Anshul Arunkumar, a Bengaluru-origin boy in the US and his team of Lego Legends, which came up with the
concept of ‘Touch and Learn’, an interactive 3D-based teaching methodology, were declared co-champions at the Oregon Middle School Robotics Meet recently.
The team members from Lego Legends, who aspire to become software engineers, were among the 265,000 children from 80 countries who were competing and working on designing an improved system to gather knowledge and skills in today’s century.
The children believe it was the boredom they faced in primary school and the way they struggled against it to reach higher grades that contributed to their success.
Bored with the way they were being taught in class, they used the competition as a springboard to tell the adults about the ways that they want to learn. Anshul’s other team members consisting mainly of sixth and seventh standard students were Jasmine Wang, Rishi Alluri, Catherine Lee and Megha Alluri.
For the competition, which was divided into three parts — the robot game, the project, and the core values, the teams had to develop and program a robot on the theme ‘Future of Education’.
The team brainstormed a lot but the most difficult task was to apply the ideas to a specific area in the education system. Arun Sagiraju, Anshul’s father and the teams head coach, along with other parents of the team members guided . It was at this time that the team recalled their dull science classes, where concepts went like bouncers over their heads and the two-dimensional demonstrations did not give them a clear picture of what they were being taught.
Finally, they came up with ‘Touch n Learn’ which provides a more interactive educational method by using real-life 3D experience.
According to Sagiraju, Touch n’ Learn is an extension to a computer keyboard wherein you can turn any day-to-day object that conducts (including humans) electricity as an extension to the computer keyboard.
Sagairaju says the solution has hardware and software, components which complement each other to create the interactive teaching model.
“For hardware, kids based on their interest pick any topic to learn, for example the human brain, skeleton or an animal cell. Then they build a 3D model using day-to-day objects, or even draw on a piece of paper. They hook up the model to a circuit board connected to a computer through a USB port,” he says.
For software, Lego Legends chose Scratch since it was kid-friendly. “The software complements the physical model. For example, as the brain model is touched, the Scratch program could explain the particular function of the brain,” he says.
Source: Bangalore Mirror
Date: Feb 2, 2015