Archive for the ‘Science Experiments’ Category

Innovation Galore!

There’s innovative and interesting teaching and learning happening in so many different ways in RDF schools. Despite running for 23 years, the creativity we see in our classrooms and outside them too, never ceases to amaze us!

The exquisitely cut peepal leaf map

Nikhil sir’s chalk stupa in the news!

In Rollakal School, teacher Nikhil has gained local renown for his expertise in micro arts. While studying  B.Ed, he made 2 oxen with ragadi soil that looked lifelike! He did this project to honour rural India and symbolize that the farmer is the back bone of India. He has also made chalk engravings such as the Stupa of Telangana Martyrs and the 2019 Cricket World Cup. On India’s 73rd Independence Day celebrations in the school, he cut the map of India on a Peepal leaf which looks fantastic! Our students are thrilled to learn these art forms from him & understand how art can also create employment.

Girls, leading & teaching a class

In Redlawada School, the Class 9 students in have created a system to learn independently when a teacher is absent. Two students select the subject and topic, with one doing the reading and the other writing the important points on the board. We are proud of their ability to self organize and take responsibility for their education, engage proactively and feel empowered to lead!

All attention, as students listen to football instructions

In Matendla School, the Class 9 Hindi teacher created a very interesting lesson on Football, which was in the syllabus, by actually organizing a football match for the students! So excited did this news make the kids, that they raised the money to purchase a shiny, new football! The Physical Education Teacher was brought on board to explain the rules and show them how to play. It was a wonderful day of play and learning as the boys and girls played together, learnt about team spirit, discipline, motivation and practice!

The ‘Quick Cleaner’, at work!

In the RDF VAPV Junior College, who knew that studying in the corridor and watching the sweeper try unsuccessfully to clear out the rain water, would lead to a creative burst? This is what happened with Venkatesh who wondered how to create a cleaner that could sweep out the water using less manpower and less time? As an avid Physics student, he drew models for feedback from the Principal. With his encouragement and funding, he quickly came up with a working model which was demonstrated to the teachers and students. With more design inputs, the college now has a ‘Quick Cleaner’ which has made life so much easier. Necessity is indeed the mother of invention!

The staff and students indeed make studying in RDF schools a wonderful world!

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Empowered Learning

One of the great sources of gratification for us is to see students having fun with their learning. Several research studies have shown that retention is high when the learner is engaged and interested in the content. Engagement and interest creation is something that RDF teachers are dedicated to, through their own passion for teaching and attending many training programmes to enhance teaching and learning methods. So to us, children having fun means that the teachers are having fun too!

Science subjects are generally seen as tough subjects to understand. However, when the textual learning is supported by practical application through experiments, then visual learning leads to understanding. We’ve seen time and again, students taking to experimenting on their own when a concept becomes clear to them.

Abinay, a Class 9 student of Rollakal School loves coming to school. He loves Science and often looks at growing his understanding in innovative ways. He recently prepared an activity for class to demonstrate the structure of particles in solids and liquids. He used ordinary, everyday materials such as thermocol, empty bottles of various shapes and sizes and fevicol to prepare his model. This was a self initiated activity, one that he enjoyed doing and preparing for his classmates.

This attitude to learning and a desire to share his learning with others is what makes us so happy. ‘Learning is Fun’ is a mantra we abide by and thank our teachers who understand the unique challenges in rural education and go to great lengths to create a teaching environment that inspires our rural children.

Going the Extra Mile for Extracurricular Activities!

For most educational institutions, extracurricular activities is seen as something outside of regular school work; academics is given greater importance. However, in RDF, we believe that learning happens when it’s fun, therefore we place a lot of emphasis on extracurricular activities too, as the achievements and successes from such activities spill over into all areas of a child’s life, which is what we would like to see!

Our extracurricular activities encompass a gamut such as art/craft, reading/writing, sports and indoor games, poetry and elocution, experiments, with a big dose of fun! Our teachers are trained to spot skills and talents in children, even if they surface in small ways because small doesn’t mean insignificant! This foundation is created right from the time the child starts in our schools. With the encouragement and care of teachers, these children become confident in themselves and their abilities which allows them to face challenges in other areas of their lives too.

In Redlawada School, the teachers spend a considerable amount of time to thoughtfully plan extracurricular activities, so the ‘extra’ effort doesn’t feel like effort! They’ve seen how the smallest of accomplishments or even acknowledgement goes a long way in building self esteem and help students focus on their goals with greater clarity. The sense of play and building interest creates a nurturing environment in the school, which everyone thrives in. Our biggest testament is that the kids enjoy coming to school and interacting with their teachers.

This holistic, whole life education is appreciated by the parent community too, who feel happy that their children are doing well, supported admirably by their dedicated teachers!

Celebrating National Science Day

National  Science Day created a flurry of activity in Rollakal School! It is celebrated to mark the discovery of the Raman Effect by renowned physicist, Sir C.V. Raman. The Science teachers started the day with a commemorative ceremony, speaking about his work , especially the Raman Effect.

