Breaking Geographical boundaries to Tinker

Many students in rural hills of Uttarakhand do not get enough exposure to hands on activities in science and technology. In order to bridge this gap and introduce them to the philosophy of ATAL Tinkering labs we conducted online sessions from the ATL lab of SRDAV Public School.

In the first session, students built a pull back car from waste material like ice cream sticks, bottle caps , straws and rubber bands. They learnt that on pulling back the car, the rubber stretches which leads to storage of elastic potential energy in car. On releasing the car, the car moves ahead in forward motion leading to conversion of entire potential energy to kinetic energy.

It was a completely new and enticing experience for them as they did not know that science could be so much fun . The fifth graders not only made the car with a lot of enthusiasm , but also showed their junior classmates how to build it. Building upon this concept, they came up with an idea of building cars with green fuel and thus using sustainable and clean energy.

In session 2, students learnt to build a truss bridge using straws. They learnt that the truss bridge they built in demonstrated the structural strength of bridges made using triangles. Truss bridges often use equilateral and isosceles triangles to distribute weight because the equal angles allow forces to spread evenly across the bridge. Triangles are one of the best shapes for distributing weight because they take force from a single point and distribute it across a wide base. These structures bring immense stability.The students of these remote areas could easily relate to these as bridges are very common to here. Also this also was an introduction to the students of a prevocational skill that could lead them to take up of bridge engineering

In session 3,tTo showcase their creations, an exhibition was held virtually wherein the students of Bironkhal Primary school students displayed their models of the pull back car and truss bridge. Senior students of our school explained the basic principles of science and also mentored the students of class 5 under the Taught to Taught (TOT) programme.


Neeru Mittal and Vineeta Garg,

Parivartan Social Foundation

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