Gandhinagar: Centre for Creative Learning (CCL) at the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN), in collaboration with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune (IISER Pune), has launched ‘30-30 STEM’, an online education programme focusing on basic conceptual understanding and critical thinking of Mathematics and Science. ‘30-30 STEM’ will be a set of 30 online live sessions every Sunday for 30 weeks with unique content to bring out the joy and inherent beauty in the curriculum that is all around us.
The programme aims to provide an online platform to teachers as well as students and their parents, to make STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) learning more engaging by breaking subject boundaries to create a sense of wonder from everyday life.
The first one-hour live session was held on August 16, 2020, from 4 to 5 pm, on the theme of ‘Adventures of A4 Paper’ that creatively explained topics like the distance between Earth and Moon, ratio and proportion, similar triangles, length and volume, octagon, and so on, by using a simple A4 size paper sheet. Teachers, students and many other participants from across the country enthusiastically participated in this session that received about 1,20,000 live views and more than 1,50,000 views in a single day.
Sharing his feedback, one of the participating teachers, Mr Hemant wrote in the comments, “This session was an eye-opener. Complacency had set in with the routine of teaching. Thank you for reminding us the depth of Mathematics which was taken for granted and forgotten. I was really in need of this content that you have worked so hard to create. Thank you for this mental boost.”
Another school head, Ms Suvarna Kuppa wrote, “Episode 1 left us asking for more and more. My teachers shared a few of the inputs with students during the online sessions, and we found that the student participation rate had risen tremendously. We are eagerly waiting for episode 2 on ‘Finding your lung capacity’.”
For the first time in India, this online education programme also uses a live poll platform to engage and interact with more than one lakh viewers live to get a sense of their conceptual clarity, similar to a classroom setup. The live poll question is one of the key things that keep the audience on the toe during the session, and the responses chart is displayed on the screen in real-time. The participants are also given homework questions and open-ended puzzles to solve that are based on the PISA framework to encourage deep thinking and test their conceptual understanding.
Sharing the vision behind this initiative, Prof Manish Jain, Associate Teaching Professor, IITGN and Main Facilitator of ’30-30 STEM’ programme said, “We are very excited about this unique programme, where the goal is to unlock the beauty, magic, mystery of Mathematics and Science. These subjects are often considered hard and boring; this is an initiative to work with teachers and children to make the curriculum exciting by exploring the Maths/Science around us. We would also try to showcase how to make online education ENGAGING and INSPIRING.”
The next 29 weekly sessions will bring more interesting themes, topics, and puzzles such as discovering Math inside the calendar; combinatorics with playing cards; knowing our gut; how animals interact (to discover the science behind it); 3D visualisation with kheera (cucumber); ICT tool GeoGebra to understand the concepts of geometry, algebra, statistics and calculus; geometry with dough and broom-sticks, among others. The sessions will generally cover the topics of class 6th to 12th, but the whole idea is to promote conceptual and creative thinking through hands-on exercises, stories and interdisciplinary study. Hence, besides teachers, students, and parents, anyone else with interest in the subjects can take benefit of it.
All the sessions will be live on CCL YouTube channel and Vigyan Prasar’s channel on JIO TV every Sunday from 4 to 5 pm. These sessions would also be available on CCL’s YouTube channel for later viewing. CBSE has also planned to provide participation certificates to all teachers who register for this programme. It will also select a few teachers, based on their participation and homework, for an internship at CCL, IITGN or IISER Pune.