Students worked hard on preparing Science experiments and exhibits and proudly demonstrated their scientific knowledge. The Science teachers conducted a Quiz competition which drew great enthusiasm from the students. It was great to see them thoughtfully responding to the questions and having fun!

Overall, it was a day to understand the vital role played by Science and Technology in our lives, its importance in education and what is required to bring about innovative solutions to everyday issues, by harnessing the power of Science.

Cooking up Solutions!

The innovation bubbling away in RDF schools blows us away and we can’t help but share, with pride, the effort being made by these children to give their all to their education. Innovations in Science is an area that our kids are doing well in. On theoccasion of National Science Day, Class 8 students from Redlawada School create a Solar Rice Cooker from scratch and using only waste and recycled material!

They recycled waste material such as discarded wood panel, a spare tiffin box and silver paper. The tiffin box was painted black to create more heat. A simple device like this is very useful for rural people as it’s simple to put together and low cost. It doesn’t require power and by just placing it in sunlight, it can cook the rice, while going about their daily work.

Rooted in their reality, this is precisely the kind of innovation that is need to bring real solutions to rural people. We are so proud that our students think about the problems being faced by their communities and look for ways to help them. It also builds their scientific enquiry and temperament, helping them focus on design thinking and being creative.

Here’s to Healthy Living!

Mounisha (L), explaining the theory of natural and healthy living

Mounisha, a 2nd Year BPC student at the RDF VAPV Junior College, has been providing nutritional coaching to her friends, after learning about harmful chemical additives in fruit. A Chemistry lesson on how chemicals impact the nature of fruits and soil, in turn harming our health and Iives had a profound impact on her. She says, “My teacher explained about the number of chemical being used in growing vegetables and fruits – that the fruits, vegetables and chicken are contaminated. I was concered about this and explained to my friends how eating such produce impacts our health and our future negatively. I took my friends to the Chemistry lab and explained this to them in a practical way.”

“I came up with a list of ‘Do’s and Don’ts for my friends and the community, which are” –

 Don’t:

  • Don’t drink cold drinks. It pollutes our bodies and the environment
  • Don’t eat fruits and vegetables sprayed with chemical fertilizers, pesticides etc.
  • Don’t eat boiler chicken

Do’s:

  • Drink coconut water
  • Eat naturally grown fruits and vegetables, that have been grown without use of chemicals
  • Cook vegetables using natural ingredients
  • Eat free roaming, natural country chicken (Natu Kodi)

The practical lesson!

Mounisha’s friends took her message to heart and have agreed to spread this awareness in their communities about eating natural foods and avoiding the use and consumption of produce grown with chemicals. We are very proud to see Mounisha making an empowered decision not just for her health, but those of her friends, their families and the extended community too! We hope that her concern and practical solutions find its way into many homes, enabling them to make healthier choices and lead healthier lives.

More than a breath of fresh air!

Summer is in full swing and the heat gets to everyone – young and old. Areas where RDF schools are located are some of the hottest in Telangana. Air conditioning is simply not an option for people living in rural areas, but everyone has an intense desire to have access to cooling.

Students, assembling the materials & taking stock

However, Lady Luck was on our side! Synchrony Financial, a multinational organisation that has been supporting RDF in areas such as English development, Computer skills enhancement, soft skills and job skills training, on site in Kalleda School as well in their Hyderabad Head Office decided to recruit students of Classes 8 & 9 from Kalleda School to develop a clever cooling system that does not need electricity! The icing on the cake was that this cooler can be built from common waste materials such as empty plastic cold drink bottles – talk about being environmentally friendly and recycling plastic!

Hard at work, assembling the Eco Coolers

In just 3 months, Synchrony Financial and the Kalleda School students prepared smart, powerless air conditioners called ‘Eco Coolers’. The  method to make an Eco Cooler is fairly simple.  A board is cut to fit the desired window size and bottle neck sized holes are cut out in a grid pattern on the body of the plastic bottle. The neck of the plastic bottle is cut off and discarded, leaving funnel shaped bottle necks that are placed on the grid.  The Eco Cooler is fit into the window. When mounted, the wider port of the bottle faces outward and catches the passing wind, literally funnelling cool air into the house. It has the ability to bring the temperature down by as much as 5 degrees celcius!

..And they’re ready!

This was an electrifying project (pun unintended) for our students who were able to enhance their thinking and creative capacities and learnt how to make an innovative system, perfect for summer and taking into consideration the financial constraints of rural communities. In addition, it was an excellent enterprise in recycling waste materials and doing something positive for their community and the country too. This was such an enriching experience for everyone involved! While initially, students had to spend some time collecting the bottles and understanding how to make them, they slowly picked up and were able to make several of them!

We are so blessed that Synchrony Financial gave our students the opportunity to create a locally produced system and providing them with the necessary skills that empowered them to do something so productive for themselves and rural people. We are very grateful to the team at Synchrony Financial and so proud of our students’ new skills in innovation and social responsibility!