HSR LAYOUT:Two IIT and IIM graduates have developed low-cost gadgets for use in science classrooms.
Experifun designs and develops curriculum-based exploratory gadgets that call for no additional infrastructure.
The kits allow students to engage in science experiments without the traditional lab infrastructure.
A simple gadget called Plantell beeps when it touches a leaf where photosynthesis is on. The faster the rate of photosynthesis, the faster the beeps.
Another gadget, called Insulator-Conductor, tells students which materials are good conductors of electricity and which are not.
MenDIYleev helps kids find out how the periodic table works, by teaching them the science behind creating tables.
“My partner and I were re-visiting IIM Ahmedabad. One of our professors asked us a very basic question, and we were both stumped. Here we were, two engineers and we couldn’t answer a fundamental science question. It got us thinking about how inefficient primary teaching in the country is,” Rakesh Kumar, co-founder, Experifun, told City Express.
Although science is inherently an exploratory field, students are taught the subject not very differently from say, history.
“They are not encouraged to question and they end up just memorising, and so they miss the fundamental part of what makes science fun and interesting,” says Rakesh.
The kits are already being used in more than 100 schools across India. The team offers about 25 different types of kits with several more in development, covering chemistry, biology and physics. The kits are adapted to fit the syllabi of Grades 5 through 10 of such boards as CBSE, ICSE, Cambridge, IB and State.
Pearson Affordable Learning Fund (PALF), an education fund run by UK-based education company Pearson, has invested in the start-up.
The team is now launching new kits for teaching computers to children. They will be ready by June, and are designed especially for Class 5 students.
“When children are taught to double click on an icon to open an application, little do they know of the process that leads to the application opening up. We’ve developed simple cardboard games that show students exactly how these processes take place,” says Rakesh.
The team at Experifun is looking at launching its products at retail outlets, so parents can buy the kits as well. They hope to hit the market within the next three months.
For more information, visit www.experifun.com. Prices of the science kits will be shared on request