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Month: December 2018

Change in Perspective

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Karkhana has changed the way I look the world. The first time I heard about Karkhana, I was inspired. I was inspired by the idea and the works they do. I was fascinated by their work culture and their methods to use Maker Space to evolve the learning habits of a new generation.

When I heard about the Maker Mentor Pokhara, I was challenged to be a part of something thrilling. I was excited to experiment with learning by doing methods and help young people turn their ideas into actions. Roshan, our maker mentor trainer gave an engaging workshop for five days where I was again inspired to change the perspective towards the world and towards within.

Our new challenge was to organize an event Bhawisye Province 4 involving the use of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Design and Mathematics (STEAM) subjects where students work in a team of 3 to realize and solve real-world problems in Nepal by building the project/working prototype. And, believe me, it was fun and it was life-changing.

In a short time frame, we gave our 100 percent to the event where we worked hard, practiced pitching, reached out to schools, and most importantly we bonded with each other. We had a great time learning too. We learned the basics of organizing an event and the importance of 21st-century skills.

My most satisfying moment was the event day where I can see young Bhai-Baini working on their projects. They were implementing simpler ideas like an irrigation system, smart city planning, and waste management techniques into a prototype. Their involvement in their project seemed like as if they were meditating. Prajjwol, Anup, Bipana, and Amrit were helping participants with the tools and maker space. Binit, Shiwani, Bikram, Prakash, Rasna and I were making sure with the management of registration, food, crowd, stalls, awards, and guest.

Sumit and Anu from Karkhana taught us extraordinary things during our involvement in the project. Gaurav, Monika, and Pavitra were amazing and inspiring. We helped each other improving our mistakes, flaws, shortcoming, and imperfections. I am happy that I am a part of Karkhana.

Anoj Banjara

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Karkhana Reads

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Hi all!

We are back with different interesting articles shared by our Karkhana members again.

  1. Sakar shares this article of an internal fraud happened in an oil factory in Moscow. The author vividly describes the situation of Russia when the US imposed sanctions against it, the dimensions of the oil industries, and the functioning of an organization at that time.
  2. Why are life skills important? Check out this piece shared by Sachet to find the answer!
  3. Eva found an article about six women raising their voices and working for the availability of clean water in Flint, Michigan.

    The government wasn’t listening to the adults, the adults [weren’t] listening to the government, so I thought [they] would listen to kids like me.

  4. Ever heard about zooming in and zooming out in Business? Have a read to this interesting article by The New York Times shared by Sakar.
  5. “I highly recommend it. It’s such a hopeful conversation about the current school-going generation and all their positive qualities,” says Sabhyata after reading this Reddit thread recommended by Suzan to her.
  6. We all know tourism is good. But people of Venice complain about over-tourism in their country. Find this article shared by Sachet from The Economist. 
  7.  Have you heard about deschooling? Check this article to find about deschooling and its reading lists found by Sunoj.

Happy Reading!

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Designing Learning Experiences

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When was the last time you ran in circles?

As we grow up and gain this perspective of what is right and what is wrong, what is appropriate and what’s not, we forget what truly makes us happy. We happen to redefine our definition of fun and also decide on a different “ comfort level”.

I greeted the students at Kumudini Homes School, Pokhara on a Wednesday morning. I saw the confusion in the face of the junior students and the boredom on the face of the senior students as they were made to gather in the ground under the harsh midday sun. Nevertheless, I began the class, “We will start today’s camp by playing a short game. How many of you have played the game – ‘fire in the mountain’?” None of the students raised their hands so, I told them about the game.

“We will be running in circles, yelling ‘Fire in the mountain. Run, run, run!’ As as we are running, I will call out a  number and you guys will have to make a team of the same number. And if you can’t do that, then your team will be disqualified!”

We were all laughing as we played. By the time that we started our third round, the senior students were also enthusiastically running round in circles. I called out the last number: 3, and we had all of the teams ready.

The first half of the class was about motion and its transformation. While building prototype of an “automaton”, the students discovered that circular motion can be converted to linear motion with a simple mechanism. And they also realized that they can it easily relate this with their real life. By the time that I announced that we have a 10 minutes break, I was tired from running from one corner of the classroom to another. Our class was run in a medium sized hall that had a total of sixteen tables, each with three chairs. My co-facilitator, Sumit, was going around the hall too. He was reminding the students that they had only five minutes left for the break and I overheard his conversation with one of the teams.

“We have only five minutes left for the break. Aren’t you guys going out?”

“No, we want to complete our activity first!” replied the team without even looking at Sumit. All of the team members were busy cutting papers, and trying make their project functional.

I personally don’t remember having a dedication like that in any of my classes when I used to be a school student.

We went to the class on the second day – all the necessary materials;prepared the night before. We started the class with an energizer called ‘jump-in-jump-out’. Then, we divided the students into two groups. And then I immediately handed out the instruction sheets to the students. “How many of you know what is soldering? Or have ever soldered something before?”, I asked.

Four students raised their hands so I instructed them to share with their friends what soldering was. Even if I had motors and battery caps ready for use, I instructed the teams, one at a time, and encouraged them to solder their own motors and battery caps. As some teams got busy in that, other teams worked on their prototypes of vibrator motor bots. I was a little disheartened seeing just 8 girls in a pool of 48 students. And even their hands trembled as they carried the soldering irons. I also had to guide them how to hold a wire stripper properly.

I felt accomplished by the end of the class as I saw the girls working at the soldering station – with their hands not trembling.

At the end of the class, we did a quick battle of the bots to pick the ultimate bot of the day. And the students gathered around the battlefield and cheered for their favorite bots!

By the time the class ended and we got ready for a group picture, we were 32 minutes late than the calculated time. And even if the students were supposed to be having their lunch at this time, none of them complained about being hungry or about wanting to leave the hall.

Yes, learning is definitely an experience and I can’t feel more happy and grateful that I get to provide that to my students.

On the way back to their own classroom, one of the students came up to me and said, “Please, definitely come to our school for the next year!”

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