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2016 - 2017, Issue - 2                                www.anubhavasciencefoundation.org
 https://www.facebook.com/AnubhavaScienceFoundation/
 
Anubhava Science Foundation (ASF) is a Charitable Trust registered in 2008. ASF envisions to enrich Science and Mathematics education in Karnataka schools. ASF has been granted 80(G)(vi)(Act 1961) enabling donors to claim income tax benefits.
"Teacher Enrichment Programme" - by Anubhava Science Foundation (ASF) in collaboration with Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology (KSCST)

Teacher Enrichment programme is a one year course for in-service middle school government and aided science teachers to enrich teaching-learning of science focusing on the subject matter in depth, pedagogy of science teaching, creation of science curricular resources and science of life.

July month update

Leaps and bounds as Life evolved

It was the natural next step after exploring the world of atoms, molecules and elements to proceed into the evolution of life in the four billion year long history of the planet. The essential chemical reactions were skipped for the next session due to more immediate semester requirements of biology.

But not before the class was taken through a mind-boggling journey down the billion and million concepts. Kshama explained how it takes 12 days to add up 1 million seconds and 33 years to make 1 billion seconds. She also gave another example using the number of letters in a book to drive home the stupendous scale of million and billion.

Taking over the class Geetha Arvind then traced the billion years of evolution of life from nucleic acids to the 1.9 million species on the planet today. She took the class of 40 teachers through the various eras and periods and the life forms that put in an appearance, sometimes disappeared and at times flourished.

Beginning with single-celled prokaryotic cells like bacteria 3.8 bn years ago and the start of photosynthesis to multicellular life a billion years later, to fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, dinosaurs and then the mammals 200 million years ago, to finally primates, apes, great apes and finally humans, gorillas and chimps, the class heard about Proterozoic era, Paleozoic era, Mesozoic era to the present Cenozoic era and the various periods they were further classified into.

At the end of the session, a participant quipped, “What will we evolve into next?” while another curious one wanted to check if what he heard on TV was correct – that humans evolved from pigs and this has been a well kept secret!

From humans, the class then went on to learn about cells, tissues, organs and various systems. Here they saw how every system in the body is interconnected and works in tandem. The vital processes of diffusion, osmosis and active transport were demonstrated using illustrations and experiments.

Bhama Sridharan was ready with potatoes, some cooked and some raw, a few spoons of salt and sugar and water. Osmosis was demonstrated in the uncooked ones with salt or sugar, showing how water moves up to equalize the concentration of the solvent above and below.

The class ended in another session on Mathematics with Kshama developing an algebraic expression for number of sticks used in pictures of increasing number of squares. The participants then learnt to frame algebraic expressions for rectangles drawn on a sheet marked with evenly/unevenly spaced dots.

Both a pre-test and post-test was conducted before and after the class, as also the 10 minute breathing-based meditation. Assignments given after the first session were collected for evaluation and the teachers quizzed on how many had implemented the learnings at school for Class 5. Barring a couple of them who could not use it as they were handling class 6 or 7, most others expressed satisfaction with their lessons. “I was able to teach without the text book” “I was able to explain the concept first and then give names of definition” “I felt more confident now” “The masala dosa game for factors and multiples was a big hit with children”…. went the feedback.


August month update

Third month, sixth session. We were going in with extra zeal and enthusiasm, as well as extra preparation. The first 2 months had given us an idea about how the course was heading, the response from teachers to the programme and their reaction to assignments and worksheets. We went in this time with personalised reports to teachers about their performance and progress so far, to give them an idea about how they are performing and telling them also that we were recording minute details about their interaction with us and engagement with the programme.

By 8.45 am there were about 20 teachers who had already assembled for the 9 am session. By 9.10 am all 43 teachers were in the room, a contrast from the first 2 months where teachers were seen walking in at 10 am as well. One teacher mentioned that the matter module came out beautifully in her class and her students enjoyed the topic and the experiments. Another teacher mentioned that she was able to teach atoms well to grades 5 and 6 after the session here. Yet another said that the potato experiment (for osmosis) came out well in class and students enjoyed it. The fact that teachers were going back to class and trying out the experiments, changing their lesson plans to teach differently was indeed heart- warming.

After the post tests for previous topics and pre- test for the current topic, the session started with a recap of atoms, atomic structure and moved to electronic configuration, periodic table, metals and non- metals. The session saw complete engagement from the teachers with questions and doubts being raised about why electrons change their governing rule in the M shell and the realisation that they may have been teaching incorrectly to students about it. It was pleasantly surprising to note their reaction when the Lewis Dot Structure of bonding between atoms was introduced. Though this is not part of their syllabus and teachers were not aware about it, they showed keen interest in learning and understanding what it was, clearing doubts in other examples where it had to be represented, putting aside the general notion that teachers do not want to take in anything extra or not pertaining to their syllabus and teaching.

