Transitioning from Experimental Science to Experiential Science

Vaishnavi Deepak

Scientific literacy is a priceless gold mine. It shapes the present and future of not only individuals but societies as well. With science focusing more on evolution and innovation, it comes as no surprise that its pedagogy is also evolving. Scientific literacy, today, is a combination of knowledge, skills, and attitudes which reflect the traditional learning methods.

As Herbert Spencer rightly mentioned, “In science, the important thing is to modify and change one’s ideas as science advances.” In this decade,  there was a radical shift in the approach towards learning and teaching STEM subjects. The experimental approach is, gradually, being traded for an experiential approach. To decipher the reason behind this  transition, it is important to understand the fundamentals of both methods

Experimental learning focuses more on testing theoretical aspects. A scientist devises experiments on relevant topics, substances or events, to put her/his theories to test. The outcome of her/his experiments may either confirm or contradict his theories. In certain cases, she/he may have to abandon her/his experiments. This type of pedagogy limits teaching to a laboratory centered approach.

children learning science by  experiential learning.

Experiential learning is a teaching strategy that links field, laboratory and classroom experiences with real-life situations and applications Experiential learning also exposes students to real-life experiences when scientific theories are brought to life through a series of applications (not limited to experiments). Field and laboratory activities enable students to focus and reflect on a task,  allowing them to develop a better understanding of the concepts at hand.  

Now, that we have established the basic distinction between both the effective methods, it should not be hard to identify that experiential learning is a more inclusive and practical approach to both teaching and learning. This approach appears to be more effective as it is a combination of many schools of thought, including but not limited to concrete experiences, reflective observations, abstract conceptualization, and active experimentation.

Experiential learning imparts qualities like cogent thinking, critical reasoning and the ability to make astute observations; thereby, being one of the reasons for it to be implemented in scientific study. Hands-on learning is better than traditional science learning, as it provides industry relatable experience.   Establishing the learning outcome of any topic will help in introducing appropriate hands-on learning activities to students through various experiential disciplines.  This will help students unlearn and restructure their understanding of the concepts of any topic, leaving no room for ineffective learning. 

An added advantage of employing such methods is the piqued interest levels in children.  Hands-on approaches can also be introduced at the higher education level to ensure students get more involved in experiential learning. Irrespective of the learning outcome, providing a reflective, interactive and student-centric method of learning will help students remember the concepts for a longer time.  As Aristotle famously said, “For the things, we have to learn: Before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” Achieving the dream of including innovation in every realm of academics is possible, through the implementation of experiential learning.

Motivation to take learning back home.

Author – Vaishnavi Deepak

Learning is an ongoing process. It is something that follows its master everywhere. Whether it is homework, preparing for an assignment or studying for an exam, it is not a practice that is limited to confined spaces.

The existing education system has a conventional view towards learning, more like a horse’s blinker. Restricting learning to the four walls of a classroom is a common mistake that teachers and parents make while nurturing students and children who are born learners. While the classroom is the primary source of instruction, it is vital that – intellectual, social and academic growth extend outside the walls of the classroom.

The concept of ‘home assignments’ was first thought of, to inculcate the discipline of putting time into one’s craft in young children. However, today it is a stale concept as it has been veiled as a punishment and hence, has lost its primary goal.

There is a pressing need to re-evaluate ‘outside-the-classroom’ learning practices and find a secret potion to motivate young talented students to take up these learning practices.

We, at ThinkTac, have you covered as we present to you, the top three tricks that will help today’s academicians and parents master the art of ensuring learning is taken back home.

Here goes:

  • Make efforts to create a reading environment:

Every space that students surround themselves with, should be conducive to learning. And reading is a habit that is not time or space-bound.

Read to your child frequently. Have your child read aloud. Create a family reading time/room where everyone focuses on reading for at least 20 minutes a day.

Fill your classroom and home with reading materials (novels, posters, newspapers, magazines, etc.) to create an atmosphere of reading, that will indicate the importance of reading to your child (or students).

Make sure the demarcated area is quiet, comfortable and free from distractions. Try to experiment with different study areas. 

