Low Cost Experiments
The fundamental precepts of math, physics, chemistry, and biology can seem dauntingly abstract, but Agastya’s low-cost models and experiments help bridge the gap to understanding. Seeing is believing, and the value of simple – but ingenious – explanatory devices is immeasurable, not only for students who are learning these things for the first time, but also for their classroom teachers. Where reading about scientific principles and experiments is not just the beginning of a lesson, but usually all that can be provided by teachers in the rural government schools, Agastya’s teachers are no less than magicians, teaching science with drinking straws and a snip of the scissors! How does sound travel? With a few well-placed cuts, a straw becomes a whistle that can be used to demonstrate the physics of sound waves, and the relationships between wavelength, pitch, and the length of the vibrating tube.
Agastya’s teachers work with leading scientists and engineers to design simple experiments and models that effectively convey important concepts; because they are simple, and made from inexpensive, everyday materials, small rural schools gain access to instructional aids to augment their curricula that otherwise would be far too costly to consider.
Experiments are demonstrated using everyday items to help the children see that science is all around them – not just in wealthy city schools and universities, or in sterile scientific laboratories. Children are encouraged to try things on their own. Their innovation is awakened, and their creativity is sparked. Aside from their explanatory value, Agastya’s low-cost experiments convey a very important message to the children who see them: that they can learn by tinkering with ordinary materials that may be close at hand. The world is their laboratory.