What is LIB?

What can you fit into a plain and dull metal box? How about twelve different types of Biology experiments, along with their respective concept related books? At Agastya, sets of 10 boxes are filled to the brim with experiments on Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics, covering more than 70 concepts in total. Collectively, they form Agastya’s Lab in a Box (LIB). 

A typical LIB kit

Lab in a Box is a unique concept that Agastya designed out of a decade of experience to facilitate scale-up. Science and mathematics models are developed concept-wise based on pre-designed learning modules and, together with relevant concept related books, put into boxes of varying sizes. Topics are specially selected to correspond to the government school syllabus so as to facilitate usage. For example, a box containing the topic ‘Sound and Heat’ would include models on properties of heat; heat conductivity in different metals; temperature and thermometers; and amplitude, pitch, frequency, time period and wavelength – concepts that are also found in school textbooks. 

Contents of a LIB box

Once they are packaged properly with colourful stickers, these boxes are distributed to schools across areas where Agastya operates. Teachers from each school are extensively trained to use the models and to expound on them in their lessons. The boxes are left with the school for a period of one to three weeks, facilitating hands-on learning in the school in addition to Agastya’s mobile lab van visits. 

LIB box designing by Agastya’s model making team

Agastya follows a rotation scheme for the distribution of LIB boxes. The ten boxes in one set of LIB are available to each of ten schools for a few weeks. Teachers who have been trained by Agastya give lessons using the LIB models to both students and other teachers in the school. Once the time period is up, the box is passed on to the next school in line.