– This blog piece has been submitted by Ms. Revathi Menon – a School Transformation Lead at MANTRA.
As I enter 7th ‘A’, my attention falls on Maaz, a chirpy enthusiastic kid, blowing his lungs out into a piece of straw. I shot a glance at the rest of the room only to find a bunch of other kids doing a similar action; another set of kids were making tiny holes in their tiny straws and trying to squeeze in another straw through it. I look around for the teacher; she was silently observing the class. My attention is then suddenly disturbed by a strong yet calm voice saying “are you doing it correctly”, and from the crowd, I see a tall, thin gentleman rise from the bench where he was seated and he was smiling amongst all the chaos and clearly happy with all the attention he was receiving.
Suddenly, Nadiya runs up to me and squeals with excitement “ma’am, look my toy is working.!” and dips her straw into a glass of water and blows from the other end and the toy squirts out some water in a circular motion that seemed like a sprinkler to me. A few of her friends gathered around her to examine the toy and questioned her on how it worked so perfectly! Nadiya replied with a clear hint of pride in her tone, “did you not see sir place the straws? The angle needs to be right, come I will help you” and she goes skipping with her friends tailing behind her.
This is just one of the many happy classroom stories. Science classes have gone through a radical change in the school. Gone are the days where science classes were all about the million definitions, the book back exercises and neat note books. The school always had a vision to provide a holistic education to children and Mantra envisions to make this a reality, hence Partnering with Innovation and Science Promotion Foundation (ISPF), we have found the perfect way to make the science classes come alive in the classroom.
ISPF is a foundation that helps children learn the various concepts of science through their various toys. They set up labs in school where they provide all the materials required to make these toys. They conduct regular ongoing training sessions with the teachers to map the curriculum with the toys and help them with instructional support.
Someone once said, “Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge”. Science cannot be contained within the four walls of the classroom or in their textbooks, science makes sense when a child is allowed to experience it. With the involvement of ISPF in the classrooms, science now seems like a fun class to be in.
To Quote Shabir (a student), “ma’am lets have 2 periods of science everyday”.
Now this is where I see my purpose of education.