Learning becomes fun when a subject is taught in a creative and interesting way. Certain subjects like science require extra effort because of the experiments involved.
There are many low-income based government and private schools, which cannot afford high-cost laboratories with complex facilities.
To fill the gap, LIFE (Learning Is Fun and Experimental) lab is adopting several innovative ways to help children in school learn and understand subjects like Physics, Biology, and Chemistry.
What makes their methods different from the rest is that LIFE labs uses easy-to-operate DIY (Do It Yourself) kits for students.
The kits eliminate the use of expensive laboratory setups and describe several concepts of science in an interesting way. The methods enable a student to learn quickly and eliminate mishaps caused usually during any science experiment, says The Better India.
Besides helping students, it has also helped the teacher to use activity-based teaching instead of the blackboard. So far, LIFE labs have worked with students from the third standard to the tenth standard. In a span of five years, Life labs have worked with 4,50,000 children in 11 states and have trained over 1,500 teachers.
It was founded by Lewitt Somrajan, a former engineer who has also worked with Teach for India. He says,
“LIFE Lab's mission is to create experiential learning environments by providing innovative and disruptive teaching-learning methods that are fun, engaging and conducive for children to develop a scientific temperament.”
LIFE lab has also gone a step further and made his venture an eco-friendly organization.
Earlier, DIY kits were made of plastic and so, the organization decided to switch equipment used in DIY kits made from recyclable material.
For instance, plastic cups were replaced by paper cups, plastic straws with metal straws, plastic spoons with wooden ones and plastic bags have been replaced by cloth bags.To teach Biology, the lab chose parts of plants like leaves, branches, flowers or twigs to explain certain processes.
The sudden transition from plastic to “cloth” and “green material” was necessary as Adwita Desai - R&D Head of LIFE labs explains,
Our experimental set-ups are designed with very frugal materials, which are easily available. Plastic materials happen to be the most popular that can be sourced from anywhere. Inevitably, plastic was our first choice when we started five years ago. We used plastic cups, straws, carry-bags, glasses etc in our experimental models that demonstrate complicated theories and jargon in the simplest manner possible.
This huge amount of plastic waste contributes to a high carbon-dioxide emission. That is when we were motivated to look for alternatives as soon as possible.
The thought of change didn’t limit to LIFE lab’s team but the organization made sure it sensitises its students as well, to switch to green and save the environment.
The overall impact didn’t just reduce the carbon footprint but also resulted in a positive impact among the children. As Adwaita says,
“We envision a future generation of dignified individuals who are well aware of their social responsibilities and have an open mindset to find innovative solutions to every problem.”