Incorporating the 4Cs (Collaboration, Critical thinking, Communication and Creativity) in learning does sound fancy and interesting but making the children work together is a challenge. I recently observed a BeeCreative class for the students of Grade 6 at Kaasthamandap Vidyalaya. The students were divided into teams of 4 and had to come up with their own games using only paper cups. Later, using a rubber band tied to four strings, they had to build a tower without directly touching the cups and the rubberband.
It isn’t that easy not having a face. I mean, all the other cups do. And although I’m supposed to be tall because well, I’m a giraffe. No! I mean I have a giraffe! I’m really not that tall. My diameter isn’t that impressive either.
I remember my first day, here. With all the nervousness running down my throat, I was really afraid of this “new house” that I was going to be a part of. Most of the cups had faces on them, with similar colors, similar little scattered tools and the exact same letters on them. Although I was nearly as white as they were, I just couldn’t blend in. I thought I was too childish, too loud, too colorful, too foreign to be there. Also, I wasn’t from the same background as they were. I didn’t have all those tools drawn on me. Trust me, I felt like I didn’t belong there with all the other mugs.
As people came in the kitchen, I noticed how the features of the people aligned with the faces in the cups. THEY WERE THEIR CUPS! But surprisingly they rarely drank from their respective cups. They’d just choose any cup, they’d choose every cup. And guess what? Just the day I came in, people appreciated how I was different and unique and well, cute too. AND I GOT DRUNK FROM TOO. Woah, I sound drunk. I mean they drank from me.
The best thing about this place is you don’t necessarily have to belong to that “background” to be a part of it. You don’t have to have tools engraved on you. You don’t have to be the same shade. And people will make and share and clean and place you back where you were. Here, you can always be different and add value. Besides, I’ve been used so many times, I think I have stains, that are similar to theirs.
– Yaman Thapa
Spending time with your children is very important but giving too much attention can backfire. You shouldn’t pamper your child to the point that s/he becomes too dependent on you. Though every parent feels that his/her child is unique and special in general they are not that different from others. Here are few things you don’t need to do while raising your child. Read more
Dear Karkhana Family,
Today is December 25, 2017. It’s Christmas and I stayed home all day. My initial plan wasn’t this. I wanted to go to work, see what gifts my Secret Santa got for me and also take a wild guess at who my Secret Santa was.You know, get into the holiday spirit like everyone else across the globe. But, like I often say, life isn’t a wish granting factory. I didn’t step a foot outside today.
My past few days here at work had been filled with the buzz of “Secret Santa”. I was really excited. Everyone was. I mean, it’s Secret Santa. Who wouldn’t be excited? A few close ones shared with me who their “Santee” was. “Do you know who is my Santa?” This was the question everyone asked everyone. I had a hard time keeping a straight face while answering this. But I saw a few people smoothly answering the question which often left me speechless. The Christmas buzz in the air wasn’t something you could easily deny, at Karkhana. The seasons greetings could be felt in the air itself.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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