  • Combine fun and learning at home:

Most children look forward to returning home from school,  as it allows them to indulge in activities that help them unwind/relax. It would do the children a world of good if their recreational hobbies were integrated with academic ideas to help them grasp concepts better.

Think “science experiment” and you might have visions of a chemistry lab explosion. Fear not! You don’t have to turn your kitchen into a blast zone to teach science. There are plentiful DIY experiments and models on our website that can be done in the comfort of one’s home, yet making sure that they engage the learner’s grey cells.

You could also devise simple games that could be swapped for idle pastimes. Adapt the game for school-age children to cover anatomy, world government, foreign language, and history, etc. What you choose to teach with this game is only limited by your imagination.

  • Encourage conversations and active learning:

Conversations and interactions at home can help develop a positive attitude towards learning and build confidence in themselves as learners. 

Children who haven’t learned to listen carefully often have trouble following directions and paying attention in class. Children need active learning just as much as quiet learning.

Active learning involves asking and answering questions, solving problems and exploring interests. It can also take place when they play sports, spend time with friends, play a musical instrument or visit museums and bookstores.

To promote active learning, listen to their ideas and respond to them. Let them jump in with questions and opinions when you read or learn something new together. When this type of give-and-take at home is encouraged, it incentivizes them to take their academics back home.

Turning every day into a learning day may be too much, but it really isn’t, if you go about it the right way.  Do take note that not everything has to feel like a classroom lesson. Get young kids excited about discovering something new by using these tips and motivating them to take their learning back home, willingly and energetically.

As Simone Weil rightly said, “The joy of learning must be as indispensable in study as breathing is in running.”

Tips to increase your child’s self-confidence

Author – Vaishnavi Deepak.

People who are confident are eager to learn new skills and face new challenges.

Tips to increase your child’s self-confidence

As Oprah Winfrey astutely said, “It is confidence in our bodies, minds, and spirits that allows us to keep looking for new adventures.”

As adults, we often face pangs of low confidence and are reminded of our insecurities. In a later stage of life, being set in our ways, it is hard to evolve overnight into a more self- assured individual.

Besides, most of these issues stem from the early days of our development- our childhood.

For children today, it is vital to grow up with a sense of self-worth to be able to match steps with their peers. Self-confidence is crucial for getting along with others and working out  many social challenges—such as sharing, competing, and making friends—that children face in school settings.

Parents are, thus, increasingly concerned about ensuring their kids  not getting sucked into the traps of demotivation or discouragement.

Taking into account this alarming need to ensure children are confident and assured at all times, we have compiled a list of tips that will come handy to parents that are on the quest to raise happier children-

  • Appreciate any effort – Be it small or big, effort must always be applauded. A kid’s journey is really the cumulation of all the efforts they take to build themselves. Be sure, however, to not delude your child from the realities of their work through excessive appreciation. Keep it moderate, but more importantly, keep it constant. It works like an incentive to strive harder and hence, grow.
  • Encourage interests and passions – Back your child at whatever they wish to practice or show interest in. Most young prodigies swear by early beginnings and your nod of approval or push in the right direction might steady them into something they could be great at. Also, having well rounded personalities  are most of the times synonymous with confidence and the process must begin early.

“Practice invests effort in the confident expectation that improvement will follow.”

  • Quit rescuing them – It is only natural to have a parental pang when you find misery befalling your child. Your gut then drives you to do the best to singlehandedly rescue them out of it. However, replace this instinct with the understanding that children only learn and grow from obstacles. Allow your kids to take chances and risks and come out of them on their own merit. This small moment of holding back on your part will translate to greater outcomes in their crisis management abilities, independence and self-worth.
  • Promote problem solving – Running on similar lines as the previous tip, promoting problem solving in your child can encourage them to mature and come up with innovative ideas to get through their roadblocks.

Author of the book, ‘Raising a thinking child’, Myrna Shure says, “Kids are confident when they are able to negotiate getting what they want.”

In this context, setting up an environment of reasoning and cogent arguments to come around every situation of disagreement at home can be effective in helping kids develop the ability and confidence to back themselves in the future.

