Pune: While the Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) are giving a chance to students to ideate and innovate, in the process of learning how to teach students in a new way, the science teachers in the school are learning new things they never thought they would be able to learn as a school teacher.
Among the many organisations that conduct such training programmes, Jnana Prabodhini, along with KPIT, conducted one recently where 30 teachers from 20 schools in Pune, Jalgaon, Karad and Latur were trained.
Amruta Apte, science teacher at SPM English Medium School who participated in the workshop said, “Till now, the science and mathematics teachers learnt and taught in a traditional way, based mostly on the textbooks, but the Tinkering Labs are going to give us a different experience, away from theoretical knowledge.
It is also acquainting us to the new DIY (Do-It-Yourself) learning method and we are getting a chance not only to teach but to learn something new from the hands-on activities.”
“For the past five days, we have learnt so many new things we never thought we would. While in the first half of the workshop, we were taught about developing research aptitude among students, patent filing, cybersecurity, the second part was more about hands-on training. We learnt to develop our own app using app developer, in advanced electronics we learnt to do programming using Arduino boards,” Apte said.
She added that in the mechanical and carpentry workshop, the teachers were trained to handle many basic hand tools as well as power tools.
“We never have a chance to learn these, as nowadays, for smallest of repairing work at home, we seek professional help. We made an aluminium dustpan, where right from cutting of the metal, bending, hammering, fixing it with screws, we did everything on our own and we also learnt to work with wood,” she added.
Apte feels that along with students, the ATL work will involve teachers, parents and the whole community.
Anjali Amle of DSK School said she has learnt a lot as a teacher and cannot wait to take what she has learnt back to her school soon. “The ATL workshop has certainly changed my point of view towards teaching. Apart from learning innovative ways to teach the students, I have also learnt so much new for myself at the workshops here. We have just been nominated for ATL this year, and the workshop is going to help us set up the lab,” Amle said.
“In the five-day workshop, the teachers have been trained on different aspects related to setting up and running of ATL. While the concept of ATL is new, Jnana Prabodhini has been running similar kind of labs called ‘Maker Space’ since 2015. We have not received the grant for setting up ATL, we anyway decided to use our experience and help other teachers,” said Paresh Shinde, ATL Coordinator Jnana Prabodhini.
There were workshops of mechanical work where the teachers worked on metal, made a paper model called herbal telescope in another workshop, and also learnt glider making, and had 3D printing orientation.
Speaking about the significance of ATLs, Apte said, “Tinkering work is different from the usual science laboratories. As opposed to what people think about it, we don’t need some huge complicated instruments to learn in ATL. This is a place to try out new things, do some activities and projects on our own, and generate new ideas. It will promote experiential learning and creative thinking.”
Atal Tinkering Laboratories or ATLs are open-ended workspaces where students can give shape to their ideas through hands-on ‘do-it-yourself’ learning modules and acquire critical skills to innovate with technology.
KPIT is supporting various ATLs across the country, and as part of the partnership, it organises workshops, boot camps, innovation contests, and science exhibitions for teachers and students enrolled for the mission. Recently similar workshops were held in the north-eastern region, which was attended by 30 teachers from 20 schools.