breakfast for soul!
Just the previous weekend, I had been to some amazing places.. Beginning with the toy lab of Prof. Arvind Gupta, at IUCAA, Pune..
The lab is a super cute place located just opposite to the IUCAA building in the Pune University Campus. The lab focuses on building toys to help children understand the science they learn; but more importantly, all the toys are made out of materials that they can find in their backyard.. simple, easy to make toys.. literally, toys from trash stuff..
I saw a wonderful tool which was a slate made of strips of Velcro hooks put side by side, on which you can write with a pen which contains a small spool of wool. As you move the pen on the slate, wool sticks on the surface of the Velcro. You can write on it as long as u have wool in the spool.. It is a simple and efficient tool for helping blind children to feel any shape or alphabet due to the raised wool on the Velcro. When done, you can easily remove the wool and pull it back in the pen. 🙂
There were lots of other toys wonderfully illustrating the principles of waves, AC & DC voltage generation, magnetic levitation, geometric structures and their strength.. and a lot more of science.
A lot of experiments in Maths, Chemistry, Origami, Mechanics, Heat, Magnetism, Electricity are conducted and then put up as 1-2 minute short videos on the web at arvindguptatoys.com in different languages. Watch ’em! The website also has a lot of books, diverse in subjects, downloadable as pdfs.
The lab calender is full of events for school children and teachers coming to play, make & learn in the lab..
Hats off to the team for their wonderful efforts in making science simple and fun! 🙂
[P.S. If you have ideas towards making any simple toys, you could send the idea to the team.. If they find it useful, they would add the toy in the repertoire making it accessible to hundreds of children! ]
The lab runs from Mondays to Fridays. 9.30am – 5.30pm. Make a visit soon if you are nearby!