  • Fantasise about the future – If kids can envision themselves doing something important or fulfilling, when they grow up, they are bound to feel more confident now. Talk to your child about how you, or other acquainted adults, chose careers. Your child may dream of being an international singer or an astronaut, but don’t try to lower their expectations. Even if they change their mind, the important thing is that they are thinking about their goals.

“Kids have to learn to measure themselves against themselves.” says family therapist Jay Scott Fitter, author of ‘Respect Your Children’. Envisioning the skill set they would require in comparison to what they have, will instil a drive to develop their personalities. As enticing as the future might be, the focus should still lay on personal growth. This is their gauntlet to healthy confidence.

Games That Boost Memory Skills & Cognitive Fitness

Video games that improve memory

When you play games that boost your memory, fun and productivity are what follows!

Today we are all taking to working out physically to stay in the pink of fitness. But we tend to totally lose out on our deteriorating mental fitness. Cognitive health and memory sharpening require a fair amount of our attention.

Keep your blood clean, your body lean and your mind sharp!

Henry Rollins

To tame this stumbling block, we have compiled a list of games that will help enhance your mental functioning and boost your memory.
The best part of this is that it will feel less like an exercise and more like a recreational activity!

Here goes,

Strategy Video Games

These games don’t just improve your cognitive functioning but also help to increase your motor coordination. These are real-time science fiction games that allow the user to control the fate of the character that they use in the game.

Video games that boost memory

A study has found that playing strategy games like StarCraft can increase a player’s brain flexibility, which refers to the ability to allocate the brain’s resources under changing circumstances. Brain flexibility has often been referred to as the cornerstone of human intelligence.

Since these games also include new technologies and continually emerging features/ammunition, it also needs the player to discover the usage of these and remember the functions of every feature whilst being sharp enough to employ them when they are needed.

Examples- StarCraft, XCom Enemy Unknown, and Civilization

It’s a win-win. Better memory and game time. Perfect for teens, and for adults!

Related Reads: 7 Activities to Improve Your Child’s Fine Motor Skills and Cognitive Development.

Action Role Playing games

Video games that boost memory

These games require the user to be a first-person action executer- like shooting, driving and so on. What this ensures is that hand-eye coordination and motor skills are sharpened.

It also makes the mind work in close coordination with physical reflexes. These are also of multi-player type which could make it a group activity, thus boosting engagement levels of the user.

Additionally, expert action gamers who play first-person shooting games have observed a boost in their contrast sensitivity function, or the ability to discern subtle changes in the brightness of an image.

Contrast sensitivity is the first of the visual aptitudes to diminish over time, which results in the loss of the ability to pick out bright patches (which is key to tasks like driving at night).

Examples- Witcher, Diablo and Battlefield 4

These games again are suitable for everyone above the age of thirteen.

Modern Trends in Classroom Learning Schools Need to Adopt!

Modern Classroom Trends

Education is synonymous with evolution. However, education itself is an evolving phenomenon. With the advent of technology and varying demands from the workforce, it is only obvious that classroom learning too will have to change to adopt such modern trends.

As teachers, it becomes paramount to ensure that your classroom is equipped for this evolution. After all, a classroom is only as good as the student.

To stay in sync with these rapid changes, people have come up with trends that could be implemented to upgrade your classrooms. The list though can be overwhelming for a teacher. Fret not!

We have you covered with the following list of worthy modern education trends.

Modern Trends for Classroom Learning:

1. Collaborative learning

This is also called co-operative or team teaching. It makes things easier for classroom teachers to be both innovative and interactive. This trend is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years.

It involves educators working in tandem to lead, instruct and mentor groups of students.

To be effective, the art of co-operative teaching typically requires thoughtful consideration on the part of educators. Therefore, teachers should set aside time for developing lessons and deciding on appropriate learning approaches to use with specific students or groups.

Modern Classroom Trends

Collaborative teachers need to bring their most exceptional strengths and practices to the team while remaining flexible to adapt to alternative methodologies that can benefit student learning. In this way, teachers continue growing in their professional skills and students gain understanding from a variety of instructional approaches.

Team teachers must also present a united front so that students perceive each as being of similar importance in knowledge and authority, consequently leading to more civil learning environments. 

