The power to question is the basis of all human progressAuthor Unknown
According to a study, a child asks 73 questions every day, and most times, they don’t get a satisfactory answer in return. In a child’s curiosity, lies the key to their development. The kids at ILM have free rein over it and it is unsurprising that they put it to good use! ILM teachers also believe in the idea that – A child deserves to get answers to their questions. Therefore, they weave activities into their study plan to aid the understanding of the concepts.
In keeping with our tradition of “demonstrating” before answering, the Upper Elementary children went for a field trip to Visvesvaraya Technological and Industrial Museum.
Nimble feet and curious minds embark on the trip:
The Field trip began with an increasing amount of excitement and anticipation. The kids gathered at 8:30 and at 9, they were on their way to the Museum on a bus! A field trip after years! Since junk food was allowed and teachers had pledged not to ask the kids “to be quiet”… the bus was brimming with food and conversation throughout.
Once the students were at the Museum, it was fun from the word Go! The exhibits are arranged over four floors, each with different themes. The first floor, (with a mezzanine floor filled with touch-and-try models of simple machines), is made up of various machines and their evolution over time. Engines from multiple eras were displayed, and the children were awestruck by how large some machines were!
The star among all the exhibits, however, was a replica of the plane made by Orville and Wilbur Wright – the pioneers of making flying possible for humans and not just a thing from fantasy. The children were fascinated by a small piece of the wood used by the Wright brothers, preserved and on display alongside the scale model of their plane. It was mind blowing for them to see what the first plane looked like!
After the engines and heavy machinery, the children moved to the second floor, where they watched a 3D movie – Life in the Oceans. Many had never been to a 3D movie before, therefore, plenty of gasps and screams were heard at the creatures “coming too close”. The documentary was highly educational and entertaining, with superb graphics and gripping narration.
Once the documentary was over, the children fanned out into the “Optics and Sound” section. Optics always fascinates children as the effects are ‘visible’. The topic “Light” was fresh in the children’s memories and they hopped around, experimenting with the reflection and refraction exhibits. The multi-colour shadow exhibit was a particular favourite with the children putting up an impromptu shadow play…much to the amusement of the teachers and miscellaneous onlookers. Predictably so, the optical illusion of a floating head was thoroughly enjoyed by all of them, including the teachers.
The Museum had a special (and temporary) exhibit by the National Centre of Biological Sciences (NCBS) dedicated to medicinal plants of India. The explanation charts were informative as well as attractive. The entire place smelled heavenly, with a rich aroma of cardamom and cloves, the kings of medicinal plants. Children learnt a great deal about the plants of India and what they’re called in Kannada, Hindi and English.
The “Space Travel” and “Electronic Circuits” sections proved to be troves of questions that the teachers answered for over an hour! There was no question left unanswered and the kids made sure they had run out of questions to ask before leaving each section!
The Biotechnology section was another brilliant section where kids learned how DNA works, what molecular biology does and how characteristics are passed on from generation to generation. The colourful exhibits captivated the children and the interactive pieces led to innumerable questions.
Into the past and the future:
VTIM shows a documentary on how the climate of our Planet is changing, as a result of human activity, and how we can avoid contributing to these unfavourable changes. This was technology meeting innovation, in a unique way, where 4 projectors projected images and videos on a globe and children could see how climate works. The narrator delivered a compelling lecture on how everything we do affects others and how individual responsibility is the key to the collective good.
One of the most fun parts of the Museum though was the “Science for Kids” section, where ILM kids REALLY burnt their energy off!! The section had fun activities like feet piano, life-like animal sculptures, faux Dominoes etc. But the crowning glory was the mirror maze! Children ran amok, colliding with the mirrors and then, eventually, breaking the code of passage! After a cacophony of giggling later, the children were pretty much asked to leave as they were being too noisy! And that brought an end to a day filled with learning, fun and camaraderie.
Cultivating curiosity for a better future:
We at ILM believe that curiosity is foremost to every positive change in the world. Kids naturally have wide-eyed wonder when it comes to the world around them. It is us adults who lose sight and innocence. But getting to be with children means discovering the world anew. We hope to foster unceasing curiosity in kids in a way that never loses its sparkle so their future has the promise of innovation, creativity, growth, and kindness. This trip was an attempt to do just that.
Lunch time before we head home