Access to Quality Education is a Basic Human Right. Educated masses are well aware of their rights and responsibilities and are cornerstones of a healthy and Progressive society. Given the importance of education in national building, it is absolutely imperative that curriculum is designed in a manner than enhances inquisitiveness and curiosity. Thinking outside the box and questioning the norms ought to be defining metric of a quality educational system. A good educational system must emphasize on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math). Kids should be exposed to the power of technology & science in a manner that should nurture their intrinsic tinkering nature.
Pakistan lacks not only the infrastructure but also the policy to bring our future generations into 21st century. We are still rote learning. Our Education is still about solving as many theorems from the back of a book without really knowing the Physical phenomenon going on behind it all. Kids are unable to connect the dots between what they learn in the school versus their physical world. They are not enabled to apply even the BASIC MATH and Science Knowledge to everyday situations.
Recently there has been great emphasis on the so called "MAKER" movement. This is an excellent initiative where kids are exposed to the inner workings of physical environment around us. The Key focus is on "DIY" or Do it Yourself. Idea behind this movement is not be a mere consumer of Gadgetry and Objects but understand how they work and while doing so make something new. Given that the movement emphasize "LEARNING THROUGH DOING" in a social environment, Schools can provide a nurturing environment for Kids to openly explore Ideas and provide encouragement to get their hands dirty building and tinkering with tools and objects as diverse as Electronics, Wood working, 3D printing, robotics, CNC based DIY, and more.
EdTech Tools at Uneq Sol
At Uneq Sol we are trying to create awareness in Pakistan to invest in future generations by providing best possible set of tools which can nurture logic and critical thinking. We are making use of open source technology and extending them for use in the Local context. We have divided our Tools portfolio into Mathematics, Visual Programming, Electronics, Hardware and Robotics, 3D Printing and Web Technologies
We believe Math skills are critical for understanding the physical phenomenon and kids must be enabled to visualize the equations and abstract ideas. The emphasis should be on applying the theoretical knowledge and visualizing the impact. In order to achieve this, we are developing tools for Grade 5 curricula onwards. The emphasis is firstly enabling the students to visualize the concepts from their own math books using Open source Tools like SAGEMATH, SYMPY, NUMPY/SCIPY, OCTAVE & Matplotlib. Work flows are created for students to easily model equation from their text boks and then solve using either SAGE or Python language Tools i.e. Sympy, numpy/scipy.
Electronics and Hardware
Open source boards such as Arduino & RaspberryPI are inexpensive and have provided a low barrier to entry for students and enthusiasts who would previously need skills in Electronics and Embedded programming. The modular plug and play approach of these boards means that students can interact with the physical world around them without needing a very deep knowledge of involved Electronics. The Tools are open source and huge community has developed around them which means that excellent learning resources exist for students to extend their knowledge if they wish. We are developing lessons that involve modeling the electronics on Fritzing tool. Once the student has modeled virtually they are they lead to construct the circuits on either Arduino or RaspberryPi Boards. Basic Sketches are provided for general hardware projects.
Physics and Programming
We have created tools based on Python language (VPYTHON, Turtle Python, sonicpi, Pygame), ETOYs and Sugarland to allow kids to model various aspects of physical phenomenon. Using these tools Students can model and simulate Laws of Motion, Forces, Electromagnetism and virtually any other topic as the implementation is only limited by the end user's ability to program. VPYTHON, Pygame and Turtle allow the user to draw and interact with physical phenomenon by writing full scale python code. These modules are very easy and fun to learn and possibilities of development are endless. Etoys and Sugarland are full scale platforms allowing kids to model using graphical Drag and drop approach
3D Printing has revolutionized manufacturing and brought the power of MAKING to the masses. The potential for this technology for learning is immense. Imagine being able to visualize the abstract ideas in math, science and arts that are hard to explain on 2D surfaces but literally come to life when printed in 3D. Our 3D Toolbox contains 3D Pens such as 3doodler which literally draws objects in the air. The drawn objects instantly solidify making 3D creations. The power of turning the idea in your head to reality is immense. We also have access to open source 3D CNC printers such as RepRap & Lulzbot with open cad software such as OpensCad. Students can develop their model in Openscad or freecad or download from thingiverse and then have these printed on the RepRap.