Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Learning for Life

Hungry birds have always been a problem for farmers. Sometimes the birds eat so much corn or wheat that a farmer and his family would not have enough food to last through the winter. So, for more than 3000 years, farmers have been making scarecrows.

But the ones made here at Atmiya Vidya Mandir were erected by the class of 4th division with the help of their Gujarati Language teacher. These students have a poetry on scarecrows in their coursework/syllabus and for the introduction of the poem their teacher built a scare crow in the neem garden on the campus. When the children saw the scarecrow they said it would be very difficult for somebody to build one, but were positively challenged by their teacher to build their own. Under the guidance of the teacher the students together built the first prototype. The students were then divided into teams who created many other such Scarecrows. It seemed that the little champions erected these bogeyman's to protect their beloved neem trees.

Confucius once said 'You hear and you forget you see and you remember you do and you understand'.

Each child in this class now remembers the poem and even if they forget the lines, they have understood the meaning and importance of scarecrows for life.

Learning at Atmiya Vidya Mandir happens round the clock. A typical Science class for 8th standard on a particular day began at 9:54 pm on the terrace of the new school building. 42 students of class 8th with their teacher observed the moon through a telescope magnified at 160 X zoom and experienced beautiful craters on the moon. The curiosity of the students then rose to such an extent that they wanted to explore more and some said they wanted to find their own K-Pax. To challenge these inspirers the science teacher gave them a project and asked them to select any celestial object in the solar system - planet, satellite, comet, asteroid anything in the solar system and asked them to inform him why they were interested in that object. But he also made them think by asking a critical thinking question that if their research team is funded by our dear Prime Minister Mr. Manmohan Singh with Rs 10,000 crore for their project what would they do?
All the teams did impressive research work and some of their original ideas are as follows:
  1. Setting up an Internet hub on Mars with a telecommunication satellite hovering over Mars.
  2. Sending plants and insect samples on Mars and see how life if any is affected on the planet.
  3. Coating their Venus Exploration spacecraft with platinum so the sulphuric acid clouds of Venus does not bother their mission.
  4. Young authors - this group started writing fiction - they said they went to Mercury and found a dead alien which they brought back to earth and are now going to spend the money on doing research on the alien. (X-files Returns - what will Scully and Moulder do?)
  5. Creating drilling equipment for their Mission to Europa (one of Jupiter's many moons) so that they could drill easily through the frozen surface and will check if there is life under the ice sheets there!
It is said that Ye can lead a man to university but you cannot make a man think. But can you say the same about the children of Atmiya Vidya Mandir?

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