The maths session on powers and exponents started with an image of 3 trees that branch out in 2s, trying to bring out a pattern among them and seeing powers of 2 in nature. The idea about the need for exponents and the notation was brought out from here. The household example of folding a saree (demonstrated with a dupatta) that shows powers of 2 was met with a lot of enthusiasm. The session covered positive and negative exponents, the meaning of 0 as an exponent, laws of exponents and fractional exponents.

Simple projects to develop scientific thinking, hypothesis generation, observation, tabulation, recording and concluding were discussed and teachers were allowed to choose one of them to work on and submit their work in 2 months. The session saw a lot of laughter and fun among the teachers as well as the facilitators while the experiments were being discussed, without losing the essence of the discussion, showing the friendly relationship among all and a relaxed atmosphere around.

The final session was on mind maps where teachers were divided into groups and asked to discuss the mind map for one topic. Geetha gave them pointers on how it could be done and what needs attention (drawing in from the experience of having gone through the submissions and noticing some gaps). The group discussions were followed by a mind map represented on the board with contribution from all the groups, with discussions when something was agreed or disagreed upon by others. The exercise saw teachers understanding the subtleties in the various connections and the possibilities of other forms of maps than their own based on the way one is thinking. Surprisingly, no one complained that it was already 4.30 pm, half an hour past the closing time of the session!

All in all, it was a very positive session mainly from the responses from the teachers and it could not have come at a better time to catapult the course higher and fill us with more enthusiasm and passion to achieve greater success for the programme.

- Kshama Chakravarthy


My Anubhava

"ಪರಮಾಣು ಪಾಠದಲ್ಲಿ ಎಲೆಕ್ಟ್ರಾನ್ ಗಳ ವರ್ಗಾವಣೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಎಲೆಕ್ಟ್ರಾನ್ ಕಳೆದುಕೊಂಡ ಧಾತುˌ ದಾನ ಮಾಡಿದ್ಡರಿಂದ ಧನ ಆವೇಶ ಹೊಂದುತ್ತದೆ. ಪಡೆದುಕೊಂಡ ಧಾತು ಋಣ ಆವೇಶ ಹೊಂದುತ್ತದೆ. ಎಂದಷ್ಟೆ ತಿಳಿದಿತ್ತು. ಹಾಗೆ ವಿವರಣೆ ನೀಡುತ್ತಿದ್ದೆ. ಆದರೆ ಎಲೆಕ್ಟ್ರಾನ್ ಕಳೆದುಕೊಂಡ ಧಾತುವಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಒಂದು ಎಲೆಕ್ಟ್ರಾನ್ ಕಡಿಮೆಯಾಗಿˌ ಪ್ರೋಟಾನ್ ಸಂಖ್ಯೆಹೆಚ್ಚಾಗುವುದರಿಂದ ಆ ಧಾತು ಧನ ಆವೇಶವಾಗುತ್ತದೆ. ಎಲೆಕ್ಟ್ರಾನ್ ಪಡೆದುಕೊಂಡ ಧಾತುವಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಪ್ರೋಟಾನ್ ಗಿಂತ ಎಲೆಕ್ಟ್ರಾನ್ ಸಂಖ್ಯೆ ಹೆಚ್ಚಾಗುವುದರಿಂದ ಅದು ಋಣ ಆವೇಶ ಹೊಂದುತ್ತದೆ. ಎಂಬ ವಿವರಣೆಯು ನಿಜಕ್ಕೂ ಸಮಂಜಸವಾಗಿದೆ. ಈ ಪಾಠ ಮಾಡುವಾಗ ಮಕ್ಕಳಿಗೆ ತುಂಬಾ ಸರಳವಾಗಿ ಅರ್ಥವಾಯಿತು. ಈ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ವಿಷಯ ತಿಳಿಸಿಕೊಟ್ಟ ತಮಗೆ ಅಭಿನಂದನೆಗಳು. Hats off to you Madam."
- Renukappa, Course participant
 
"I had a very good experience today in my class .I had made a mind map,as u always said about the flow, the flow was perfect.I thank you for helping us improve our teaching ability.
I conducted the potato experiment and it came out very well and children enjoyed it "  - Raffat Unissa, Course participant

Click here to read ASF Newsletter 2016 - 17, Issue 1

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