Funfelt builder heightens STEAM Fever at BHS

‘Necessity is the mother of all invention.’ For a teacher, this is not just a proverb but a life line. As teachers, we need to constantly adapt to new ideas and at times this means that we need to constantly search for things that meet changing requirements.

In the time of the pandemic when we were locked in our homes, we needed to learn new things to keep our classes interesting. That is when I heard about Lego Six Bricks Training. I got enrolled in one of the trainings by Binal Kinder. As I progressed through the course modules, I realized that the Six Bricks training aligned perfectly with my own philosophy, “Teach Smart with Fun”.

The Six Bricks training helped me learn to use both sides of my brain effectively, improve my listening and memorization skill which was getting little weak. The idea of 4 C’s “Connect => Construct => Contemplate => Continue” showed me the way from problems to solutions. So I planned and prepared to introduce it to my students when school reopened.

It was not easy to arrange for the Lego Six Bricks in Karachi, Pakistan. So, while we waited for our shipment to arrive all the way from Dubai, we started using the Funfelt Builder instead. It is an educational product developed by a local company, Toolkit4earlyyears. The kit contains 105 pieces of felt strip and shapes in rainbow colours, with button and button-holes. 

With my rigorous Six Bricks training, I was able to apply the four C’s in my STEAM class using a totally different material-the Funfelt Builder- and the results were remarkable. The students were enthralled by colourful felt pieces and they found the buttoning activity “soothing”.  I realized I had found the perfect kit that can engage the kids in STEAM throughout the year!

Here I list the pros and cons of the Funfelt Builder in comparison to Six Bricks: 

Fun felt BuilderLego Six Bricks

Attractive Rainbow colours105 Pieces containing Stripes with buttons and shapes.Felt pieces are easy to manipulate (bend, fold)Doesn’t occupy much spaceEasily availableCan DIYAffordable for all

Attractive six coloursSix Pieces of 4 * 2 brickDurable3D construction possible.Doesn’t occupy space

Buttons may become loose with repeated useConfined to 2D construction

Not readily available.ExpensivePieces cannot be manipulated (bent or folded)
Language such as describing in rich detail, giving clear instructions, explaining your reasons, and telling stories, which help you to communicate with others and express your ideas.Problem solving including to stay focused, and remember a task or a challenge, set goals and make plans, come up with creative ideas, and reflect on what you do and how you do it.Collaboration as in working together in pairs or teams, share turns and the materials you work with, learn from your peers and their ideas, and give each other roles and responsibilities
Language such as describing in rich detail, giving clear instructions, explaining your reasons, and telling stories, which help you to communicate with others and express your ideas.Problem solving including to stay focused, and remember a task or a challenge, set goals and make plans, come up with creative ideas, and reflect on what you do and how you do it.Collaboration as in working together in pairs or teams, share turns and the materials you work with, learn from your peers and their ideas, and give each other roles and responsibilities

What’s really great is the company is willing to train teachers and parents who wish to get the most out of their kit. They share ready-made plans and are with you every step of the way. 

I feel I have found a perfect solution to my STEAM dilemma. Are you ready to try it. 


The Railway Children

Gail Godwin said that “Good teaching is ¼ preparation and ¾ theater” and we at Badri High School work towards making information come to life.

The class 7 students are currently studying the novel “The Railway Children by E.Nesbit”. Keeping that in mind we planned a trip to “The Karachi Cantonment Railway Station” to let the students learn about trains and the working that takes place at a train station.

The group of 45 students set off at around 11:00 am on Tuesday 4th September 2018 in a coaster. With the chanting and laughter we reached the Cantt Station at around 11:35 am were the Station Manager, Mr. Mohammad Rafiq Baloch, greeted us warmly and answered the children’s queries one by one.

The manager informed the students about the 8 platforms at the Cantt Station where about 2000 passages daily come to Karachi and 2000 travel to the north of Pakistan.

He explained that the Cantt Station is one of the busiest stations of the country. Then he invited the students to wait in the Waiting Room as a Teez Gam was about to arrive and we had to visit that train.

We were amazed to see an enormous room spot clean with all the necessary facilities required for passenegrs to sit and wait for his/ her train to arrive. Students asked the station manager why they didnt allow the passengers to use the room but he couldn’t reply.

Next, we crossed the bridge to platform Number 4 where we climbed on to the Business Class carriage of the train. The students were excited as a cool breeze blew when the door opened. The manager showed them that each compartment had 6 berths and one washroom. He allotted 6 students one compartment and let them experience how it felt. The students were enjoying themselves when we were asked to move to the area where the engine was.

In groups of 4 the students climbed to the engine room were the engine driver answered all their queries. He also showed the students how brakes are pulled and the students rang the loud horn. However, climbing down was a scary experience.

