Auroville Foundation - STEM Land and Resource Center

Project Brief: The goal of STEM Land is to work towards a culture of Math and Science that is through context and helps children develop abstract thinking, patient problem solving and logical thinking. This is done in part with the meaningful use of technology.
Project Type: Resource Centers (description)
Primary Focus: creating resources (description)

Secondary Focus: remedial education

Area: Rural
Supporting Chapter Contact: Bangalore
Status: completed - sustainable
Project Steward: Atrei Ghosh
Project Partner(s): Sanjeev Ranganathan
Other Contacts:
Project Address: , STEM Land, Udavi School,Edayanchavadi Village, Auroville,Edayanchavadi village,
TAMIL NADU  605101
Tel: 8940262969
Stewarding Chapter: Bangalore
Oct 2019BangaloreUSD 7647
Sep 2019BangaloreUSD 3690
Nov 2018BangaloreUSD 3328
Jul 2017BangaloreUSD 3797
Jan 2017BangaloreUSD 3790
Sep 2016BangaloreUSD 2098

Total = $24350

The primary work at STEM land would be to engage the children and tap into their interest in technology to help them learn. Some aspects of technology driven STEM work would be
1) Programming
2) Programming hardware to interact with the real world - arduino; makey, makey; finch.
3) Apps using sensors of cellphones
4) Creating active models e.g. Arvind Gupta toys, bigshot cameras
5) Electronics hobby workshop – building small electronic projects, like buzzers based primarily on hardware
6) Electronics repair shop – repairing broken down equipment of salvaging components
As an active space of learning and tinkering will provide children a choice of being individual or group self- directed learners or taking up challenges with an adult directed learning. The focus will be on creating projects both physical and virtual and getting into problem solving.
The space will be available to outreach schools of Auroville, but not limited to them. Schools can enroll to the common space while providing an adult (teacher) who is interested in contributing to the concept. This will add to the adults engaged in these activities and in time create a community of adults who may have their own skills to contribute and activities to continue to transform their schools and spaces. Home schoolers can engage with the space by providing a parent from their group who is interested in STEM. The idea will be to hold multi-grade classrooms to allow active peer learning among children. There will be some effort to mix children from different backgrounds from in Auroville and from the villages around Auroville while being engaged in serious learning. There will be no observers, only participants.

Stem land will work actively on enrolling and providing access to children of AV and outreach schools reach the center.
Broad expenses required are for creation of the space, for equipment, tools, learning materials, games, etc described earlier. We would need to engage a school bus to transport children from various schools to STEMLand. Given the four people involved will be on part time basis, support for additional 2 full time staff members. The success of the project will be if parents, educators, teachers, children all partner to ensure active use of the facilities.

A technology unit that follows unending education and trains graduates to be effective in electronic design, layout, automation and hands on work
A business activity capable of providing livelihood of local youth and financially support community (Auroville Unity Fund, Auroville Maintenance and Reach for the Stars programs)
A group where every group member works with children and schools(3 hrs a day) to fill an essential gap of constructivist learning that can help children be to be patient, creative, problem solvers. The constructivist paradigm allows children learn by discovery, building and creating both physically and virtually
Builds community, provides mentoring of youth and creates youth role models who earn a livelihood while learning, growing and teaching