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MIT’s Interconnected Embedded System

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Technology has been in a climb that never stopped, every 18 months its power doubles. We ought to know and keep ourselves updated. As luck would have it, MIT’s Interconnected Embedded System workshop was announced open. After, going through different question the application form was finally completed. Out of approx. 120 like us, we got through the application process and buckled up for the journey ahead of us. The workshop kicked off on 27th July 2017 for a six week long journey at Karkhana.

Workshop was pre-designed by experts, from setting up websites for course resources to managing the desk arrangement in class. The workshop was planned to run for 3-4 hours a day with two days in a week. During the inception of the workshop, we were introduced to our mentors- Mr. Ashim Sitoula and Mr. Prayush Bijukchhe- who later on gave wonderful insight on Internet Of Things (IOT).It was a delightful session which gave us an opportunity to take one of our very first steps on building I.O.T.

During the first week, we familiarized ourselves with breadboard and connection of the teensy (our main micro-controller) with Organic LED and microphone. We connected Wi-fi module to our system in the following week. The outcome till date was outstanding, by giving a voice input to system, we could display it in text which was decoded with the help of Google API. In our next class, we discussed about the concepts in cryptography and developed python programs to code and decode a message. Moreover, we learnt to use Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) device and connection between client and server. Finally, we learnt to pin point our location with the help of GPS module and parsing algorithm.

With our workshop nearing its end, we were given an opportunity to showcase our skill and knowledge that we had collected in the past six week. After intense training and guidance, we were now capable of building our own embedded systems. We were ought to build something productive which could make our lives easier. Now, we had to present our project on Karkhana Mela which was scheduled on 23rdSeptember 2017. Both of us worked every hour we could in making an interconnected system that had multiple application. Some salient features of our system were: displaying Weather, GPS, and peer location. We had been burning the candles at both end to get the program debugged.

Finally, our final code and model was ready. We executed the code and watched it run impeccably, making it a permanent memory in our brain cell. By connecting to the internet through WiFi module, we could display current weather. Not only we could obtain our location but also could share locations to peer. For protection of our system, we even designed our own acrylic casing; made possible through laser cutting technology.  During the Mela, we presented our working with attractive big colorful papers reflecting our work. During five hour long fair, we had received many good wishes and praises for our work. Everyone was supportive and filled us with more enticing suggestions. Some of them even recommended us to use VHF and CDMA to improve our system range.

Overall, the project gave an enriching experience to us and was mesmerized in every way. In addition to learning about the I.O.T system, we also learned valuable life skills such as time management, research and team work. It was one of the most productive time we had ever spent. Not to mention, we also got a chance to meet and be part of an intellectual committee that spends every second of their day building their creative creations focused to make our daily life simpler.

– Anubhav Sharma & Oskar K. Shrestha

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Sports’ Day 2017- Mamina rants

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6th December, 2017 is my scariest day at Karkhana till date. I didn’t see a ghost, I didn’t get hit by a truck, I wasn’t ghosted by anyone. It wasn’t because I broke someone’s heart. It wasn’t because someone else broke my heart. It was because I was scared.

Starting off the day by going through the gallis of Ason and getting things ready for the Sports’ Day after coming at Karkhana, the day had a good start unlike most days. There we were prepping up for this and that and what not. Carrying tables on top of our heads, getting our hands covered with the white cement, making sure the riddles were ready and so were the treasures. It was a mixture- of rush, of excitement, of anxiousness, of memories, of challenge and  of determination.

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An inside story: From the classrooms

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If you even remember bits and pieces of your school days, you might certainly remember that one particular student in your class who would rarely say these things out loud, but always behave in certain ways that would hint at: “I don’t like to talk to anyone”, “I will just stare at the wall all day”, “ Why do we have group projects?” and so forth. Here, I am speaking of those particular students who found it difficult to ask for the teachers’ help even if they were having a lot of trouble understanding what was being taught. Here, I am also speaking of myself – a good decade old me.

I recently went to Olympia World School for a classroom observation. As our BC teacher Ms. Sangden began her class on “LED and Craft” with an interesting story, I was looking keenly at the students- watching their expressions change, listening as the room filled with a little laughter. I noticed a student sitting alone at a desk that could easily fit in 4 students. I did not wonder why. Seeing him like that made me nostalgic. The old picture of myself back at school became more vivid than ever before. A part of me was scared and another part of me was also curious to see how he would do the activities in the class as, in BC classes, students are split into teams where they have to come up with ideas, then work on them and then share their project at the end of the class.

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Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017: Pre-event at Karkhana

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There are many stories in Nepal that are hidden from us city dwellers. There are some privileges that we have been enjoying since our birth that are still a far cry for many in the nooks and corner of the country. One of those privileges are health facilities and services. Speaking of this complication that they and their fellow villagers have been facing since a long time, Durga and her friends from Shree Terse Secondary School, Sindhupalchowk, created a prototype of a hospital during the “School level Ideation and Prototyping Challenge for Girls” event held at Karkhana on 16th November, 2017. Not only did the story that she shared and the prototype that her team had built touch our hearts but also brought to light the sad reality that even basic human rights are a far cry for the citizens in the country.