Then we experienced how the tracks get changed automatically. We saw how an engine is attached to a boogie and how it moves to the cleaning area to get cleaned before the next trip. Then the manager arranged for us to learn first-hand how the control tower gives signals and how they tell the driver and the passengers about the train which is about to leave. We stood on the bridge and saw the train leave and counted the boogies to see if they were 18 or more.

We learned a lot about trains and this experience will really help the students to understand the setting and plot of the novel as they will now be able to understand how the three children felt and experienced every day they visited the railway station.



STEAM SUMMER CAMP 2018 AT BHS-It’s ‘the’ place to be this summer!

It has been an interesting year at Badri High School full of fun and learning. We are proud to say that our students have completed 2 levels of Mind storm EVE 3 with the best 12 teams participating in an in-house school challenge.

Yet, we still find people asking us what Robotics is? This question still amazes me and makes me wonder why so many students are still so left out. Robotics is a part of STEAM Education– it helps a child use his knowledge of Science and Math in Engineering (building) something using Art and Technology.

All the skills that a child knows and learns are actually experienced in STEAM Education hands-on. For example we have seen kids enjoy and apply Math as they move their creations applying angles and rotations in their programs, or making their pulleys work perfectly or creating a force to push the competitors Soma Bots out of the arena. It’s a perfect amalgamation of fun with learning.

So why not introduce your child to this amazing and challenging world which will help his imagination grow and open up new horizons. After all, this is the education of the future!

We, at Badri High School, are enthusiastic to announce that after a successful Winter Camp, we bring to you STEAM Summer Camp 2018 from 6th to 20th July where children will get a variety of programs to choose from. Course details are as follows:

Mini Bots: Robotics for Ages 5 – 8

Course Description

This course has the Lego WeDo set and it combines the beloved LEGO bricks with one motor, two sensors, and a hub that connects the model to the computer. Simple drag-and-drop visual programming software is then used to bring the model to life. With this kid-friendly approach, the set makes learning fun, inspiring and engaging.

Bot Mania: Robotics for Ages 9 – 16

Course Description

This is a beginner’s course in Robotics. We utilize Lego Mindstorms /EV3 kits, software and various Lego Robotics materials. The objective of this course is to introduce the student to basic programming as well as problem solving strategies. This course will involve students in the development, building and programming of a LEGO Mindstorms/EV3 robot. Students will work hands-on in teams to design, build, program and document their progress. Topics may include motor control, gear ratios, torque, friction, sensors, timing, program loops, logic gates, decision-making, timing sequences, propulsion systems and binary number systems. Student designed robots will be programmed to compete in various courses as developed by the First Lego League.

Engineering 101 Ages: 8 +
Course Description

The course emphasizes on the learning of the engineering process and fosters the mind set of an engineer. Engineering is not just a profession, it is a way of thinking. The thinking process of an engineer is more inclined towards problem solving, creative thinking and, most of all, building new things. This course is designed in a way to inculcate the thinking process of an engineer through hands-on activities involving various engineering disciplines.

Activities during the course

  1. Aerospace engineering(rocket design + building)
  2. Aeronautical engineering(real flying airplane design and development)
  3. Civil engineering(designing & building towers & bridges)
  4. Mechanical Engineering (working & building different kinds of catapults + designing roller coasters the length of a room).

VR Game Development for Age Group:  7 – 15 years

Course Description

With Construct 2, making games is easy and interesting: just drag and drop objects around, add behaviors to them, and make everything come alive with events!

Within minutes or hours you can have a working prototype that you can share with friends to play. In almost no time you can test your ideas and know if they are really fun or not, focusing your efforts in what matters the most: designing your game!

Software Programming

This course will take the children into the world of Virtual Reality where they will program their own objects from geometrical shapes or create a whole fantasy world in 3D.

The participants will use the immersive experience of virtual reality to create memorable experiences

  ARDUINO for Age Group: 13 – 16 years

In this course the students will learn about the fascinating world of electrical concepts and programming. Kids today are very keen to know how the modern world and its gadgets work and through this course the participants will experience and exhibit vital skills for the future by understanding the working principles of different electrical appliances that we see and use everyday. Experience the thrill of programing your own objects and controlling them.

Creative Writing for Age Group 12 – 15 years

“There is a writer in every person.”

Writing and articulation is a skill which will help an individual in their personal, academic and professional lives. In this course for advanced writers students will be introduced to various genres of writing. They will learn strategies to enrich their vocabulary by effectively using the thesaurus. A myriad of English listening, speaking, reading and writing activities will help them learn to love the language.

Computer Proficiency Camp for Age 8 & onwards.

Use of Computer is a must nowadays whether you are in school, college or university . You will need to create assignments and projects by using the computer effectively.
This computer proficiency course will help the students gain proper a skill set on how to use Microsoft Word, Power Point and Excel effectively.

The students will be working on a real time project that will help them learn all the necessary techniques that will help them in creating any projects and assignments using Microsoft Office and making them ready for print using proper layout settings.

