The one about the crow that stole a vada from a granny and lost it to the fox is an evergreen bedtime story. But, can it be ‘upgraded’, enough to teach children concepts in aeronautics? The team from Vaayusastra, an educational start-up, shows it can be.
Theatre artists from the Chennai-based company tell the story a bit differently. For example, during its flight, the crow comes across a helicopter after reaching an altitude of over 3.5 km. Now, the grasping bird wants not just the vada, but also a helicopter. So, a genie appears and helps it build one, while imparting lessons in aeronautics. There is more. The crow finally reaches the moon and now the students are taken for a virtual reality (VR) tour around the moon. Children sit through the session riveted, and leave it thoroughly entertained and a bit more familiar with the science of flight and engineering.
Incubated at IIT Madras, Vaayusastra combines theatre and science to make learning aeronautics fun and effective for children. “We mix visual demonstration, storytelling and technical insights. A child would understand at least one of the three,” says Jagadeesh Kanna, founder of Vaayusastra.