05 Nov Learning about climate change and sustainability – the hands-on way!
Rows of innovation, a galore of ideas and the unlimited enthusiasm to learn something new — our Curiosity Carnival offered a little of something to everyone who came to witness technology and design-thinking in action. The 4-day event saw the participation of more than 3000 children and 500 visitors.
The theme of the inaugural carnival, organized in collaboration with ATE Chandra Foundation, addressed climate change and lack of sustainable development which have emerged as the biggest threats to the future of the planet. While displays of prototypes of children’s innovations and interactive STEAM models took over the main exhibit area, a little further away, the workshops section bustled with fun hands-on activities.
Children gathered under white canopies, and sat down to learn from Agastya instructors and experts who have carved a name for themselves in design and education. The activities ranged from creating origami paper animals to using advanced technology like 3-D printing to understand how it could be useful in manufacturing in the future. The goal of all the workshops, however, was the same – to drive home the adverse effects of climate change and the importance of environmental conservation.
In partnership with Hindustan Petrochemical Corporation Limited, 12 such workshops were held in the duration of the carnival:
- Origami Paper Animals – Mayur Bhalavi, a product designer, helped children convert a square piece of paper into shapes of animals. The workshop encouraged the usage of sustainable materials while also incorporating elements of geometry in craft.
- 2. Recycle and Reuse: Using eco-friendly fabrics like hemp, hand embroidery and stitching techniques, children created interesting products that could be used in daily life in this workshop conducted by Bombay Hemp Company.
- 3. Terracotta Animals: Natural clay was another environment-friendly material children used to shape their imagination – quite literally – and create figurines of both known and rare animals. The workshop was conducted by Mad Owl Pottery.
- 4. A New Life at Planet X: The duo of Tanushree A and Aishwarya N helped participants navigate a simulation in which they had to navigate harsh conditions on a newly created planet – using scrap material. The exercise also invigorated innovative thinking in children through storytelling and reflection to imagine a more sustainable planet.
- 5. Sustainability Ka Abhaas: In the workshop conducted by InDes, children were asked to look on a micro level to identity problems in their surroundings and their city, Mumbai, which sees its fair share of unsustainable practices. They further on the observations and came up with alternatives for them.
- 6. Painting Mumbai’s Wildlife: Mumbai is home to plenty of wildlife, some of which are in danger due to man’s encroachment of their spaces. In her workshop, Visual Design Studio’s Ashwini Menon not only introduced the attendees to some of these animals but also celebrated them by getting children to draw them on plates made of natural material.
- 7. Your Daily Green Schedule: Highlighting all the ways in which we generate plastic and other waste that harms the planet, Vaishnavi Mungekar provided tips and a daily schedule to lead a no-plastic and zero waste lifestyle.
- 8.Green Home Green Planet: Agastya’s own Jyoti Salunke, who is an instructor on the Banao Bus, used recycled materials and woodworking tools to push children to take a more hands-on approach towards making existing structures more sustainable and eco-friendly.
- 9. Making in 3-D: Introducing children to cutting edge technology and getting them to explore these innovations is one of the main objectives of the Curiosity Carnival. Agastya’s instructor Raj, put to use the manufacturing technology of 3-D printing to show them how it would eliminate wastage allow for personal making and all the ways it could be used in the near future.
- 10. Eco-Friendly Electronics: Another of our instructors on Banao Bus, Raj, taught children that electronic circuits could also be used to conserve the planet. In the workshop, they learnt to make minimalist objects using these circuits that would serve the purpose well.
- 11. Electronics Workshop: Using electric circuits and simple materials like paper Story of Makers taught basic concepts of physics through engaging hands-on activities.
- 12. Learn About Our Planet with Google Earth: Children learnt to use Google Earth to experience voyager stories, time-lapse and fun activities to learn about how our planet is changing and how it can be conserved in light of the rapid growth it is undergoing.
- 13. Curiosity Fun!: While science and technology can provide a window to the world around us, there is no better teacher than art to make us more curious about it. Representatives from the Kamaan Society used the means of theatre to achieve this, organizing games and exercises that unleashed the children’s inherent curiosity and prompted them to question the world around them.
- 14. Make Your Own Story Book: The participants used their imagination and creativity to build their own stories and even put them on books that they hand-crafted in this workshop conducted by LETS, IIT Bombay