Exploring Science takes an activity-based approach to science teaching. Students learn from first-hand experiences in their local environment. They develop the skills of systematic observation and analysis, using easily available, low cost material. The booklets and workbooks for classes six and seven interweave physics, chemistry, biology and environmental science.
About the Series
Exploring Science consists of a set of books and workbooks for classes 6 and 7 which take an activity-based approach to science teaching. This series evolved in response to the realities of teaching first-generation learners in a rural classroom. Some of the features of this series are are:
- Focus on developing the skills needed to do science.
The questions and exercises in the accompanying workbooks guide students in observing, recording, inferring, reading and writing.
- Literacy instruction embedded into science teaching.
Through exercises in the workbooks, helpful illustrations and scaffolded vocabulary activities, the material develops a student's facility with academic language at an age-appropriate level.
- Applying scientific thinking to contextually-relevant issues
Activities engage students with local issues, problems and solutions in their own communities.
- Increasing awareness of the natural world.
The activities deepen students' connection with their natural surroundings and help them appreciate the the science of everyday things.
The material is available in both Telugu and English. The Telugu material can be downloaded from this website. The books in English can be ordered from the Rishi Valley Education Centre.
How to Use the Material
The activities in these books have been broadly divided into three categories:
Reading activities, which emphasise reading and writing. These are designed to develop language skills needed for science. In the initial stages (Level 1), the teacher may need to support students in developing the skills required for reading and writing independently.
Try it yourself activities which emphasise hands-on work. These include experiments in the classroom, outdoor activities, field trips, games and model making. Most of these activities can be done collaboratively, by small groups of students.
Teacher directed activities which are usually whole class activities. These include discussions to introduce or clarify a concept and demonstrations. These activities are indicated in the textbook by the teacher logo.
The exercises in the workbook facilitate continuous assessment of the students' progress. Review questions at the end of each unit encourage students to review what they have learnt in the unit and write it in a more formal way. The teacher's guide contains additional assessment worksheets for each unit.
Kavita Krishna has developed and implemented Exploring Science, an upper primary science curriculum, in Telugu, at the Rural Education Centre, Rishi Valley. She has trained and mentored science teachers from the Rishi Valley School and the Rural Education Centre. She conducts science teaching workshops for teachers from a range of schools. She is keenly interested in working with students and teachers in both rural and urban contexts. Her area of focus has been science education at the upper primary and high school level.
Kavita has also worked as a teacher and a teacher mentor in Montessori schools. She has over 15 years of experience in the field of education. Prior to this she has worked as an engineering consultant.
Kavita graduated from the IIT, Chennai with a B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering and the Ohio State University with an M.S in Engineering Mechanics. She holds a Diploma in Pre-primary Montessori education and a Bachelors degree in education.
Many people contributed generously to this project.
Berlin, a freelance artist based in Kerala has illustrated the material.
Dr J. Mangamma and Radha Manduva have translated the material into Telugu. Dr J. Mangamma is a senior educationist and author based in Madanapalle. Radha Manduva teaches Telugu at the Rishi Valley School, Madanapalle. She is also the author of numerous short stories in Telugu.
Niranjan Kumar, G.V.R. Rajeshwar and Santhi Narasimhan did the layout for the book.
G. Chalapathy, Durgapathi Balla and S.Susheela and their students at the Rishi Valley Rural Education Centre tested this material and contributed many useful suggestions.
Madhumita Halder, B. Smitha, Radhika Joshi, Ravikumar, Radha Gopalan and Sumita Das reviewed the material.