Science Fair 2021

Arjun’s science fair project this year was a prototype robotic rover that could detect wildfires. Since this year The University of Mississippi Science and Engineering Lower Fair Region VII was online, he made a video presentation and won first place in Robotics and Intelligent Machines under Class II (grades 4-6). Here is the announcement video to recognize participating students.


Arjun’s Science Fair Abstract: I wanted to develop a robotic system that would help detect bushfires before they reach a size which is hard to control, as it has multiple times in Australia. I built the robot’s frame, then added movement electronics, camera and IR sensor. Once this was done, I programmed the camera. I tested it on two different surfaces, and it was able to move easily, send live camera footage to a computer, and detect the presence of a lighted matchstick. Conclusively, a more advanced version of this prototype could be able to help firefighters detect wildfires when they are at a smaller size.

Arjun’s Video Presentation: Please view the presentation on Prototype of Robotic Rover That Can Detect Wildfires (Total time: 5:44 minutes).

Robot Prototype:

Profile View

Portrait View



Studying Pacific Islands, Australia, New Zealand, and Antarctica

Unit 7, our last unit, of homeschool involves studying Pacific Islands, Australia, New Zealand, and Antarctica. We studied history and geography of these regions from the book: Journey to the Eastern Hemisphere by April Lotempio.

We watched following talks of Shri Mataji:

  • Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi- Australian TV Interview
  • 1987-0503 Sahasrara Puja Talk, Thredbo, Australia
  • 1983-0321 Birthday Puja Talk: Overcoming The Six Enemies, Sydney, Australia
  • 1985-0310 Devi Puja Talk: How To Ascend Into Nirvikalpa, Sydney, Australia
  • 1990-0312 Mahalakshmi Puja Talk, Auckland, New Zealand
  • 1990-0314 Thinking and How we trigger a cancer, Auckland, New Zealand
  • 1990-0224 What is the Absolute Truth, Auckland, New Zealand

We read following books:

  • Red Sand Blue Sky by Cathy Applegate
  • Call it Courage by Armstrong Sperry
  • The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis (Arjun wrote a story inspired by The Horse and His Boy)
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (Arjun analyzed 5 different themes of The Hobbit; he watched the three movies too)
  • Water Sky by Jean Craighead George (Arjun wrote a poem “AgviQ” – the bowhead whale)


Studying Africa

Unit 6 of our homeschool involves studying Africa. We studied history and geography of the region from the book: Journey to the Eastern Hemisphere by April Lotempio.

We watched following talks of Shri Mataji:

  • 1996-1029 Talk to yogis, Cairo, Egypt
  • 1996-1028 Public Program, Cairo, Egypt

We read following books:

  • A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story by Linda Sue Park (Listen to Arjun’s retelling of the story of Salva Dut)
  • Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions by Margaret Musgrove
  • Beat the Story Drum, Pum Pum by Ashley Bryan (Arjun created a picture word story from one of the stories in the book: hen and frog)
  • Nelson Mandela “No Easy Walk to Freedom” by Barry Denenberg
  • Journey to Jo’burg: A South African Story by Beverley Naidoo

Arjun created a travel brochure for Africa: Great African Tours.

Arjun also wrote an African parody of the poem, Ladybird, Ladybird, Fly Away Home: Impala, Impala, Bound Away Home

We watched following African movies to get a sense of African culture:

  • Cook Off on Netflix
  • Meet the In-Laws on Netflix
  • Just in Time on Netflix
  • Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom on Amazon Prime (we forwarded the inappropriate parts)
  • Sarafina on Amazon Prime
  • Invictus on Netflix

We made following food (Arjun cooks mostly all on his own):

Studying Middle East

Unit 5 comprised of studying Middle East. We studied history and geography of the region from the book: Journey to the Eastern Hemisphere by April Lotempio.

We watched only one video of Shri Mataji in Middle East: 1998-0416 Talk to Yogis, Dubai

We studied following books:

  • 52 Days by Camel: My Sahara Adventure by Lawrie Raskin and Debora Pearson
  • Traveling Man: The Journey of Ibn Battuta 1325-1354 by James Rumford
  • Ali and the Golden Eagle by Wayne Grover
  • Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher
  • Seven Daughters and Seven Sons by Barbara Cohen and Bahija Lovejoy (I skip the inappropriate parts while reading). Arjun tried to make predictions before each part in the book.

We watched Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet on Amazon Prime.

We made following food:

Studying Vietnam

Unit 3 of our academic year consists of reading history and geography of Vietnam from the book: Journey to the Eastern Hemisphere by April Lotempio. To understand the culture in more depth we did the following:

We read the following book:

The Land I Lost: Adventures of a Boy in Vietnam by Quang Nhuong Huynh (Listen to Arjun’s animal story based on this book)

We watched the following movie: One Thousand Good Nights on Netflix.


We tried packaged pho and then we tried making pho from scratch. Pho from scratch was absolutely delicious.