The kids presented their research on the water-driven cars today. Giving us a glimpse into the research being done by the big companies in this area. I think the presentations were of value but the bigger lesson to come out of this one was about group work.
One group put in a reasonable amount of effort into it. However, the other group kind of fell apart as their leader forgot about the project, which meant they actually didn’t have much prepared. This lead to a conversation about group work and leadership. Some key points were …
- The group fails/succeeds as a whole
- Communication is key
- If one person is falling behind, others should cover
- If the leader is absent, someone else should step in and take charge
- Being a team player means thinking about the group as a whole
I am hopeful that going forward things will get better and kids will learn to think broader.
I introduced the idea of reverse engineering to the kids by giving them a little exercise. I asked them to come up with a shape …
- When light is shining on it from one side, it projects a square shadow
- Light shining on it from another side projects a circular shadow
- Light shining on it from the third side projects a triangular shadow
The idea came from this 3D project. The kids were able to figure out the shape successfully and I then showed them the object that I had already printed.
I asked the kids today if they all knew about “infinity”, they all did. Then I asked them to name actual infinite things. They came up …
- The universe
Most of them were incorrect based on how you look at it but the escalator one was interesting as that lead to us talking about the infinity symbol ∞. The symbol looks like a conjoined belt like the escalator. The discussion then went into the desired direction of how new words are made up and why they are needed. The conclusion was that we need new words when we need to describe a new idea/object. I then showed them one of the videos in the information theory series. It’s a must-watch and makes the mind wander in fascinating ways.
A task for the week is for the kids to research on how “Urdu” as a language came about and understand its evolution.
Last week we discussed the Amazon rain-forest fires. I asked the kids to research a bit more about forests and what causes fires. They told us a few natural and unnatural reasons like pieces of glass, lightning strikes, extreme heat combined with draught etc. I also showed them a potential reason where the forest becomes so dense that the heat can’t escape from it and the temperature rises to a point where fires start. Forest fires are natures way of self-regulating the density of the forest and giving way to new life.
Kids that stood out
I wanted to reward in some little way the kids that have stood out so we gave them small gifts to acknowledge that.
She recovered in a fantastic fashion after a telling-off session a few weeks ago. She not only continues to do the work assigned in a regular fashion but she also ensured that she completed the missed work. Failure is part of life, how we come back from it is what matters. Well done Aleena to the great come back!
There are a couple of kids who ALWAYS, without doubt, complete their work. Mahnoor and Shabo. Mahnoor however, stands out because she is not only a hard-worker but she is also a smart worker. On occasion, she was the only one to even attempt finding the answer for my puzzles on Slack. She has surprisingly figured out that one can use the internet to do other things beyond watching YouTube videos! Well done Mahnoor, keep up the great work!
Funny posts have been better in week 2, we will continue with that theme for another week.