Science Project Day at our Play Center

In keeping with Toybank’s maxim “Development through Play”, we felt that we must teach the children how play-based learning can be fun and exciting. Hence, on the 17th of January, 2020, 10 students from the Cathedral and John Connon School, IBDP Year 12, assembled at the Tardeo Municipal School for a “Science Project Day”. The room was filled with joy and enthusiasm as students of different ages gathered to learn more. Although initially, we were expecting under 20 students, the principal of the school was so delighted by the experiments that he asked the 10th grade  students to join us as well. A variety of experiments — inspired by Arvind Gupta’s work — were conducted, and the students got the chance to go around the room to different stalls and participate in them. As a group, we collaborated to conduct four experiments and a fun do-it-yourself activity, followed by an interactive question-and-answer session about the experiments, which the students answered with great eagerness.

The first experiment was to bend a stream of water by first rubbing a balloon on your hair, and then bringing it close to the water to observe the effect of static electricity. The second was to use water as a convex lens to see how an image is inverted when seen through a glass filled with water. The third and fourth experiments depicted density by first observing how a lemon floats in salted water but sinks in regular water, and then by observing “fireworks” of colour as oil separates from water in a glass. The activity at the end was a small do-it-yourself project about gravity and inclination which the children got to take home with themselves. They were given a ruler, some clips, and marbles, and had to arrange the clips in a zig-zag manner to observe how the marble would trickle down when dropped from a slope.

Although, usually, one expects to see the impact of an activity on a child over time, we observed that within an hour, the children had transformed into little inquirers. From asking us questions about science to showing the experiments to their teachers, their curiosity had been sparked. It is a matter of global significance that children develop life skills such as curiosity as they grow up. While regular classes do enable them to inquire about certain concepts, we felt that we should expose these children to real-life displays of what they read about in their books. The kind of interest that is initiated through playful and creative learning will surely encourage them to pursue such fields later in their education and professions.

We were all delighted to witness the eagerness and enthusiasm with which the students participated in the experiments. The sound of giggling children rubbing balloons on their heads, the sight of them watching in awe as the oil separated from the water, and the excitement when the marble went down the slope smoothly, was heart-warming.

Written by CAS Volunteer, Jahnavi Jaipuriyar

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