What comes to the mind of a child when we say ‘Chemistry’? Formulas, equations, chemicals, laboratory and a text heavy chapter? Chemistry is so much more! Starting with the air we breathe and the matter we are made up of, Chemistry is present everywhere.
Chemistry is often referred to as the central science as it is one branch of Science which connects to all other branches. It can provide answers to any questions related to all that is ‘matter’ and even what is not ‘matter’. From cooking in the kitchen to the science of building good roads, the invention of plastic, construction of buildings and manufacturing of rockets, knowledge of chemistry is required everywhere.
It is this aspect of Chemistry that is brought forth by the Ekya Chemistry program. We make the teaching-learning process more meaningful and impactful, with students experiencing the journey from ‘what they are learning’ to ‘why they are learning’.
Our aim at Ekya is to make Chemistry a subject that children can understand, appreciate and apply. The main focus of the Chemistry program at Ekya is to:
- Make Chemistry relevant beyond the classrooms (What gives colours to fireworks?)
- Develop the confidence to question, assess and make scientifically sound decisions (Is it wise to replace all the plastic bags with paper and cloth bags?)
- To develop leaders with capabilities to analyse, reason, strategize and collaborate to find solutions to real life problems. (Can a material as strong and light as plastic and as easily biodegradable as paper be built?)
- Instill the habit of self-learning and making the students responsible and self-reliant
Therefore, the standards of Chemistry learning at Ekya are deliberately set high where the learning program, facilitated by the teacher, helps the students find the path to achieve those standards.
Middle School Chemistry focuses on the following:
- Design and conduct fair tests, to help students identify and control variables and understand why these processes matters.
- Help students build a foundation of reasoning skills, which are applicable across many disciplines.
- Provide multiple opportunities to develop models and investigate properties of matter at the particle level.
- Provide opportunities to understand cause and effect relationships to identify, test, and explain chemical changes. Students investigate the principles of solubility, density and matter and identify substances based on their unique characteristics.
- Provide design challenges that teaches students about the application of chemical changes in real life. Students arrive at the understanding about the criteria and constraints for their design challenges.
In high school, students are exposed to multiple learning experiences to ensure the development of both concepts and skills.
- The young minds are ignited with the spark of curiosity in the beginning of the topic which sets the rhythm for the rest of the learning process.
- The concepts are explored and experienced through discussions, hands on activities, skits, experiments, research projects, data analysis and much more.
- Evidence based questioning, discussions, arguments and reflections are encouraged. (Debates on topics like Is biodegradable waste harmless to us? What about the methane it adds to the atmosphere?)
- Students get first-hand experience of the real life applications of Chemistry through lab projects, design challenges and field trips.
- Students are updated with the latest developments in the field of Chemistry ( So, what is happening in the field of Nanoscience now? And why should we study that? )
- Children are able to evaluate their progress and understanding through multiple ways of assessments that cater to the individual strengths of different students.
On the journey to achieve our goals at Ekya, chemicals are used as magical objects that bring the concepts alive. Chemical formulae and equations are transformed into a language that every child understands and automatically rely on when dealing with the subject. The content heavy textbooks are transformed into a resource, and the student’s understanding is used as a tool to develop new ideas and innovations.
Our children don’t just study Chemistry but actually work, learn and innovate with Chemistry. This lays the foundation for not just the chemists that will stand out in future employment scenario but also for chemists who will be instrumental in developing solutions to pressing issues of the future.