2. Blended or Hybrid learning

This is a trend of learning wherein online learning aids and web-based interaction is actively used in the classroom. From Google Docs to interactive whiteboards and IoT applications, technology has paved its way into the classroom. The focus is to explore the reasoning behind every lesson imparted.

As Harry Wong said, “In an effective classroom, students should not only know what they are doing. They should also know why and how.” This approach, also called mixed-mode learning, ensures that new engagement opportunities are introduced for students.

The tricky part here, for educators to note, is that the transition from face-to-face learning to fully online learning can be taxing on students. Teachers should establish a fine balance between the two. The mode of delivery that compliments the learning objective must be employed in the learning scheme. Students, in turn, will get massive exposure to how technology can be integrated into daily life.

3. Experiential Learning:

Imagine if all the theoretical lessons in a textbook were swapped for a series of activities or experiments that drive home the same concept! This is the crux of experiential learning.

It is a series of hands-on experiences of concepts, aimed at exercising critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.

One could also make sense of it as repeated cycles involving experience, reflection, conceptualization, and experimentation in any order.

“For the things, we have to learn: before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”


Experiencing theoretical concepts through real-world simulations of the same can actually be an alternative method of improving engagement of students in their academics.

Improved interest levels will only result in a better grasp of the concepts at hand. Creativity can be infused into this to bring in a ‘fun’ element to regular classroom learning.

Modern Classroom Trends

At ThinkTac, we believe in the power of experiential and tactile learning. We have a set of TACtivities that bridge the gap between play and work, involving real-time activities that enforce regular academic concepts.

The end-goal for any educator is the same – to dispense the best set of skills suited to help propel their students to greater heights. New challenges require new approaches and the above list is a set of ideas worth giving a shot.  

Hands-on Learning And Its Benefits

Hands on Science

Author – Shriya Agarwal

Like they say, Hands-on is Minds-on. Read on to come to this conclusion!

Despite having studied Anatomy and understanding a lot of the related concepts very well, when I performed ThinkTac’s TACtivity where I had to prepare a ball-and-socket joint model myself, using plastic balls and pencils, not only did I have a lot of fun but also improved my clarity about the concept of the functioning of the joint. Me performing the activity is the first image that pops up in my mind when I hear ball-and-socket joint anywhere. It is as if the moment has been imprinted in my long-term memory. That’s hands-on learning: learning by doing.

Benefits of Adopting Hands-on Learning



Indeed, learning actively helps children in retaining information for a longer time as it involves more number of senses and helps in learning through trial and error. Not only does it provide them an engaging environment but also helps in developing their critical-thinking skills.


In the real world, spoon-feeding doesn’t work for long and children must learn to execute tasks themselves. Hands-on learning helps in building confidence and increasing self-belief. It also reduces dependency and helps in developing leadership qualities. The children start to focus on solutions rather than complaining, and learn to fix problems on their own. They come to know exactly where they get stuck and what their strengths and weakness are.



Hands-on learning helps children in exploring their creativity and ways of achieving the same results through the implementation of different ideas, thus, encouraging independent thought process and intuitive learning. As a result, it helps children in putting knowledge to use in real-world situations.

Related Reads: 7 Activities to Improve Your Child’s Fine Motor Skills and Cognitive Development

Hands-on Learning Vs Traditional Book Reading

Imagine teaching your child to cycle. Now imagine teaching them cycling using a book. When they really begin cycling, they will be clueless. The traditional book education system is no different from this.


Unless children take part in such activities, they will never learn how to actually swim or cycle no matter how much they read about it.

But of course, if they know the basics and they want to try learning new tricks, books can without a doubt aid the process.

Undeniably, it’s easy to learn about something when we have to see or experience it. Hands-on learning promotes experiential learning and decreases the need to cram. However, hands-on learning should not be a replacement for the traditional book-reading method.

You can make the most of the two when they share a symbiotic relationship. Without hands-on learning, it is difficult to implement bookish knowledge to its full potential!

ThinkTac promotes a hands-on method of learning in the science concepts taught at schools today. If you think your children love science, then ThinkTac’s range of programs and products would be the best toys you can equip your kids with!

