MAD has established a tie up with Rajagiri School of Engineering and Technology(RASET) through its volunteers studying in the institution. Being offered an opportunity for an educational trip by RASET, MAD spread its sails for a two-part journey towards developing a child’s awareness regarding the field of engineering.
The first trip to Rajagiri was arranged for the children from Valsalya Bhavan and St. Joachim’s on July 25th, 2009. The students were taken to the college in buses by Vijay Roy, volunteer for MAD. The welcome address was followed by a talk given by two students of the college regarding electronic components like resistors, capacitors, ammeters, multimeters etc. The talk lasted around 40 minutes, and was delivered in Malayalam, so that the children could grasp the details of what was being said, with better clarity. Following the talk, refreshments were provided for the kids to help replenish their energy for all what was to follow.
Next, the children were shown five mini-projects made by the final year students of the institution. It included an automatic temperature-controlled fan, a scrolling LED display, an automatic railway gate, an electronic blind man’s stick and an automatic car with obstacle-detection and halting. This was succeeded by an interactive memory game, where the kids where shown all the electronic components they saw earlier, which they now had to name. A considerable number of kids managed to name all the gadgets! The programme concluded with a few children singing songs and a vote of thanks delivered by one of the students. The programme was attended by 14 children from Valsalyabhavan and 21 children from St. Joachim’s. The feedback received from the kids was very positive and encouraging.
The second trip to Rajagiri was arranged for the children of Big Boys, Palluruthy and YMCA Boys Home, Thrikkakara on August 1st,2009. The two buses for the trip was provided for, by Chinmaya School, Vaduthala courtesy of Ms. Maya Mohan. Four MAD volunteers accompanied the students from their respective centres. This includes Nikhila, Arjun, Rijo and Rahul. They were joined by fellow MAD volunteers- Xavier, Ramu and others at Rajagiri. Upon arrival, a welcome speech was delivered to the children, and they were subsequently divided into groups of 20 each, with 2 Rajagiri volunteers accompanying them. Everyone was shown around the vast, green campus, which the children greatly appreciated. They got an opportunity to see the emu and the peacock. They were quite astounded and taken back by the size of the emu. After a refreshing walk around the campus, the children were taken to the labs.
A brief physics class was given to the children at the Electronics Lab. They were given an opportunity to witness the same at a practical level. This was followed by a visit to the Computer Lab, where the children were allowed to browse the internet. A large majority of them googled for their favourite film stars. Some of them were even engrossed in finding their geographical co-ordinates using Google-Earth! The children had a great time in the Computer Lab, and were very hesitant on leaving! They were then served tea and snacks, which was followed by a brief photo session and concluding speech given by a representative from the Rajagiri students. Finally, the time had come for the children to leave, and this idea was not well appreciated by them. They enjoyed their trip thoroughly and some of them even shared their ideas on becoming an engineer after passing out from Rajagiri. All in all, it was an eye-opening experience for the kids, which gave them a practical perspective to life in an engineering college.
(compiled by Arjun David)