SHIKSHAMITRA is a process for learning to live better. It is a space where one

learns to keep well and to help others keep well too. Shikshamitra has an address.

However, it goes beyond this – permeating into the lives of many, influencing

one’s choices in life and ways of life. To be associated with Shikshamitra is to assume

the responsibility of trying to live better. It is a continuous attempt to search for

activities that inspire life and build trust, or, it is an attempt to keep away from

anything to the contrary. Shikshamitra is a means toward becoming aware of

how much one can be and knowing exactly what one’s limitations are.

April 09, 2011

Evolution of a Life Science Class

We are fortunate to have a microbiology professor as our landlord. He wanted to do something with the children and we came up with a plan to show them various things through the microscope. We started in November 2009 looking at cells from onion skin and squamous epithelium from behind the lips. We then looked at the bacteria found in curd as well as those from our mouth. We examined blood cells too. We decided to do blood group testing and blood pressure checking for all children. We discussed antigens and antibodies, and the ABO system and how it gets determined genetically. Our explorations explained why one teacher had a daughter with negative blood group, even though she and her husband both had positive blood group.

Noticing the interest level among the children, we deviated from the traditional botany --> zoology--> human physiology path and even left the respiratory --> digestive --> circulatory --> … route. We jumped straight into “blood” instead. We discussed what the blood carries from where to where and how it is linked to each system. We talked about what all goes into our body and even what all comes out. We then went system by system – respiratory, excretory, alimentary (and food types), nervous – discussing related diseases and conditions (e.g. asthma in respiratory and coma, paralysis in nervous system). We also discussed the reproductive system as well as genetics till mid 2010. Then the science class took on a geographic bend to include “where we live.”

Meanwhile at the end of 2010, we had to close the school unit. A few of these children are going to take the Open School X Standard – RMV Exam and are continuing to study at Shikshamitra. The rest of the children have shifted to government schools. These RMV children will take their L.Sc. exam in December 2011 and Geography in June 2012.

- by Swati

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