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Ekya / April 13, 2018 Posted by : administrator

Science is both a body of knowledge and a process, and understanding both is essential not only to learn it but to also make progress.The learning of science is similar for all learners, whether children or scientists. In order to learn science, you need to do the work of science. Science links isolated facts into a coherent and comprehensive understanding of the natural world.

In most schools, science may seem like a collection of isolated and static facts listed in a textbook.  In this edition of Understanding the Ekya Curriculum, we sit down with Ms. Manisha Pandita who develops the interactive Science Curriculum at the Ekya Learning Center.

Science at Ekya

At Ekya we do it differently; we have developed a research-based,  active-learning science curriculum that is student focused.

The current research shows that in order for learning to really “stick,” students need continuous opportunities to engage in scientific thinking and practices. If students experience science as something to memorize rather than as a process, they won’t develop the skills to succeed in science careers or even in college science courses.

What if we taught football the way science is often taught? Students read about famous football matches, memorize rules and statistics, and learn about famous players. When they get to college, they would finally be handed a ball for the first time and be expected to play. Of course, they would not be successful.

Science is the same; if we expect students to be able to pursue science in college or as a career, they need many opportunities to practice.

Here at Ekya, we want our students to:

● Cultivate a mindset of interest, curiosity and scientific inquiry
● Engage in scientific practices such as building and investigating models, systems, and theories to better understand themselves and the world
● Apply interdisciplinary and collaborative skills to solve real-world problems

Science in most schools is a list of facts/topics that students should know, plus a little slice of doing science, through investigation and experimentation. This ‘doing of science’ is overwhelmed by the facts about science, and there is no clear way to connect the pieces.

Our science standards at Ekya fundamentally change this balance. The facts about science are still there but it’s on equal footing with doing science, as well as with connecting ideas across science. Our curriculum includes three essential components, called the three dimensions of science learning. These three elements of learning, are woven through every aspect of our science education.

Our curriculum has been designed to develop scientific thinking and learning by integrating three dimensions of science learning:

(1) The science and engineering practices through which scientists and engineers do their work:

Using industry standard practices, at a school level, enables students to understand that science and engineering are creative processes of developing explanations and solutions. Our students use principles of design thinking while learning science concepts in order to apply their skills in a meaningful way. The Science Curriculum focuses on design thinking as a process and not just the end-product.

(2) The crosscutting concepts that apply across science disciplines:

Through this, students learn to think like experts having been provided with a conceptual framework around which to organize their own ideas and understanding. In turn, this helps students make sense of new content and tackle novel problems and be more flexible and creative with their science and engineering ideas.

(3) The core ideas of the disciplines:

Concepts are carefully selected and organized sequentially in our curriculum. Focus on the fundamental and limited number of core ideas gives time for students to engage in scientific investigations and argumentation and to achieve a depth of understanding of these ideas.

Since a deeper understanding of concepts takes the spotlight, our students will leave school better grounded in scientific knowledge and practices than when instruction ‘covers’ multiple disconnected pieces of information that are memorized and soon forgotten once the test is over.

Making children thinkers and doers

Our science curriculum is based on current understanding of how children learn.  It is designed so that students will do science themselves, not just learn about how other people have done it or memorize facts. It is important to learn science this way because doing science requires multilayered thinking. The goal of our Science Curriculum is to focus strategically and effectively on the core science concepts that students need to understand within a scientific discipline. Our curriculum provides numerous opportunities for students to build skills and abilities with the practices of science while focusing on crosscutting concepts and developing an in-depth understanding of the concepts within physical, life, earth and space sciences.

Our Science Curriculum successfully pairs inquiry-based science methods with explicit teaching. It engages students in the practices that scientists and engineers use in their work, including problem-solving, communication, collaboration, and arguing from evidence. We interweave the development of these skills with content knowledge to empower young minds to think, work, and live together in a future that is increasingly shaped by science and technology.

Read more on our Understanding the Ekya Curriculum feature:

Understanding Design Thinking at Ekya Schools
Understanding the Social Science Program at Ekya Schools
Understanding Singapore Math at Ekya Schools
Understanding the Computer Science Curriculum at Ekya Schools

Explore more

Ekya / October 10, 2023

The Truth of Time

The Truth of Time

The mountain tops shiver As the snow begins to shower The water flows to cover The secrets of the river.

The birds trill near the lake As the morning sun awake The lion cub to take The crown for the sake.

