Hands-on Science Programme

Welcome to the ThinkTac event with Ekya Schools on 20 April 2020, 11am. Before joining us for the 60-min session on the 20th, each child who is interested in participating should complete the tasks listed below.

During this time of an unprecedented lockdown and global uncertainty, it is imperative that children continue engaging with each other, their schools and teachers and their academics through whatever way possible. Due to this scenario, ThinkTac has curated and improvised many of its Tactile Activities (TACtivities) such that they may be made with purely household materials. These have been offered as Summer Themes for any child in the world to take up through our innovative offering: Unlab!

In this one-of-a-kind event with children from Ekya Schools, we offer One TACtivity, Free of Cost, to any child and her/his family who want to attend the programme alongside the child. Here is what you need to do:

In the Live Interaction, ThinkTac Facilitators will do a short demo, followed by discussions to guide the child through a path of self-discovery, connecting the dots to theory, reinforcing concepts and providing both anecdotes and real-life examples connected to the TACtivity and the underlying concept(s).

  1. Prep work
    • Use the material
    • Make the TACtivity
    • Age group: 10 to 13 years
    • Complete observation table
  2. Interactive session through zoom for 1 hour by ThinkTac facilitators – 20 April 2020, 11am.

a. Material list

Material Alternate Material ListTool List
Binding WireMetallic wire, old pen refill, toothpick, broomstick piece – any of these of 6 to 10 cm lengthGlue, Scissors, Ruler, Cutter, Vessel/Bucket
Safety PinU pin, binding wire
Card SheetSoap box, toothpaste box, invitation card
Plastic BottlePlastic cup

b. Instruction video

c. Instruction guide

d. Troubleshoot points

  • The turbine blades are not directly above the hole.
  • Hole in the cap is at the centre.
  • Not enough water in the vessel.
  • The safety pins aren’t placed opposite each other or are not at the same height.
  • Turbine blades are too long and hence, keep hitting the bottle cap.
  • Turbine blades are too small for air to hit the blades.

 e. Observation table

We learn the most from experience when we actively reflect back on the experience. Our reflection is richer when we collect relevant and useful data while we are going through the experience.

Observation table for the TACtivity you worked on, provides a framework to collect data as you work on it. Download the following file and edit it using any pdf reader.

Tidal Turbine Observation Table 

Note that you won’t be able to edit it through the browser. You need to download the file. If you don’t have a pdf reader, please download it from the following links:

Windows, MAC, Android:

Xreader: https://github.com/linuxmint/xreader
Libre Office: https://www.libreoffice.org/download/download/

Dr. Procheta Mallik and Vishal Bhatt will be facilitating your experience with the ThinkTac TACtivity.

Procheta Mallik graduated with Physics Honours, B.Sc. (University of New Hampshire, USA, 2005) and completed his Ph.D. in Astronomy (University of Glasgow, UK, 2009), followed by a year of post-doctoral research.

Upon returning to India, Procheta pursued his passion in science education by doing astronomy popularisation activities for schools such as The Valley School, before joining Innovation at and Science Promotion Foundation (ISPF) at its inception in 2014. As a Trustee of ISPF, he and his colleagues founded ThinkTac, a social enterprise offering hands-on science activities and curriculum to schools and individuals. Procheta is responsible for R&D and curating activities at both organisations.

He is also an avid traveller, cricket freak and classical musician.

Vishal Bhatt studied Computer Science and joined Synopsys Bangalore after  completing his Masters from IIT Delhi. Vishal worked with Synopsys for 11 years where he experienced systems programming as well as people management. His urge to explore other areas made him quit Synopsys and join the education domain where he has been working since Jan 2011. He worked on parenting workshops and teacher training programmes at amable Geniekids for 2 1⁄2 years before joining the world of science education at ThinkTac & ISPF. Vishal is one of the founders and trustees at ISPF and also, one of the founders of ThinkTac. He heads the operations and pedagogy at ThinkTac. He is also one of the founder trustees of the alternate school – BeMe. The dream of rekindling scientific temper in each child around keeps him awake.

unLab is the hands-on science programme from ThinkTac that is carried out from the comfort of your home. The activities are Specially designed using simple household materials and executed with the help of detailed instruction guides and videos.

Children make before they start playing with the science models and experiments. Having made the TACtivities from scratch with their own hands, children develop a sense of ownership and feel empowered to make the models again. Most often, as children make and explore these TACtivities (TACtile Activities) further, they tend to change a few variables (which may or may not have a functional impact), either consciously or subconsciously. This leads to exploration and learning, which happen in an organic manner, for each child.

Children are encouraged to make suggested variations, as well as innovations they come up with, and fill in an observation sheet to record their findings. Support is at hand to help troubleshoot and get the activity working. Based on the programme, either a pre-scheduled webinar or a video call with a ThinkTac expert is available, to guide the child through a path of self-discovery, connecting the dots to theory, reinforcing concepts and providing both anecdotes and real-life examples.

ThinkTac is a social enterprise offering curriculum aligned, hands-on, experiential science programmes, face-to-face & online, providing materials & resources to create, experiment, tinker, innovate and learn science, inculcating scientific temper & improving cognitive skills. ThinkTac offers extensive digital content and assessment without tests ensuring deep conceptual understanding while children have fun and engage with science. Programmes cover Physics, Chemistry and Biology for III – X Standards across CBSE, ICSE and several state boards. 

ThinkTac’s Mission is to provide every child a platform to continually engage, enjoy and innovate hands-on with science as they learn.