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Celebrating end of cluster at Paragon Public School

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On November 4th, 2017, a report card distribution was scheduled at Paragon Public School, Tilganga. While the students and parents were definitely feeling jittery because of the usual “report card day blues”, there was also a lot of excitement and buzz at the school yesterday. Keeping up with the vibes and energy at the venue, a team from Karkhana was all set to make the day a memorable experience for everyone present.

Taking forward a new and interesting idea of organizing cluster based Design Challenge (DC), we prepared and planned out Design Challenges for the students of Grade 5 and 7, that were based on the clusters: “Structure and Stability”and “Fun With Electronics” respectively. Letting students figure out ways in which they could take learning outside their classrooms and think of finding out solutions adaptable to real-life scenarios was our main aim for doing this. Two Design Challenges: “Shake Table” and “Traffic Awareness” were run simultaneously, both of them starting at 10AM.

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Tools Symphony

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We all know that there are lots of tools in karkhana that are in our everyday use. We usually play music while we are working at karkhana so that we don’t feel bored in our office hours. So we decided to make music out of it. So we decided to record sound of instrument/tool that we use. And then we decided to compose a music with it.

Let’s see what sound a bottle of nails makes

Bottle of nails makes shrill sound  

 

Let’s see what sound the saw makes

It makes kirr kirr sound

 

Let’s see what sound the heat sink makes

It sounds like dropping pins

 

Let’s see what sound the hammer makes

It sounds like beats

 

And now the drill

It sounds like screeching noise

 

Now let’s compile all together and listen.

 

-Prayush Bijukchhe and Surya Gyawali

 

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Hacking Health

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We are closing the day with the participants trying their hand (or their leg) at the traditional Vietnamese bamboo dance. The awkward attempt at dancing brings an end to the eventful first day of the EpiHack Vietnam event. I am posting a photo of people doing a dance off the internet because I didn’t take any photos.

I am currently at the beautiful Serena resort in Hoa Binh, Vietnam enjoying the delicious food and coffee here amongst weirdly shaped hills and water buffaloes that would probably make delicious momos. Here is the view from the place I am staying.

Over 50 participants from 8 different countries have gathered at the beautiful Serena resort in Hoa Binh, Vietnam to hack away and come up with digital solutions tackling the problem of epidemics in Vietnam as part of an Epihack event.

 

What is Epihack?

Epihack is a collaborative convening that brings technologists and epidemiologists together to create digital technological solutions that address specific public health issues regarding epidemics.  It’s a 5 day event which is suppose to hack out prototypes of software that help deal with epidemics before the end. If you want to know more about them you can visit their page:  https://epihack.org/.

 

What are we doing over the period of 5 days?

Although the deaths through communicable/infectious diseases have gone down considerably they are still a threat due to the following reason:

  • Development of microbial resistance
  • Increasing globalization resulting in inter city links
  • Factory farming

We are working in tackling the risk of infectious diseases through the 3 factors by working on

  • Behavioral Change
  • Data collection, validation and visualization

 

Karkhana has been a big advocate of interdisciplinary collaboration. Yantra was a collaboration between technologists and artists, K_Space was a collaboration between artists, educators, engineers etc to come up with a space curriculum. We also push for integration of multiple subject matters (STEAM) in our classes. EpiHack as I mentioned earlier is a collaboration between health professionals and technologists. It is an interesting opportunity for me to be part of this collaboration and see what I can give back to Karkhana from this experience.

Also we have been pushing for our classes to be more community focused i.e. students working towards solving real community problems. With us coming up with solutions for epidemics in rural part of Vietnam, I get to witness and be part of community based problem solving in action.

Lastly it’s an opportunity for me to understand the education landscape in SouthEast Asia by interacting with the EpiHack participants.

– Hasin Shakya

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A Session from the ongoing Teacher Development Session at Karkhana

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Karkhana started off as a team of 5-6 members. It had a few set of teachers and a limited number of students to work with. In the small team, it was easier to see the growth and keep track of the progress of all individuals. To see how a person was growing as an individual was easy which made it easier to see the growth of the team itself. But now the team has grown and expanded to a larger team of people. We have members from multiple backgrounds:

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Karkhana Mela – Where it all came together

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With the target of putting together a fun-filled day before the Dashain break actually kicked off, Karkhana came up with the idea of Karkhana Mela. After weeks and weeks of planning and bringing together a set of activities that could be done during the Mela, the big day eventually arrived. Read more

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Creating stories and memories at Kavre

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On September 15th, 2017, the Storytellers at Karkhana were headed towards Shree Indree Vidya Mandir at Panchkhal-3, Ziro Kilo, Kavre. With the primary goal of sharing learning experiences to the students of the school, we had taken with us a few of our lesson plans and presentations, which we had a really fun time sharing with the students. What did we do on that day? If this is a question running in your mind, I would like to walk you through what really happened there. Read more

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