A board games club, a media room and sessions on weavinga��Quest wants to change how kids approach education.
In the last month, parents and children have been stopping by a two-storied house in Palavakkam every Sunday, to a�?explorea�� things as varied as weaving, carpentry and aero-modelling. At the new The Learning Community at Quest, there is no compulsion to sit down and join a class; the whole point is to expose kids to as many activities as possible and let them choose what they want to sign up for. a�?Normally any physical space gets boxed in, delineated for a specific activity. But we wanted to create something that would have the qualities of a virtual space, a place where anything can go on,a�? begins Srikanth Chandrasekaran, the founder. So while banana streusel muffins are being pulled out of the oven in the kitchen, a storytelling session is on in another room, while in a third, children learn to make their own board games.
Learn as you like
Going forward, Chandrasekaran hopes the 6,500 sq ft centrea��minimal with cushions and bean bagsa��will become a facilitating space for creative learning of all kind. a�?We contact facilitators who are passionate about a skill or an art, and get them to come over and engage with children,a�? explains the 50-year-old, who also heads the not-for-profit trust, Altius Foundation, which works in the field of education. Some of the more popular sessions include carpentry with Deepak Chengappa of Shakti Ganapati furniture, aero-modelling with Vasudev, a young enthusiast, weaving with Naresh Ramasubramaniam of Shuttles and Needles, and board games with Santhosh Subramanian of the Bambaram Toy Library. a�?Board games help in logical thinking. Soon we want to start a club where kids can try out both traditional and popular ones, and even try electronic construction kits that can lead to an exploration of robotics,a�? he says, adding, a�?Some classes, like carpentry, have become so popular that adults want to sign up, too.a�?
Music and audio-visual aids are also key cogs in the wheel here. Clapboard, their media room, houses a 135a�? screen, where they want to promote movies, online content and documentaries with a Saturday morning movie club. There is a music room with instruments, where musicians like Praveen from the Sean RoldanA� band will conduct sessions. a�?We are following the UNESCO curriculum of life skills. But we want to grow organically, adding more sessions like theatre with Crea Shakthi, pottery, 21st century skills like coding and more,a�? says Chandrasekaran, whose long term plan also includes making the space an enabling environment for home schooling.
For seven to 14-year-olds. Baking at Rs 750 per class. Details: 7358570749
a��Surya Praphulla Kumar