Erdkinder during the pandemic

Erdkinder during the pandemic
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Author: Chaithanya Yalamanchili

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected each and everyone of us. It has particularly affected the children who were forced stay at home as their schools were closed. Our adolescents (12 year old’s) who joined the Erdkinder program this year were excited to be part of it. However, that excitement was short-lived as they were working alone at home rather than working together as a community at school. But, these adolescents are a determined bunch. We, as a community, have decided to make the best of what we are served with and continue the process of learning.

The adolescents were interested in robotics. They decided to study it and build some robots in the process. After an initial research, they decided that they will learn the Arduino board which is commonly used to build a variety of robots. Use of Arduino requires a basic understanding of electronic components and circuits. It also requires the study of C++ language. The adolescents have worked on it for about 4 months and gained a working knowledge of the Arduino board.

As an expression of their knowledge, they decided to build a robotic arm. It requires the use of the Arduino and servos which are controlled by potentiometers. After a tedious struggle, we were able build the arms controlled by the Arduino. During this process, the adolescents have learnt to understand and implement technologies, troubleshoot problems, and study the limitations of the components involved. It was an especially heroic effort on their part as they had to learn it all mostly on their own with a little help from the adult due to online learning. Check out the videos below.

The adolescents also showed affinity towards cooking. During the first few months of the academic year, we decided that we will choose a recipe every week and prepare it ourselves at home. In this process, the adolescents used a variety of ingredients to add their personal touch to the dish. They shared their recipe and the pictures of their dish. They also wanted to know how it tastes. So, the adolescents served it to their family, got their feedback and shared it with the community. We have decided to include all these recipes into our school cookbook and try them more often once the school reopens. As a final expression of their work, they decided to take up complicated recipes and try them. It was a fun learning experience that grounded them in practical life activities.

Even though it has been a testing time this year, the adolescents did try to make the best out of it and continue their process of learning as a community.

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