The windows patter The things clatter The world scatter As our deeds matter

Isana G K
Grade 7
Ekya Schools, ITPL

Ekya / October 10, 2023

Financial literacy from an early age

It’s Jan 2022, I am in grade 6 as a substitute teacher. I ask the students to introduce themselves. They also get curious to know about me. As soon as I tell them that I am a senior grade teacher and I teach Accounts and Business studies, they are intrigued. The word Business catches their attention and some of them express their interest in Finance.
Now, I was fascinated to hear the word finance from such young children. Particularly fascinated by a young student Ms Ahaana Shetty, who explained how she manages her pocket money, as taught to her by her father. She had a clear understanding of creating a balance between saving and spending.
This was not the case in the earlier times. We can quote examples of celebrities who, despite having earned a fortune, burnt their hands at poor financing decisions. Amitabh Bachan’s ABCL took on more than it could handle, like the Miss World pageant, and exhausted all money. Then it took bank loans which it couldn't repay. Mr. Bachchan had retired, so there was no income and no savings. The moral of the story is, that even if people earn astronomical sums, they need to invest it so that it keeps growing.
Having said that, it boils down to the fact that financial literacy at an early age is pivotal for building a strong foundation for financial well-being throughout life. Teaching children about money, budgeting, savings and investments from a young age will help them make informed financial decisions. They can avoid the financial perils faced commonly by people.
The challenge in educating young children about finance would be the financial jargon which they may find overwhelming and difficult to understand. Hence it becomes important to use age-appropriate terminology.
As parents, we can give a reasonable amount of allowance to our children and ask them to use it wisely for needs, and wants and also save a part of it. This will help them to understand the concept of budgeting. We must also encourage them to make informed purchasing decisions, look for discounts and become a smart shopper.
A simple step like opening a savings bank account for the child and making them understand how a bank account works will introduce them to the importance of keeping money safe. They will understand how regular savings will grow over some time due to the compounding of interest.
Children must be taught about loans too. They need to understand that loans should not be borrowed if one is not sure of financial ability to repay. Also, they need to be taught that loans must be repaid timely, or else they will keep becoming bigger due to accumulating interest.
Older children can be introduced to the concepts of stocks and mutual funds. They can be encouraged to follow investments over time and learn about the dynamics of stock markets.
Schools can introduce financial literacy programs and take initiatives to incorporate financial education as part of the curriculum.
I would like to conclude by saying that it is essential for everyone to be financially literate and wisely invest money to grow it. It is equally important to keep track of investments. One should not spend more than what one earns, even if the earnings are enormous, otherwise, the money will not last very long. Remember, it is your money.

Ekya / October 10, 2023

A Guide To Navigating Academic Stress

Academic pressure and impending board exams can feel like an overwhelming storm, but as a 10th-grade student who's been through the burnout ringer, I've discovered effective strategies to stay afloat. When stress creeps in, I lean on a toolbox of coping mechanisms that help me maintain balance and clarity.

Understanding my panic patterns has been key. I've learnt that giving my all is important, but the outcome isn't a mirror of my worth. I remind myself of this and reframe my perspective. To escape my study-clogged mind, I turn to books – they whisk me away to new worlds, however briefly. Music acts as a soothing balm; I limit panic to 5 minutes and then channel my energy into finding solutions.

Engaging in physical activities is another lifesaver. Running or spending time outdoors channels my pent-up energy, allowing my mind to reset. Moreover, taking up hobbies like painting or playing a musical instrument provides a welcome distraction and cultivates a sense of accomplishment beyond academics.

Remember, you're more than your grades. Embrace your unique strengths, employ these strategies, and watch stress lose its grip. With determination, self-awareness, and a dash of escapism, you'll breeze through the academic whirlwind.

Written By: Ahaana Singhal Student of Grade 10

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Sound and Light Show at Ekya ITPL – Stories from Our Schools

To be alive in this beautiful, self-organizing universe -- to participate in the dance of life with senses to perceive it, lungs that breathe it, organs that draw nourishment from it -- is a wonder beyond words.

- Joana Macy

True to this quote, Ekya School ITPL put on a tribute to the human senses, in the form of a Sound and Light show. As part of the Open Day, organized in November, the Sound and Light show organized by our students had an innovative twist, combining the influences of Mathematics, History, Art and Architecture. India is an amalgamation of various cultures, the beauty of which is clearly evident in the numerous architectural marvels present in our country. Math and architecture being intricately linked, and each of these well-constructed structures clearly display notable mathematical concepts. Through the Sound and Light show, the students showcased these concepts associated with famous landmarks like the Nachiar Kovil, the Konark Sun Temple and the Taj Mahal, also highlighting the rich culture of the lands where these structures exist. Enthralled by the visuals before them, the audience got to learn more about the mathematical concepts behind each structure through informative presentations. On display were the various dance forms of Bharatnatyam, Odissi, Kathak and Sufi, presented with the corresponding landmark and the state it belonged to. Members of the audience were treated to shadow performances, using their sense of sight to perceive the movements of the dances with live background music played by students. Being transported to another dimension, where music, dance and art brought alive the essence of incredible India, this was a unique experience that turned out to be truly memorable and enthralling for everyone present. Fundraising for 20 Eye Surgeries – How students of Ekya ITPL raised Rs. 30,000 for eye surgeries at Sankara. Bangalore’s Garbage Crisis – How Grade 4 students of Ekya JP Nagar used Design Thinking to find solutions to the city's problems.

Life – Poem by Trishikha Kiran Rao

On this feature of Poets of Ekya, Trishika Kiran Rao from Grade X, Ekya School JP Nagar pens her thoughts on life and its journey of ups and downs.

If only life was simple Without its ups and downs, A smooth, normal journey, Never tumbling to the ground. Only filled with good things With an abundance of happiness Sans double-crossing and cheating, A world filled with kindness. However, one day it struck me As I sat deep in thought What kind of life would this be Without everything its got? What is life without tears? One with nothing to learn One where mistakes aren't corrected One with no success to earn. One with no special bonds, Where everyone hides their fears. For the true colours of a person comes to light Only when he shows the world his tears. What is life without hope? One with nothing to look forward to, One with nothing to wake up to, One with nothing left to do. One with nothing to fight for, With no reason to move on Because a person living without hope Is as good as gone.   Trishika Kiran Rao Grade X Ekya School JP Nagar

More poems from our young poets

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