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An IIT Kanpur / Media Lab Asia initiative. BRiCS Build Robots Create Science. BRiCS team, IIT Kanpur Amitabha Mukerjee

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Brics build robots create science

An IIT Kanpur / Media Lab Asia initiative

BRiCSBuild Robots Create Science

BRiCS team, IIT Kanpur

Amitabha Mukerjee

with Vibhanshu Abhishek, Deepak Agarwal, Deepak Arzare , Avishek Banerjee, Manish Maheswari, Manu Prakash, Gaurav Sharma, Nikhil Sinha, Sarala Verma, and about 30 other BRiCSters worldwide


Learning through design
Learning through Design

  • Moving away from Rote Learning

  • Problem Solving : DESIGN

  • Manipulatives / Functioning Models

Solar robot, Aditi Mallya School Bangalore, December 2001


Myth disembodied mind
MYTH: disembodied mind

  • The Myth:

    • Learning takes place in the mind

    • The body is the placid host

  • Digital Consequences

    • Computers are boxes containing disembodied minds

    • Learning in the mind by direct interaction with the computer


Philosophy
Philosophy

  • Western tradition

    • Rudolf Carnap’s “remembering as similar” – sensory models to language – ideas = public language.

  • Indian tradition

    • Perception as pratyakSha-pramANa

    • Advaita – sat as indeterminate perception, abstracted in cit as ideas

  • Premise – pre-linguistic perception as source of learning


Psychology
Psychology

  • Child stores sensory perceptions in toto

  • Similarity - cluster similar notions

  • Cotemporaneous occurences – causality

    • Ball is round to the touch

    • Ball image has darker areas near the edges

    • Abstraction – shape from shading (3D)

  • Sensory-Motor loops are the fundamental mechanism in learning (Piaget, Papert)


Brics workshops
BRiCS Workshops

  • Ideation

  • Anchoring on a theme

  • Functional Prototypes

Theme: Waking up in the morning


Brics objectives
BRiCS Objectives

  • Set in the developing world context

    • Child’s sense of identity lost in the crush of inadequate resources

    • Rote-oriented educational practices - inorganic growth - imported19th c.

    • Primal jolt needed to re-think practices.

  • Constructivist features

  • Use of Robots / Constructions


Brics model
BRiCS Model

  • Initial workshop in school

    • Hands-on theme-anchored Problem Solving

  • Draw in like-minded teachers

    • Further interaction in curricular contexts

    • Propagate through already exposed students

    • Future workshops with local resources

  • Enable local colleges / franchisees


Toys from junk
Toys from Junk

  • Use of junk materials

  • Themes related to own lives


Robots from junk
Robots from Junk

  • Straw Connectors

  • Ballpen refill bearings

  • Used sandals

  • Wire Gears

  • Paper


Robots from kits
Robots from Kits

  • Fully functional

  • Easy to use Sensors

  • Programmable using visual icons

  • Expensive


Robots in imagination
Robots in imagination

Haunted

House

(Vidya Devi Jindal Girls

School

HissarFeb 2002)


Chakka robots
Chakka Robots

  • Simple Electronics

  • Do-it-yourself sensors

  • Material Preparation, Soldering

  • Common components

    • Spring switches as sensors

  • Wall-hugging robot

    • b.o.m. cost Rs. 100


Toy divergences
Toy Divergences

Junk toys,

Village toys

Holy Grail

Spread (inversely to cost)

Kit robots (LEGO, FisherTechnik, Knex)

Functionality


Digital kathputli
Digital Kathputli

Techkriti

IIT Kanpur

Feb 2002


Programmable blocks
Programmable Blocks

  • Outside the Box programming

  • Blocks with analog circuits

  • Stack them, Run them



Sustaining brics
Sustaining BRiCS

  • BRiCS chapters in other Colleges

    • BHU-IT (Varanasi) (Nov 2002)

    • VJTI Mumbai (planned March 2003)

  • Franchise / NGO Model

    • Calcutta (opening Jan 2003)

  • Pedagogic Ownership at school level – teacher exposure

  • School – to – school

    • V.V. School Delhi, August 2002


Scaling up
Scaling up

  • 2000 Indian students exposed to BRiCS

  • 71 million to go:

    • Middle School – 43 mn

    • High School – 28 mn

  • Tighter curricular integration

  • Others:

    • Colleges – 12 mn

    • Primary School – 114 mn


Scaling up globally
Scaling up - Globally

  • Many groups working with Mechatronics for education (IEEE, Open Society Institute, ICICI)

  • Tasks:

    • Curricular emphasis

    • Teacher Resources and Creativity

  • Major Regions:

    • China?


Scaling up technology
Scaling up - Technology

Price Sensitivity : Percentage of schools vs. price point

100%

Toys from Junk

Electronics

Programmable kits

0.1%

1

10

100

1000

Cost per 10 students, US$


Expanding brics
Expanding BRiCS

  • Professional Design Workshops

    • Rapid functional prototyping

  • Executive Creativity Workshops

    • SIDBI (February 2003)

  • College curricula– mechatronics

  • Permanent BRiCS labs – National Science Museums


Future agenda
Future Agenda

  • Learning Assessment

    • within curricular context

  • Low-cost programmable models

  • Deployment through mainstream educational channels

    • State Governments,

    • Other nations


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