the second most popular 3D printer filament), ABS is actually moderately superior to PLA.
With respect to its material properties, despite being slightly more difficult to print with. It’s for this reason that ABS is found in many manufactured household and consumer goods, including LEGO bricks and bicycle helmets.
If the setting of the 3d printer are not tuned-in for example for the first layer adhesion, the print will eventually warp and fail. Not only that, if the temperature around the printer itself has a huge difference, then also the print will warp and fail. So, it’s necessary to build an enclosure for the printer to keep the temperature constant, again this all is done when you tune the printer and make it fool proof to avoid failed prints. Tuning the 3d printer takes a lot of time and effort for ABS as it prints on much higher temperature then PLA, 240°C and 180°C respectively.
Products made of ABS boast high durability and a capacity to withstand high temperatures, but the filament’s high printing temperature, tendency to warp during cooling, and intense fumes requires a well heated bed and in a well-ventilated space which makes the filament less preferable.
Printing flat and simple parts on a 3d printer was not worth it, as printing flat parts takes a lot of time and filament, so that’s where my experimentation with the laser cutter comes in. All flat parts were laser cut in order to save time and the filament and cost of the product.
Step 5: Making
Here are some of the pictures that showcase the kit.
Instead of giving a manual in the kit, I decided to make a flip-book from the assembling animation I did on fusion 360, which also shows how animation and videos work.
Step 6: Final Product
The kit explains students these topics; friction, slopes, inclines, material science, simple machine, gravity, motion, balance, gears, alignment, circles, lines, problem solving skills by giving them the total authority to assemble it from scratch using pieces provided in the kit. These are some of the topics that are being covered in this version of the kit, these topics can be extended to any limit by the creator’s community as the kit grows with the student.
The kit teaches how different combinations of gears lead to different energy output.
The files (3D model) will be open sourced, which means anyone can download and modify them and improve on it as they wish. Being open source, it’s not just a kit made by one individual but driven by the creators that are passionate about making a change in the world, millions and millions of minds coming together to make something, which is always an improvement on the previous version. The creators will be supported by their patreons. However, the kit is not the end for the students, the kit is a medium to inspire and spark a wick of curiosity to continue to build skills upon, for example; student who started with the kit will now be an active creator for such products, may be they were thrilled and inspired by the kit that they went on learning the 3d modelling software’s on YouTube, which is filled by content created by creators that are supported by their patreons. Not only the student learnt software’s but may be he also learnt many of the life changing qualities such as, patience, stability, problem solving skills, time management, resilience, persistence, goal oriented, creativity etc.
The kit consists of 3d printed parts, laser cut parts, rubber bands, manual and some extra miscellaneous parts. The basic working is very simple, There are a series of gears, in 3 stages. The 1st stage gear is connected to a shaft in order to provide hand motion. 2nd stage gear is held by adjusting arms(3d printed), these arms are made so that the user can interchange the 2nd stage gear to different diameter gears while meshing with the 1st and 3rd stage gears.
The smaller gear then rotates the dc dynamo motor which produces enough energy to light a small LED.
Step 7: Conclusion
The point of this undertaking was inventive instructing and dynamic learning, to comprehend why it isn't increasingly pervasive, why it ought to be and how to arrive. Optional examine disclosed to me that Mathematics and science is a point of agony to understudies all things considered, and essential inquire about affirmed this, while giving me more understanding into why this is and shouldn't something be said about math understudies like and aversion. Science is one of the most testing subjects in a scholarly setting just as, all things considered, for a large number of reasons going from its degree of powers, movement to detached showing strategies, causing a course of cataclysmic setbacks in the realm of understanding the subject.
Existing Manipulatives work well overall; a few parts require included instructing or an elevated level of intelligence. A few packs based thoughts later, a rain water gathering unit has been built up, that draws motivation from the progression of cash, and consolidates territories, volume, movement, power, pressure, that understudies of the individual grades learn. The pack acclimates understudies with joints, power and confounding expressions of the logical world, getting a great deal of thoughts by the assistance of makers around the globe that help building up this unit, being an open source venture.
Step 8: Files
The project is in progress, there are some mistakes in the Model which can be worked out using sanding tools etc. For the time being I wont suggest to make one for yourself.
If you do make one, I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestion to make this kit more enjoyable.
Participated in the