Reviving Anubhav (Experiential Learning)

Anubhav

After a much-awaited wait due to the pandemic, students enjoyed learning STEM concepts through fun and accessible practicals in the Anubhav sessions.

A series of 3 Anubhav sessions were conducted by Vision Empower at 3 schools in Bangalore, namely Mathru Educational Trust for the blind, Jyothi Seva School and The Karnataka Welfare Association for the Blind (KWAB) from 20th to 23rd June.

Attended by a total of 51 students, the main objective of these experiential STEM learning sessions was to develop the scientific temperament among students with visual impairment through hands-on STEM activities.

The students were engaged in various STEM activities, CT games and braille reading by VE Educational coordinators. STEM teachers from Dayton University also tested a newly designed shape-identifying device prototype with the students during Anubhav sessions.

The sessions started with a round of introductions of VE Team members, the Dayton Team and the students followed by ice breaker games. Each Anubhav session further proceeded with conducting Science-Math activities followed by braille reading and testing of the shape-identifying device.

As part of the science activity, the concepts of float, sink and solubility were covered through an experiential activity where the students were first made to identify different items like fruit, paper, etc. and then were asked to predict the state of the items when dipped into the water. The students then experimented with it by placing different objects in water and understanding the reasons behind the floating and sinking of the items.

For math, the concept of fractions was explained to the students through the hands-on activity of using play dough. The students were asked to flatten the dough and then cut it first into 2 halves followed by 4 equal parts. Children were also provided with jodo fractions to understand the concept better.

Anubhav

Students also enjoyed playing VICT games like I see 10 and race to 27. They also played pebble games, snakes and ladders, noughts and crosses in different groups divided according to age.

A braille reading activity was also conducted to evaluate and understand the literacy habits and competency of the children. For this, several literary pieces were printed in braille and brought to the schools. The pieces were of varied length and complexity. One by one, the students were asked to read a couple of passages in braille.

The Dayton team also tested the efficiency of the device meant to help visually impaired students in identifying figures inside textbooks. The team sat down with the device and sheets of white paper with various shapes – squares, circles, triangles, straight lines, and curved lines – drawn upon it in black ink, and had a single student at a time brought up to them for the study. The student was made to sit down and was given the device with the sheet of paper placed in front of him or her. Then with the device placed on top of the sheet, the students would slowly move the device until it vibrated over a line. The students were asked to name the shape (triangle, square, etc.) according to the device vibrations.

The sessions came to an end with some chit-chat with students and teachers from the schools where many children shared their excitement for more such sessions in the future.