So, if you think your children find it hard to understand the science concepts taught at schools, well then, what better way to teach them science and clear their concepts than getting down and dirty with some hands-on science!

4 Essentials to Your Child’s Back-to-School Kit

A back-to-school kit is quintessential to your child’s rebound back into school life.

As young kids face the blues of making the transition from laid back vacations to routine academics, they need to be equipped with all the help they can get. Parents, on the other hand, have a separate challenge. This involves preparing their ward’s mindset alongside adapting to the change in their routine.

This is when having a prepped back to school kit comes in handy. A back to school kit is essentially a staple set of materials and mindsets that will be put to use immediately as the student gets out of the break and into school. Suggestions to hit the bull’s eye with the back to school kit are as following:

Essentials to the back-to-school Kit

1. Stock up on school supplies

Back to School Kit

unsplash-logoTim Gouw

The visual of freshly purchased notebooks, tightly wrapped in a brown sheet and labeled still spells out ‘Back-to-School’ to me!

Supplies entail all the stationery and knick-knacks that a student will require at school. These ensure that the student has no logistical hindrances in the beginning days. A way to up the excitement to get back to the routine could also be to accessorize supplies by themes, like the solar system, or seek out such design inspirations.

2. Revisit the Vacation

Vacation - Back to School

unsplash-logoVicko Mozara

It is always a good idea to have a roundup of how your kid spent their time in the break.

Assessing the activities’ they took part in, the hobbies that held a major chunk of their time, and the changes in their interests will help you, as a parent, approach the academic year better. You will know which extracurricular activity to sign them up for (which could also ease the vacation-lag). It will also help in identifying the areas of concern with the child’s lifestyle and attitude towards learning.

3. Stress on curiosity

Curiosity - Back to School

unsplash-logoJoseph Rosales

The most important weapon in any young learner’s arsenal, is the inquisitive attitude towards anything they learn.

As Walt Disney, famously said, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

The initial days of an academic term are synonymous with lesser workload. This could be the right time to tap into your child’s will to learn and explore, thus setting stage for all the lessons that the curriculum will being them.

The TACtivities provided at ThinkTac are an ideal way of ensuring the same. They introduce new and engaging concepts in a manner that doesn’t compromise on the fun aspect of learning. It also employs the tactile and experiential learning experiences for your kid.

4. Play-time and down hours

Lego for Kids - Back to School

unsplash-logoHello I’m Nik

There was definitely one hard obstacle that I faced getting back to school every term. This was losing all my idle time to play and do the things that restored my energy. Be it- reading, watching television or socializing with friends.

Recreation is an indelible part of growing up. And, in the transformative time of getting back to school, kids tend to find a need for it more than ever. They feel the temptation to extend their designated play hours and engage in un-academic interests.

As parents, it is important to be mindful of the fact that the transition is always hard. This is an apt time to cut some slack for the children and allow them to dwell in their mirth till the demands of academic life pick up.

No back to school kit will ever be complete without some implied considerations- A healthy breakfast, a positive outlook, and a good night’s sleep. Ensure that your kids leave their anxiety and fears at home and march on to conquer another year of school.

Platforms for Kids to Display Talents

Science Awards

Author – Shriya Agarwal

One thing we can all agree on, about kids, is that they are overflowing with creativity! Remember the Bournvita Quiz Contest back in the day? It was one of my favorite shows as a kid and I remember, in one audience round, whispering the answer to a question in my sister’s ear. I never summoned up the courage to raise my hand and answer it. And yes, the answer I whispered was the correct answer and someone else got a prize for giving it!

Another show that my siblings and I used to like, was Spell Bee. Looking back, I am amazed at how such platforms gave a wonderful opportunity for children to challenge their knowledge, learn from peers, explore, enjoy, and bring out the spark in them.

Hands-on Science Contest – RYSI

Today there is a plethora of opportunities for children to display their inherent, latent talent. One such opportunity to develop an interest in Science at a young age is the Raman Young Science Innovator (RYSI) Award,  which has been instituted by the Raman Research In Institute Trust and Innovation and Science Promotion Foundation (ISPF) and sponsored by ThinkTac. It is unique and the biggest hands-on science contest for children anywhere in the country.

