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Reimagining the Home as a Living Laboratory

Creating an online hub to encourage students and educators to engage in hands-on learning and making from home!

Photo of Azra Ismail
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I am a.....

  • Organization

Tell us about your idea

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many educators have turned to online learning to enable remote instruction. Though this brings several constraints in terms of what content can be taught and how, it also offers us an opportunity to explore and deliver new kinds of learning. For instance, remote/online instruction in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) does not have to be dry and lecture-based. Our homes and our everyday lives offer so many opportunities to learn! 

MakerGhat is a non-profit organization whose mission is to nurture creativity, curiosity, and community among youth through making. We create community labs that offer youth: (1) a safe space to experiment with a high room for failure, (2) material resources and money to invest in ideas, and (3) local role models and mentors who guide learning. During the pandemic, we are making our approach, curriculum, mentorship available through an online hub. We are creating and curating resources for hands-on activities and experiments that students can conduct from their homes. Through the online hub, our goal is to spark a movement of making and hands-on learning!

We encourage students and educators to reimagine the home as a living lab environment that offers numerous opportunities to learn, through real-world experiments and explorations! Let's redraw the boundaries of education, and go beyond the walls of the classroom!

Examples of home-based learning activities:

Physics - Try to balance two forks with two sticks on a cup to learn about balance, statics, and dynamics. More details here:

Chemistry - Place a paper in colored water to understand chromatography and capillary action. More details here:

Biology - Try to sprout various seeds available in the home and track their growth. Alternatively, sprout the same kind of seed, but vary the amount of water and sunlight provided to each one to determine how these factors impact growth.

Art & Mathematics - Learn about angles, shapes, and area, and volume through origami. More details here:

What part(s) of the pre-COVID school system do you wish to leave in the past? Why?

We wish to leave behind the notion of learning as limited to the school environment and school curriculum, and encourage a move away from rote-learning.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.

I am the co-founder of MakerGhat, a non-profit organization with the mission of nurturing creativity, curiosity, and community among youth through making. I was inspired to share this idea after seeing our students affected by school shutdowns and other disruptions in traditional education using this as a chance to explore their other interests and engage in more hands-on learning activities, from their homes.

What region are you located in?

  • Southern Asia

Where are you located?

We are located in an underserved area of Powai, Mumbai (India), where we operate a non-profit community makerspace where youth from the community get access to space, tools, resources, and mentorship to realize their ideas. We primarily work with underserved youth at the school and college-level.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Paul Kim

Azra. Thanks for sharing your idea. Yes, every household is a lab. I am wondering if you can share an idea that deals with more basic household items along with the learning outcomes. The challenge ends on Tuesday and it would be great to have a little more description for your idea.

Photo of Azra Ismail

Sure, great idea! I have updated the description with more details.

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