As a bonus we will also be teaching Adobe Photoshop a raster based software for designing graphics and editing pictures. They will also learn Advanced Google Web Searching techniques for their research based projects.





Ibrahim Shabbir. Co-Author

In the glittering world of Dubai, GESS Dubai (Global Educational Supplies and Solutions Exhibitions and Conferences) is being held for a duration of 3 days for the past 11 years. GESS Dubai is an educational conference and exhibition with a difference, bringing together engaging industry leaders from around the world and influential local practitioners to present a combination of inspirational talks and dynamic, hands-on workshops.  Collaborative and innovative sessions are held to allow the visitors take home practical teaching methods, to use in their classroom immediately.

Last year, I had the opportunity to visit Gess Dubai 2017 with the Principal of Badri High School, Janab Sh Hashim bhai and Head of the Montessori Section, Mrs. Tasneem Hashim. As I visited the different stalls and attended various workshops, I had the opportunity to witness the progress in the field of education throughout the world. Through the course of three days, I was fascinated to know where exactly the world is going in the field of education and technology as well as the online resource and educational supplies used. The hands-on workshops I attended there helped me as well as my students to move towards a new pedagogy “Creative Thinking” and Asking the “How” questions rather than the “W” questions.

This year GESS Dubai 2018 will always remain special for me because I was chosen to attend it on behalf of BHS along with Sir Ibrahim Shabbir. This year, the theme for the conference was “Lifelong Inspiration”. Through the course of three days we were once again fascinated but more over satisfied because when we heard the presenters talking about collaboration of school with parents through Cloud base App, We smiled inside as we knew that in one year we at Badri High School had come far ahead as we have already begun using the Ilmversity app.

When we attended the hands on Robotics session, we were proud that students of class 5, 6 and 7 at BHS are engrossed and enthusiastic about their Robotics classes where they are using their Science, Math and English skills to make and program their Mind storm EVE 3 bot and have become so skilled at Robotics that they are now on the verge of hosting an Inter school Competition.

But we are not going to stop here. This year we have attended workshops to learn about Raspberry-Pi and scratch programming as well as how to collaborate with International schools to Learn English Language and Online Reading Program.

We also attended the workshop for children’s fitness training and came to learn how to use small timed exercise to energise the students again. We also got some new ideas of how science can be made more interesting in classrooms.

Our heartiest gratitude to Janab Naeem Bhaisaheb whose far-sighted vision enabled us to undertake this valuable experience. BHS is also grateful to the Trustees who supported us whole heartedly in making this journey possible.

At start of the journey we were told that we are visiting Dubai not with the vision to implement and get everything in school, but to broaden our vision to where the world is in the field of education and what we can learn from it. But this two year experience of GESS Dubai has shown me that if we put our heart and soul into learning as teachers we can create an amazing vision for our future generation.


Relax! Its Exam Time!

Exam time is stressful. With so much to memorize and learn, students tend to get confused and end up writing something totally different from what they are supposed to. So to help the students write appropriately and score well, an interactive session was conducted on ” How to study” by Sir Amjad Ayub and “How to attempt an exam paper” by Ms Rashida Adnan. The session was targeted towards class 6,7 and 8 grade students.

The 30 min session started off with Sir Amjad giving each student a paper with a few questions on the student himself to be answered. He kept saying read the instructions but the students started the paper in the race to complete first. After the initial commotion a girl finally figured out that as per the given instructions they only had to answer Q 5 and 6. Immediately the students caught their mistakes.

Sir explained that students need to study for at least 2 hours maximum without any disturbances and then they need to take a break. But the break has to be anything but sleeping such as sports, jogging, strolling, mind games to relax the mind. But the most important thing is that the students must create a proper place and environment to study and not sit on the bed.

The second part of session was on how to attempt the exam paper which dealt with 3 key points. The first part dealt with pre- paper preparation, the stationary requirements, writing boards, admit cards but most importantly to be stress free.

Then in the second part reading the paper; marking easy, manageable and tough initials to save time, marking the key words in the questions like solve, explain, factorize were explained.

Thirdly, the talk dealt with how to manage time wisely. The facilitator explained that 10 to 15 minutes should be allotted to reading the whole paper; give answers to the point as required and to attempt the questions you know well first to boost confidence.

The session ended on the point that once you give your paper don’t go out and discuss with anyone as it increases the stress and you are not able to prepare well for the next paper. So let bygones be bygones. The students left rejuvenated and in a positive frame of mind to handle the imminent midterm exams. Good luck students!


Readers All Geared to become Tomorrow’s Leaders

As part of the English Drive at BHS reading is being emphasized with much zest and creativity.

The students of class 6 were introduced were encouraged to read an article or story from Dawn’s Young World. The main idea behind the activity was that students learn to see through and handle the paper.

The Robotics Fever at BHS

The much anticipated Robotics sessions started from 3rd August for classes 5-7 and since then every week students eagerly wait for Thursdays.

In the first class the young enthusiasts learned to build the

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