Who can participate?

The RYSI Award is open to all children nationwide, studying in standards III to X, and aims to establish Science as fun, interesting, and something that can be explored anywhere with simple materials.

Hands-on Science

The Participants are expected to create hands-on science activities that demonstrate a principle in the selected topic; working models, toys or experiments that help demonstrate a scientific principle may be submitted. The children can register on the website and all the registrations and participation is totally Free!

What Happens in RYSI?

Each of the first two years has seen more than 10,000 children participate in the preliminary phase, where they submit an innovation online. This is then judged by the ISPF Team as well as a selected group of volunteers.

Science Awards

More than 100 children are shortlisted for the Live Finals, which happens annually at Sir C.V. Raman’s old home, Panchavati, in Bangalore. During the Finals, children are given a topic and a selection of materials, from which they have to make an impromptu innovation on-the-spot.

Senior researchers, scientists, and teachers from reputed institutions across Bangalore come to interact with the children and select the awardees!

What do the winners get?

On winning the event the child will be awarded cash prizes up to Rs. 20,000/- and a national award certificate, while all the participants are presented with a participating certificate.


Get Registering!

If you believe your child has the inquisitiveness, love for science and the creativity to win the RYSI Awards, register them now! From my Bournvita Quiz experience, I can confirm that if there’s one thing that your child will regret, it is the chances she or he didn’t take! So what are we waiting for? Let’s get them enrolled now!

Helicopter Parent: 4 Easy Steps to Stop Being One

Helicopter Parenting

Author – Shriya Agarwal

Are you an overprotective parent who takes excessive interest in the life of your child a.k.a. a Helicopter parent?

Parenting styles can be classified as authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, neglectful, overprotective, narcissistic, polarised, dependent, isolated, and toxic. Of these, overprotective parents can be classified as a Helicopter Parent.

In order to give children the best life possible some parents act out on their own insecurities,  thus, restricting their children from learning from their own mistakes. As a result, their children grow up anxious and utterly afraid, just like them, and are not equipped with healthy coping skills to care for themselves.

Helicopter parenting - anxious children

When we confuse ‘guidance’ with ‘constant interference’ in any child’s life, it is likely that the child will not learn by doing, but will have trouble dealing with issues alone later on, and will not develop a confident and an independent mindset.

On the other hand, parenting done right is quite like equipping the child with a well-strapped parachute that is made up of common-sense, courage, and kindness. And then, teaching the child to jump independently.


It is not intended that we choose to overstep our parenting boundaries, it is only out of concern for our children. But sometimes the best thing we, as parents, need to do is to sit back and watch our child fail, fail and fail again while learning something new on their own in the process.

So, if you too are guilty of finding yourself in the driving seat of your child’s life, here is a 4-step guide to let your child steer their life on their own.

A 4-step guide to stop being a helicopter parent and helping your child in getting ready for the real world:


In the initial phase of life when your children are young, you will have to do things for them. This is the stage where your helicoptering would be helpful and necessary.

For example, an infant is fed, cleaned, and put to sleep by the parent; a primary school kid is taught before exams, and a high-school teen is taught about finances but the parents handle it.


By over-helping your children you might make your children feel that they can’t do it by themselves. Therefore, in the second stage of learning, you must involve the child in doing things together, where both you and your child could share a task and you can guide at every step.

For example, a preschooler could learn to eat, clean, and sleep under your guidance; a primary school kid could develop a reading habit, and a high-school teen could be given some monetary responsibility.

“It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings”

Ann Landers


Do not handicap your child by making their lives easy and don’t rescue your child from challenges. Letting them do things by themselves will help them learn the natural consequences of their behaviors and actions. You want them to be independent and confident, right?

Behind every child who believes in himself or herself are parents who believed first.

Related Reads: 7 Activities to Improve Your Child’s Motor Skills and Cognitive Development


Once your children have learned to do something, let them do it independently and explore their individuality and creativity.

“A lot of parents will do anything for their kids except let them be themselves”


We would love to hear from you, let us know in the comments section if this helped you out! And don’t forget to subscribe to our blog to learn more tips and tricks on parenting! ?